Latest News

Published On: June 11th, 2019

Wausau, WIS – The Wisconsin Woodchucks have a history of players going on to play in the big leagues and performing well while there. Two-time World Series Champion and World Series MVP Ben Zobrist is a perfect example of that. Before Zobrist was winning championships, he was playing in Wausau at Athletic Park as a Woodchuck in 2003.


Zobrist was drafted in the sixth round of the 2004 MLB Draft. Like him, there were twelve former Woodchucks that heard their name called in this year’s draft.


Round Overall MLB Team Player Year with the Chucks Pos. B/T College Class
9 269 Minnesota Twins Brent Headrick 2018 LHP L/L Illinois State 4YR JR
13 382 Detroit Tigers Matt Walker 2018 LHP L/L Illinois State 4YR JR
18 543 Washington Nationals Mason Doolittle 2018 C R/R Palm Beach CC (FL) JC J2
19 586 Houston Astros Tyler Krabbe 2016 C R/R Montevallo 4YR SR
21 637 Atlanta Braves Javier Valdes 2018 C R/R Florida International 4YR JR
23 695 St. Louis Cardinals Brylie Ware 2017 3B R/R Oklahoma 4YR SR
27 805 Texas Rangers Mason Cole 2018 RHP R/R Texas A&M 4YR JR
28 833 San Diego Padres Sam Ballard 2018 LHP L/L Parkland College (IL) JC J3
29 860 Chicago White Sox Kaleb Roper 2015 RHP R/R Tulane 4YR 5S
30 891 Miami Marlins Joey Steele 2018 RHP R/R University of San Francisco 4YR SR
35 1039 Kansas City Royals Jonah Dipoto 2016 RHP R/R UC San Diego 4YR SR
36 1072 Detroit Tigers Pavin Parks 2017 3B L/R Kent State 4YR SR


The 2019 MLB Draft ran from June 3 to June 5 with 40 rounds of teams selecting their future stars. Seven of the twelve Woodchucks selected are from last year’s 2018 team. The first former ‘Chuck to hear his name called was Brent Headrick, a left-handed pitcher from Illinois State. Headrick started five games for the Woodchucks last year and posted 35 strikeouts and a 2.63 ERA. Of the twelve draftees, Headrick will be the closest to Wausau as a Minnesota Twin.


Seven of the former ‘Chucks drafted are pitchers while the other five are position players. The top drafted position player was Mason Doolittle, a catcher who also spent last year’s 2018 season with the Woodchucks. Doolittle was joined by Javier Valdes, a draftee who was also a catcher/infielder for the ‘Chucks 2018 season. Valdes appeared in 60 games and accounted for 30 RBI, posting a .257 batting average.


The oldest draftee of the bunch is right-handed pitcher Kaleb Roper, who was with the Woodchucks four years ago during the 2015 season. At his college of Tulane, Roper allowed the sixth-lowest opponent batting average in program history (.206). He will now be heading to the “Windy City” of Chicago where he will join the White Sox.


The Wisconsin Woodchucks are very proud of all of our former players who have gone on to or will play in the MLB and their affiliated minor league teams. We wish our former Woodchucks the best of luck in their endeavor to show off their skills at the highest level of play.




The Wisconsin Woodchucks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Woodchucks as your favorite team.