Thirteen ‘Chucks drafted to MLB


C.J. Chatham, Nick Banks, Ryan Howard go in first five rounds

179 Current and Former NWL Players Selected Overall

Rochester, Minn. – The 2016 Major League First-Year Player Draft was held June 9 through June 11 and the Northwoods League had a record setting draft. A total of 179 current Northwoods League players and alumni were selected in this year’s draft along with a record five 1st round picks.

"The draft is always an exciting indicator of talent, and the evidence continues to grow that the Northwoods League is attracting the finest amateur baseball players,” said Northwoods League President, Gary Hoover.  “This is a tribute to our model and our teams.  We can't wait to see where it goes from here."

The highest pick in this year’s draft was A.J. Puk, a junior left handed pitcher at Florida. Puk was picked in the 1st round by the Oakland Athletics with the 6th overall pick. Puk played as both a pitcher and infielder with the Waterloo Bucks in 2014.  A Cedar Rapids, Iowa native, Puk appeared in two games, starting both and earned a 2.08 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 8.2 innings pitched for Waterloo. At the plate, Puk played in 11 games, hitting .227 with two doubles and three RBI.

A full list of NWL players drafted is attached.




The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 22-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 150 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit