Two 2018 Mallards alumni were selected on the first day of the MLB Draft. Carson Ragsdale (South Florida) and Jack Blomgren (Michigan) are both off the board, being selected 116th and 140th respectively.
Carson Ragsdale, a right-handed pitcher, was selected in the 4th round by Philadelphia. Ragsdale spent 26.1 innings on the mound in 2018 for the Mallards, notching 40 strikeouts, taking home 2 wins, and finishing the season with a 3.41 ERA. Ragsdale was selected for the 2018 NWL All-Star game in Kalamazoo as well.
Shortstop Jack Blomgren, a Milton, WI native who played high school baseball for Janesville Craig, was selected in the 5th round by Colorado. During his 2018 stint in Madison, Blomgren stepped up to plate 18 times, recording 2 RBI. Blomgren, on a temp contract, only spent seven games with the Mallards.
The highest pick in this year’s draft was Garrett Mitchell, a junior outfielder from UCLA. Mitchell was picked in the 1st round by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 20th overall pick. Mitchell played for the Mankato MoonDogs in 2018. Former Wisconsin Woodchucks infielder Nick Loftin, from Baylor, was drafted by the Kansas City Royals with the 32nd pick of the draft in the competitive balance A round.
"With so many of our players selected, and having the Northwoods League so well-represented in this year's draft, it really brings the focus back to the important role this kind of development has in making a player's dream of playing in the big leagues come true," said Northwoods League President and Commissioner Gary Hoover. "The Northwoods League congratulates the players for their achievements, and we look forward to watching the great things they will do going forward."
Of the 20 players drafted six of them had played in the Northwoods League Major League Dreams Showcase. The Major League Dreams Showcase brings together 100 of the Northwoods League’s top prospects to form four teams for a day of scouting workouts and double-header action. Played in front of Major League scouts, the Showcase provides an invaluable platform for players looking to one day make it into the professional ranks. Participating players are hand-selected by a panel of MLB scouts, distinguishing this event from the more traditional All-Star Game format that features representatives from every team.
The Kalamazoo Growlers had a league-high five players drafted this year. The highest pick for the Growlers was left-handed pitcher Sam Weatherly from Clemson. Weatherly was selected by the Rockies in the third round. The Wisconsin Woodchucks had three former players selected and La Crosse, Mankato and Madison had two selections each. The Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Philadelphia Phillies and the Seattle Mariners each selected two former Northwoods League plyers.
The full list of 2020 NWL draftees can be found by going to www.northwoodsleague.com and clicking the League Info link at the top of the page and then select NWL Alumni and Draft Highlights.
Information from the Northwoods League and the Madison Mallards press releases were used in this article.
Photo: Northwoods League