The vision of the Dirtbags’ youth program

It can be easy to do, but for any leader, executive, or common man trying to have success at any level, it’s important not to mistake busyness for productivity. Just tending to a task doesn’t automatically make it the right task to allocate time and resources to. Likewise, simply moving doesn’t mean one is moving in the right direction. For a party to reach a desired destination, moving in the proper direction with knowledge of the terrain is pertinent to being able to arrive where wants to be.

If a travel baseball organization is to be one of the best, not just the best in it’s area, state, or region, but one of the best in the entire country, activity needs to be concentrated on the proper efforts and a guided course needs chartered. In short, a clear vision needs established. And that’s exactly what the Dirtbags sought in the implementation of its youth program.

“When I came on, I said we need to have a structured environment, where we get these kids younger and we teach them what it means to be a Dirtbag, the pride that comes with being a Dirtbag, the tradition,” said Dirtbags Youth Director Everett Hancock.

“That was the vision, to do the same type of things there were doing at the showcase level, with our youth teams.”

Hancock is entering his third year of having the vision come to life, leading the direction and operations of the Dirtbags’ youth program. First assisting the Dirtbags in some capacity in 2005, seeing the development and growth of future Major League Baseball players Dustin Ackley and Corey Seager, its with an understanding of the admiration, attention, and respect the Dirtbags draw from coast to coast, is what fuels Hancock to make sure the foundation is as sturdy as possible to support the future of the Dirtbags, year over year.

That foundation starts with directing effort and energy into the person that makes up the player, and showing them a clear path to where they can be with the proper assistance.

“We want to know who your kids are, who your parents are, we want to help you develop as a kid and player, so you know what it means to be a Dirtbag,” Hancock said.

When it comes to developing the player, the importance of doing things the Dirtbag way is instilled early.

“We help develop these players, we have a hands-on approach with these players and the coaches we bring into our program, where it’s more than just uniforms, you’re getting coached the right way.”

Prior to joining the Dirtbags, Hancock was the head coach at North Forsyth for two seasons, after leading Forsyth County Day in 2012. Hancock joined Dirtbags founder Andy Partin at FCD for the 2011 season, after serving six years on staff at Ragsdale. North Carolina baseball in his blood through and through, Hancock was a 28th-round draft pick by the Detroit Tigers in 2012 after a standout career as a left-handed pitcher at North Carolina-Greensboro.

It’s that background of winning baseball at all levels that gives Hancock the necessary credibility to be able to set the course in developing the Dirtbags’ youth, understanding what is exactly needed to excel entering the high school ages, for players with aspirations of playing collegiality or professionally.

“It’s a much easier transition for you to play in our showcase program because you know the expectations, you know what we’re about,” Hancock said of establishing the youth program. “And, we can help you more as a showcase player because now we’ve seen you for two, three, four years, we know who you are so the transition is a lot smoother.”

In two years, Hancock has overseen the growth of the youth program to 25 teams. Excited over the growth that has occurred, Hancock looks to continue to grow the program, but not too extensively. Keeping the team count relatively small is critical to knowing each parent and player, establishing the relationship needed to get the most out of every player that wears a Dirtbag uniform.

“We’d much rather do it that way than say ‘Hey, here’s some uniforms, you can call yourself Dirtbags, and we’ll see you next time when you need some uniforms,'” he said. “It’s much more of an organization, the kids at nine, feel they’re just as much a part of the organization, as much of a Dirtbag as a kid that’s 17 years old.”

Where the program is today, the same expectation of play, how a player is to carry himself, and understanding what it means to be a Dirtbag, is what was desired when Hancock and Partin first laid vision to paper and created a plan.

“As Andy and I had conversations about what we wanted this thing to look like, I said ‘Listen, you’ve worked really hard to build this name, the Dirtbags name, not only here in North Carolina, but one of the top programs in the country, one of the most well-respected programs in the country, why don’t take that vision, that model, to the youth kids?'”

And so they did. With work that yields production, not just busyness, production along a chartered course with a clear path to a final position, the future of the Dirtbags remains as bright as ever; the youth program being an instrumental part of that.

Under The Gun: Jackson Mitchell

Name: Jackson Mitchell
High School: Garner
Graduation: 2020
Position: Infielder
Years with Dirtbags: 2
College Commitment: Uncommitted

How’s the season been going for Garner High School?

The season has been going well; we have a (15-4) record in a very tough conference.

As a baseball player, what are your attributes?

As a player my attributes are my hands and quickness. I wasn’t blessed with the size and strength as other players, but I use my hands and my speed to my advantage in the field and at the plate.

Speaking of baseball players you’re very close with Nolan McLean (2020, Uncommitted), talk about how he has made you a better player being around him?

Nolan and I hangout about every day, but not the normal video games and go eat hangout.  We hit the gym, the field, and the cage. He’s really pushed me to better myself as a player and a person. We always make each other better just by competing with one another constantly

What goals are you looking to accomplish this summer in a Dirtbag Uniform?

This summer I’m looking to make a name for myself and attract some of the attention of college coaches and show them that the small guys can still do it too!

When you hear the word “Dirtbag” what comes to mind?

When I hear the word “Dirtbag”, I think of a team full of guys who fly around the field 100 mph. Giving it everything they’ve got and putting it on the other club.

