LA CROSSE, Wis. -

UW-La Crosse starter and Loggers reliever Joel Effertz has been drafted twice before. But this time, it's different.

"When I was younger, I wasn't ready," Effertz said. "Now, as I get older, and as I bloom, I feel like I'm ready to compete with the highest level out there."

Two weeks ago, Effertz was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 28th round. There's only one problem: he said they've yet to offer him a contract with any solid numbers.

"I definitely want to sign. I want to get my pro career started, prove to myself that I can play with big talent, and whenever I sign that contract, I'm looking forward to going wherever they send me."

Effertz, a native of Ladysmith, Wis., began his college career at Arizona. He then transferred to Virginia, Madison College, and most recently, UW-La Crosse. He said the Marlins encouraged him to play in the Northwoods League this summer.

"I'm just coming out here, getting the ball whenever I can, and doing my best."

Effertz said he's yet to hire an agent, so he could return to UW-La Crosse for his senior season if he doesn't sign. The deadline to do so is July 12th.

"[The Marlins are] definitely a great organization to be in. If you pitch well and do what you're supposed to do, you'll move up fast. So if I get that contract, I'm definitely going to sign it and get my career started."