European Players To Participate In The Northwoods League In 2015


Six Players From Collegiate Baseball League Europe Selected
Rochester, Minn. – Prior to the 2014 season the Northwoods League and Collegiate Baseball League Europe (CBLE) entered into an agreement that would allow the top six players from the CBLE to participate the following season in the Northwoods League.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters were chosen as one of six teams to host a player during a draft held at the Northwoods League’s Annual Fall Meetings. The European players will be members of their respective Northwoods League team in additional to the traditional 30 man roster filled with American college players.
"It’s another first for the Northwoods League and I look forward to the integration of European baseball players into the Summer-Collegiate Baseball world,” said Northwoods League President Dick Radatz, Jr.
The six teams and their selections are listed below along with each player’s country, position, DOB, home team and a link to their 2014 CBLE stats.
1. Madison Mallards – Martin Andanov (Bulgaria) LHP/RF, 2/14/94, Buffaloes Blagoevgrad
Baseball Reference Page
2014 CBLE Stats
2. St. Cloud Rox – Gilian van Lith (Netherlands) LHP, 9/11/93, UVV Utrecht
2014 CBLE Stats
3. Wisconsin Rapids Rafters – Dmitry Shtykher (Russia) RHP, 1/10/96, Youth of Moscow
2014 CBLE Stats
4. Alexandria Blue Anchors – Michael Riekerk (Netherlands) C, 6/2/94, Orioles Bergschenhoek
2014 CBLE Stats
5. Green Bay Bullfrogs – Axel Poesmans (Belgium) C, 2/7/96, Brasschaat Braves
2014 CBLE Stats
6. Rochester Honkers – Julian Rip (Netherlands) 3B, 5/26/98, UVV Utrecht
2014 CBLE Stats
“We're very proud that CBLE's progressive approach helps to open doors for young European baseball players,” said CBLE Founder and General Manager Jan Maarten Kops. “The unique partnership we have with the Northwoods League shows that CBLE's efforts to build a platform for players and coaches to improve their game and meet new people who can help them get to the next level is working.”
The CBLE is a wood bat summer league based in Oosterhout, Netherlands. The league currently consists of four teams: La Rochelle Admirals, Oosterhout Bombers, London Cavaliers and the Sant Boi Falcons of Barcelona. Each year the coaching staffs draft their team rosters from the list of registered players in March.
Players typically play their regular season with college teams in the United States or play for club teams in elite leagues across Europe.
Like other Summer Collegiate Baseball leagues, Collegiate Baseball League Europe is dedicated and designed to provide high level competition for 18-23 year old players that wish to continue on into professional baseball. The CBLE operates in a similar manner to a Minor League team: playing daily in stadiums before fans, using wood bats and minor league specification equipment, and experiencing road trips between games. Like all other summer collegiate players, they are unpaid and live with host families or other accommodations in the same manner as Single A and Independent League players. While serving as a crucial player development tool, Collegiate Baseball League Europe provides new opportunities for young players from around the world to play Summer Collegiate Baseball in the “Old World”. More information on the CBLE can be found at


The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods 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 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit