Aug. 24, 2000
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Three former Arizona State University baseball players have been selected to play in the professional Arizona Fall League. Willie Bloomquist, Mark Ernster and Ryan Mills will compete in the AFL when play opens Oct. 3.
Bloomquist (1997-99) is currently with the Tacoma Rainiers of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. After impressing the Seattle Mariners brass during spring training, Bloomquist took the California League by storm by hitting .379 with the Lancaster Jethawks. The 1999 Pac-10 Player of the Year will play for the Peoria Javelinas.
Ernster, who hit .414 for his career at ASU (1997-99), is currently playing with the Double-A Huntsville Stars in the Milwaukee Brewers system. Ernster will compete for the Maryvale Saguaros in the AFL.
Mills, who played an instrumental role in ASU's 1998 College World Series team, is playing at Double-A with New Britain in the Minnesota Twins organization. Mills will play for the Grand Canyon Rafters in the AFL.
Major League Baseball established the AFL in 1992 to give talented young players on the cusp of the big leagues an opportunity to compete against each other. The league has six teams with 30 players each and each big league organization sends six players to the league.