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Summer Collegiate | Story | 9/24/2021

Northwoods League Top Prospect List

Brian Sakowski      Travis Ice     
Photo: Kyle Teel (UVA Athletics)
Summer Collegiate Top Prospect List Index
Year Established: 1994
States Represented: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ontario, Wisconsin
No. of Teams: 23
Regular Season Champion (best overall record): St. Cloud Rox (50-18)
Postseason Champion: Traverse City Pit Spitters
No. 1 Prospect, 2019: Luke Little, LHP, San Jacinto (JC)
First 2020 Player Selected, 2021 Draft: Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State
Player of the Year: Matt Higgins, OF, Mankato (Bellarmine University) and Chandler Simpson, 2B, Fond du Lac (Georgia Tech)
Pitcher of the Year: Cam Schuelke, RHP, Traverse City (Florida Gulf Coast)

Following a pandemic-stricken 2020 summer that saw the Northwoods League find a way to play a full season in pods, the 2021 campaign was certainly a nice welcome back to something at least resembling normalcy. The Traverse City Pit Spitters won the NWL title in 2021, their second in three years of existence, having won it in their inaugural campaign back in 2019. The Northwoods League is known as one of the premier summer collegiate baseball destinations, not just for fan experience, but for draft prospects as well. Below is our look at the top draft prospects of any eligibility classification from this year’s Northwoods League.

1. Kyle Teel, C/OF, Wisconsin (Virginia/2023)
Teel played both in the Northwoods and for USA Baseball this summer, splitting time but getting the majority of his summer at-bats in the NWL. Long known to evaluators for his athleticism and versatility, Teel can reasonably project behind the plate or in a corner outfield spot, with a plus arm, and his hit tool earns above-average grades to go with burgeoning power. He’s not eligible until 2023, and has first round upside.

2. Carlson Reed, RHP, Fond du Lac (West Virginia/2023)
Reed has a case for best prospect overall of the league, performing well throughout his time in the league and showing off really loud stuff in the process. Reed is a long, lean right-hander with an extremely fast arm, running his fastball up into the mid-90s at times this summer and pitching a little below that. The breaker took big strides too, becoming more of a power slider. He still needs to continue refining his control and command, but the upside here is extremely high.

3. Chase Davis, OF, La Crosse (Arizona/2023)
Davis, who was a Perfect Game All-American in high school, has always been loaded with tools and has started to take some steps forward in his approach, unlocking some of that long-teased left-handed power. He walked a bunch, struck out a bunch, and hit for some power this summer in the NWL to the tune of a .764 OPS, a step in the right direction to be sure, and when that power + walks combo pairs with his athleticism in the outfield, the upside becomes notable.

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