Summer Collegiate | Rankings | 10/11/2018

Northwoods League top prospects

Patrick Ebert        
Photo: Joe Boyle (Perfect Game)

2018 Summer Collegiate Top Prospect Index

Year Established: 1994
States Represented: Illinois,Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ontario, Wisconsin
No. of Teams: 20
Regular Season Champion (best overall record): Madison Mallards (49-23)
Postseason Champion: Fond du Lac Dock Spiders
No. 1 Prospect, 2017: Tyler Dyson, rhp, Madison (Florida)
First 2016 Player Selected, 2017 Draft: Bren Spillane, 1b, Rockford (Illinois; Reds/3rd round)

Player of the Year: Augie Isaacson, 2b, Duluth (Friends University)
Pitcher of the Year: Justin Slaten, rhp, Eau Claire (New Mexico)

In their second year of existence the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders won their best-of-three championship series against the Duluth Huskies to claim the 2018 Northwoods League title. Their finish is especially remarkable considering six teams had a better regular season record, and they played .500 ball (18-18) during the second half of the summer. That said, the Dock Spiders boasted the best pitching staff in the league, with a cumulative 3.59 ERA, and rode that depth to a championship.

The league celebrated their 25th year in existence with 20 teams and further expansion on the horizon. The league more closely emulates minor league baseball than college baseball, giving players the opportunity to get a taste for a unique experience that includes 72-game regular season and the longest distances between organizations of any summer collegiate league. The teams span from Bismarck, North Dakota to Kalamazoo, Michigan, although the clubs from the two North/South divisions don’t play one another during the regular season.

More teams spread out in more locations means the talent that participates in the NWL is equally dispersed. The league does host both an all-star game and a showcase event, giving scouts a pair of one-stop shopping opportunities. While this year’s top prospect, 2016 PG All-American and current Notre Dame righthander Joe Boyle, touched 102 mph, there was a split among scouts as to just how effective those triple digits would be moving forward considering his difficulty throwing strikes. However, 102 is 102.

Top 30 Prospects

Rk. Player POS. B-T HT WT Hometown ST School YR Class Last Drafted
1 Joe Boyle RHP R-R 6-7 220 Goshen KY Notre Dame SO 2020 Never drafted
2 Jacob Kostyshock RHP R-R 6-4 172 O'Fallon MO Arkansas JR 2019 Never drafted
3 Louie Varland RHP L-R 6-1 205 Maplewood MN Concordia-St. Paul JR 2019 Never drafted
4 Ryan Anderson LHP L-L 6-6 180 Sparks NV Nevada JR 2019 Never drafted
5 Mike Rothenberg C/1B B-R 6-3 210 Boca Raton FL Duke SO 2020 Never drafted
6 Hunter Bigge RHP R-R 6-0 205 Los Gatos CA Harvard JR 2019 Never drafted
7 Jake Randa OF L-L 6-1 190 Prairie Village KS Northwest Florida State SO 2019 Never drafted
8 Justin Slaten RHP R-R 6-4 200 Longview TX New Mexico JR 2019 Never drafted
9 Zach DeLoach OF L-R 6-2 195 Lewisville TX Texas A&M SO 2020 Never drafted
10 Christian Jones OF/1B L-R 6-2 225 Federal Way WA Washington JR 2019 Red Sox '16 (31)
11 Braiden Ward IF/OF L-R 5-10 150 Merced CA Washington SO 2020 Never drafted
12 Zach Daniels OF R-R 6-1 190 Stockbridge GA Tennessee SO 2020 Never drafted
13 Adam Lukas RHP R-R 6-4 210 Grafton WI Evansville JR 2019 Never drafted
14 Cole Zabowski 1B L-L 6-5 225 Lawrenceville GA Mississippi JR 2019 Never drafted
15 Nick Mears RHP R-R 6-4 185 Rocklin CA SIGNED/Pirates NA NA Never drafted
16 Omar Maldonado RHP R-R 6-4 230 Redondo Beach CA SIGNED/Phillies NA NA Never drafted
17 Billy Cook 3B R-R 6-1 180 Monument CO Pepperdine SO 2020 Never drafted
18 Leo Perez RHP R-R 6-0 228 Palmview TX Texas A&M Corpus Christi SO 2020 Never drafted
19 Korey Lee C R-R 6-1 205 Vista CA California JR 2019 Never drafted
20 Donta Williams OF L-L 5-10 169 Las Vegas NV Arizona SO 2020 Never drafted
21 Shane McGuire C L-R 6-1 200 Kent WA San Diego FR 2020 Never drafted
22 Carson Ragsdale RHP R-R 6-8 221 Wesley Chapel FL South Florida JR 2019 Never drafted
23 Ty Duvall C L-R 5-11 190 Lebanon OH Vanderbilt JR 2019 Never drafted
24 Nick Sogard SS B-R 6-1 170 Sacramento CA Loyola Marymount JR 2019 Never drafted
25 Cayman Richardson IF/OF R-R 6-2 175 Mechanicsville VA Virginia JR 2019 Never drafted
26 Trace Norkus RHP R-R 6-3 220 Hillsboro Beach FL North Florida SR 2019 Never drafted
27 Cal Greenfield C R-R 6-0 205 Chicago IL Florida SO 2020 Never drafted
28 Jack Dunn SS/2B R-R 6-2 185 Alpharetta GA Northwestern SR 2019 Never drafted
29 Kyle MacDonald 1B L-R 6-3 240 Mississauga ON Arkansas State SR 2019 Never drafted
30 Ivan Johnson OF B-R 6-0 200 Atlanta GA Georgia SO 2020 Never drafted

Top 15 Prospect Reports

1. Joe Boyle, rhp, Kalamazoo (Notre Dame/SO in 2019)
Those who had the chance to see Boyle over the summer were split on his future potential, or at least the likelihood of him reaching it, with some of the more skeptical pointing out that he had trouble throwing consistent strikes, which limited him to two innings (over eight appearances) in the spring at Notre Dame and 7 1/3 innings (over seven relief appearances) with Kalamazoo. Others looked at the profile in a much more simple manner, pointing to his towering 6-foot-7, 220-pound frame and the fact that he touches 102 mph. He sits in the upper-90s, mixing in a slider that flashes plus, and he was always around the zone, he just didn’t throw enough strikes to allow his stuff to be as effective as it could be. He compares favorably to former Oklahoma hurler Alec Hansen for his size and stuff and with continued development would be a no-brainer for the first round in 2020.

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