By PAUL GOTHAM
The new partnership between MLB and USA Baseball has a Monroe Community College connection.
A trio of MCC Tribunes will play in the Appalachian League for the remainder of the 2021 summer season.
“It’s great for our program that we would be contacted to help find players,” said Monroe head coach Dave Brust who received a call last week from an Appalachian League official. “That’s a great opportunity for them and nice recognition for the (MCC) program.”
Sherron hurled 28 innings this past spring. The freshman right-hander fanned 27 batters while walking 12. The former First Team All-County selection will play for the Pulaski River Turtles under head coach Clark Crist.
MLB veteran Ted Power is the River Turtles pitching coach. Power made over 550 big-league appearances for eight different MLB clubs. He led the National League with 78 appearances in 1984 and started Game 6 of the 1990 NL Championship Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Wanat and Wypior will be a part of the Danville Otterbots‘ squad under head coach and 11-year MLB veteran, Desi Relaford. Wanat made five appearances for the Tribunes this past spring. The southpaw tossed a third of an inning in the Tribunes’ victory over UConn-Avery Point in the East District qualifier. Wypior, a transfer from SUNY Albany, was a First Team ECIC and All-WNY Honorable Mention selection his senior year at West Seneca East High School.
Clyde Keller, a 1989 MLB Draft selection of the St. Louis Cardinals, will serve as the Otterbots’ pitching coach. Keller spent five years in the minors before starting his coaching career. Keller spent three seasons as pitching coach with Florida State before heading to the Appalachian League.
“It’s important to those guys in their development and seeing quality baseball,” Brust said of the Tribunes getting a chance this summer. “It certainly gives them an opportunity to showcase themselves to four-year programs.”
Founded in 1911, the Appalachian League had been a short-season Rookie-A level since 1957. With the MLB contraction of its farm system, the “Appy” (as it has been known) was reimagined to become amateur status where “…players are going to receive state-of-the-art training, visibility to our scouts and educational programming that’s designed to prepare them for careers as professional athletes,” Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball economics and operations, told the Associated Press last September.
The 2021 Appalachian League season opened on June 3rd with 10 teams spread throughout Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. A league All-Star game is scheduled for July 27th and a one-game championship between the East and West Division winners is slated for August 9th.
Sherron started the summer in the Interstate Collegiate Baseball League.
Former MCC Tribunes Danny Mendick and Zach Vennaro are currently in professional baseball. Mendick, a 22nd round selection in the 2015 MLB Draft, has played 49 games with the Chicago White Sox this summer. Vennaro has made 19 appearances for the Biloxi Shuckers of the Double-A Southern League.
Also from Section V:
The MLB Draft takes place Sunday through Tuesday. Greece Athena’s Casey Saucke II and Penfield’s Gage Ziehl are expected to be early-round selections as well as Newark’s Ben Cowles who earned All-America honors at Maryland this past spring.
Sherron’s Rush-Henrietta teammate, Chris Sleeper (West Virginia University), is playing in the Futures League with the Brockton Rox.
Brighton’s Ernie Clement, Tanner Cooper (Canandaigua), Greg Cullen (McQuaid), Steven Klimek (Greece Arcadia) and Adam Scott (Canandaigua) are among the local players also active in Major and Minor League Baseball.