WAUSAU — Twelve Wisconsin Woodchucks were selected in the 2018 Major League First-Year Player Draft, held June 4 through June 6. They are included in the 163 current Northwoods League players and alumni who were selected.
“The highly developed and road-tested players from the Northwoods League were once again recognized and well-represented in the MLB draft this year,” said Northwoods League President Gary Hoover in a Woodchucks news release. “The combination of the Northwoods League model, our terrific Affiliate Club operators and our great fans provide the best preparatory environment available for players seeking excellence.”
The Woodchucks 12, according to the release:
2016 Woodchuck Steele Walker was selected as the 46th pick in the second round by the Chicago White Sox. In 2016, Walker led the Northwoods League in hitting with a .406 batting average, 47 runs, 31 RBI, 11 doubles and seven home runs and earned accolades as a post-season all-star.
2017 Woodchucks Pitcher Austin Lambright was selected as the 302nd pick in the tenth round by the Kansas City Royals. Lambright pitched 13 innings with 12 strikeouts for the Chucks. Also picked in the tenth round at number 306 was 2016 Woodchuck Cade Harris. Harris had three doubles, one home run and 11 RBI for the Woodchucks, along with three stolen bases. Harris was drafted by the Colorado Rockies.
Another recent Woodchucks player, Trey Dawson (2017) was picked by the Houston Astros in the 15th round at number 462. Dawson hit .267 with six doubles, one triple, two home runs and 25 RBI for the Woodchucks in 2017. Immediately following Dawson, current Woodchucks player Bryan Lavastida was selected by the Cleveland Indians as the 463rd pick. Lavastida was impressive in the first week of the season with a .300 batting average and five stolen bases.
In the 16th round, as the 493rd pick, 2016 Woodchuck Ruben Cardenas was drafted by the Cleveland Indians. He had a .333 batting average for the Chucks with three home runs and seven RBI.
2016 Woodchuck Cole Daily was selected as the 671st pick in the 22nd round by the Washington Nationals. He hit .282 with six doubles and five stolen bases with the Woodchucks.
Albee Weiss, who played for the Chucks in 2015, was drafted at pick number 694 in the 23rd round by the Minnesota Twins. He had nine doubles and 17 home runs with 49 RBI for the Woodchucks and played in the 2015 Northwoods League All-Star Game.
In the 24th round, 2017 Woodchucks Pitcher Pavin Parks was selected by the San Diego Padres at pick number 711. Parks pitched in two games for the Woodchucks and recorded one win with a 0.00 ERA in three innings of work. Also selected in the 24th round was 2015 Woodchuck Eli Kraus. Kraus was selected as the 723rd pick by the St. Louis Cardinals. He posted a 2.45 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched with 14 strikeouts on the mound for the Chucks.
2017 Woodchucks Pitcher Kellen Rholl was selected as the 763rd pick in the 25th round by the Cleveland Indians. He spent 21.1 innings on the mound for the Woodchucks last season and recorded 16 punchouts.
2016 Woodchuck Reggie Meyer was drafted by the Texas Rangers at pick number 1139 in the 28th round. The pitcher started seven games for the Woodchucks in 2016 and pitched 44.2 innings.
A full list of 2018 NWL draftees is at www.northwoodsleague.com.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks are in their 25th season.
Photo courtesy Wisconsin Woodchucks.