Former Willmar Stinger Louie Varland Debuts with the Twins
Rochester, Minn. – Former Willmar Stinger Louie Varland made his Major League debut for the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. Varland is the 307th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Varland, who played collegiately at Concordia University in St. Paul, played for the Stingers in 2017 and 2018. Varland was drafted in the 15th round of the 2019 MLB draft.
In 2017 and 2018 with the Stingers Varland played in 15 games and was 4-2 with 60 strikeouts in 60.2 innings.
Varland began his professional career in 2019 with the Elizabethton Twins of the Rookie Level Appalachian League. He appeared in three games and was 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA. He struck out 10 batters in 8.2 innings while walking four.
Varland began the 2021 season with the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels of the Lo-A Southeast League. After 10 games he was promoted to the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Hi-A Central League. Between the two clubs he was 10-4 with a 2.10 ERA in 20 games. He pitched 103 innings and struck out 142.
Prior to his call-up to the Twins, Varland had started the season with the Wichita Wind Surge of the AA Texas League. He pitched in 20 games before moving up to the St. Paul Saints of the AAA International League. In 24 appearances he was 8-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 126.1 innings. He struck out 146 batters while walking 42. In his Major League debut against the Yankees, Varland started and went 5.1 innings allowing two runs on three hits while striking out seven.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 29th season, the Northwoods 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 300 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.