06/10/2018 3:33 PM -
The WMBL is proving to be a solid training ground for Major League prospects. This was very evident during the 2018 Major League draft when three WMBL stars from last season had their names called.
Edmonton Prospect Erik Sabrowski was chosen in the 14th round (411th overall) by the San Diego Padres. The left-handed pitcher, who spent the college season with the Cloud County Community College Thunderbirds, was a WMBL all-star in 2017.
2017 WMBL MVP Kody Funderburk of the Okotoks Dawgs was selected in the 15th round by the Minnesota Twins.
Greg Cullen, an all-star shortstop last season with Okotoks, was taken in the 15th round by the Atlanta Braves.
As well, Okotoks alumni Michael Gretler, who played with the Dawgs in 2016, was drafted in the 10th round by Pittsburgh. Current Lethbridge Bulls outfielder Damiano Palmegiani was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 35th round.
Sabrowski, Funderburk, Cullen, Gretler and Palmegiani hope to follow in the footsteps of WMBL alumni and current MLB players, John Axford (Toronto), Andrelton Simmons (LA Angels) and Marco Gonzales (Seattle) and make their mark in the majors.
“It bodes well for the WMBL when players who play in places like Okotoks, Edmonton and Lethbridge end up getting drafted,” said Bernie Eiswirth, Vice President of WMBL Baseball Administration. “It also shows scouts are watching what players do in our league.”
Having players getting drafted by major league teams is also a great recruiting tool for WMBL player personnel directors.
“All players dream of playing in the major leagues and ultimately want to go to a summer league like the WMBL where they can showcase their talents and be seen,” said Eiswirth.