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.
Here is the complete list of NWL 1st Round picks for 2016:
|Round||Overall||MLB Team||Player||College||Pos.||B/T||Year||NWL Team||Year|
|1||6||Oakland||Puk, A.J.||Florida||LHP||L/L||JR||Waterloo Bucks||2014|
|1||16||Los Angeles A||Thaiss, Matt||Virginia||C||L/R||JR||Madison Mallards||2014|
|1||22||Pittsburgh||Craig, Will||Wake Forest||3B||R/R||JR||St. Cloud Rox||2014|
|1||27||Baltimore||Sedlock, Cody||Illinois||RHP||R/R||JR||Waterloo Bucks||2014|
|1||29||Washington||Dunning, Dane||Florida||RHP||R/R||JR||Waterloo Bucks||2014|
The Madison Mallards had a league high 22 players drafted this year and the La Crosse Loggers were second with 18 players selected.
The highest pick for the Mallards came in the 1st round, when catcher Matt Thaiss from Virginia was taken 16th overall by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Thaiss played for the Mallards in 2014 and hit .286 in 26 games. He also drove in 14 runs and had three doubles.
The Loggers highest pick came in the 5th round when the Detroit Tigers selected Texas A & M RHP Mark Ecker with the 145th overall pick. Ecker was with the Loggers during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
The full list of 2016 NWL draftees can be found by going to www.northwoodsleague.com and clicking the about NWL link at the top of the page and then select Draft Results.