What’s your best memory so far with the Dirtbags?

My best memory is playing in Atlanta with the Dirtbags in front of so many college coaches.

I’m going to give you a list of names below, tell me one word that comes to mind:

Coach Jacob Baker- Laid Back
Drew Needham- Unique
Jack Hicks- relaxed
Garrett Chandler- Fiery

Why did you choose Dirtbags?

I chose the Dirtbags because Trey had been talking to me for a while about playing for them. He felt I was a good player who could benefit from the organization. The Dirtbags have a great track record of getting kids to the next level.

Stay tuned for another “Under the Gun” interview coming up on Thursday…

Under The Gun: Xander Hamilton

Name: Xander Hamilton
High School: Broughton
Graduation: 2019
Position: RHP/OF
Years with Dirtbags: 1
College Commitment: Virginia Tech

Your season is in full swing and Broughton High School is starting to play well, what do you attribute the recent success to?

I contribute to our success to the fact that we’re coming together this year. This year our Seniors have set the bar high and we continue to raise it as a collective group.

Coach Jere Morton who also coaches with the Dirtbags is your High School coach. How has he made you a better player?

Coach Morton has led me to become a better person not only on the field but off. Throughout High School I have become really involved with kids with special needs, and without my coaches I don’t think that door would have opened. Morton has gotten me exposed to many local and distant colleges, as well as top showcases.

What are your strengths as a player?

Some of my strengths as a player are, my abilities on the mound are flashing a low 90’s FB, snapping a power slider and burying a hard splitter. I also think I have some serious pop at the plate, with three home runs on the year and batting in the mid 300’s. I love having the opportunity in the clutch situations.

What’s your mindset once you get on the mound?

My mindset on the mound starts early in the day, “how am i going to get these batters out.” Once I’m on the mound I have a plan and I’m not pressing. I’m never afraid to go after guys, and I pound every batter with everything I got.

You recently committed to Virginia Tech, what made you choose the Hokies?

“Because this is Hokies nation.’ I chose VT because it felt like it was the place I belonged. The coaching staff has given me the opportunity to go as a two way player, which is what I have always wanted to do. The team is on their way to a breakout in some serious success. The baseball team has just built a brand new facility as well which I am very excited about. The Academic program at VT is top notch, and so is the food.

When you hear the word “Dirtbags Baseball” what comes to mind?

When I hear the words “Dirtbags Baseball” I think of a top travel program that is in it to win. Andy Partin and Trey Daly also come to mind, without these two guys I would be nowhere close where I am today.

What made you want to become a Dirtbag?

I became a Dirtbag for the opportunity to get some serious exposure.

Who’s the best player you have played with while playing with the Dirtbags?

So far the best player I have played with on the Dirtbags is Connor Norby (2018, East Carolina Signee).

What’s your favorite memory so far of playing with the Dirtbags?

So far my favorite experience in the Bags has been Jupiter.

If Xander Hamilton wasn’t playing baseball, what would he be doing?

Right now if I wasn’t playing baseball I would be working on cars and trucks. Ever since I was a kid the passion with them has been on at heart. I would probably be working a lot trying to buy the next modification for my truck.

Stay tuned for another exciting “Under The Gun” interview coming up on Monday..

Dirtbags Weekly Digest

Another week has passed with Dirtbags making news at all levels of baseball. Here’s a roundup of who’s been in the headlines over the last week, continuing the Dirtbag legacy.

Two Dirtbags make commitments

A pair of Dirtbags have found their colleges as they pursue a higher education and continue their playing days.

Fuquay Varina High School senior right-handed pitcher Kyle Mott has committed to Pitt Community College in Winterville, N.C. The Bulldogs are in the the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region X, most notably known for producing Cleveland Indians outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall, a first-round draft pick in the 2008 draft.

Heading to Division II baseball is Ras Ran Amon. The infielder from Rolesville High School has committed to be a future Ram at Winston Salem State University. WSSU is in the 10-team Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which has eight schools in North Carolina and two in Virginia. The Rams won the CIAA from 2011-2014, after the baseball program was reinstated in August 2010, and hosted an NCAA Regional in 2013.

Herring named CAA Freshman of the Week

Compiling a rookie campaign which has freshman all-america honors in sight, former Dirtbag right-handed pitcher Gage Herring was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Rookie of the Week, for the second time this season. In leading UNC-Wilmington to a 10-0 victory over Delaware on Sunday, the native of Newton Grove, N.C. carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, before surrendered a single, the only hit allowed in his six-inning start, as he struck out a career-high five batters.

The near spotless start lowered Herring’s ERA to 2.08 on the season, and moved his record to 2-0. Herring previously earned the Rookie of the Week honor on March 26, becoming the second former Dirtbag to do so for UNCW, joining right-handed pitcher Landen Roupp on March 6.

Williamson tabbed Pacific Coast League’s top hitter

After appearing in 28 games as a San Francisco Giant last year, former Dirtbag Mac Williamson did not break spring training with the National League West club, instead optioned to AAA Sacramento. Through the first two weeks of the minor league season, Williamson is showing he is ready to be called back up to the bigs, the minors offering little to challenge him.

Williamson has appeared in 11 games this season and he recorded a hit in each game. Williamson has record 39 official at-bats and has recorded a hit in almost half, using three doubles and a minor league-leading six home runs to pick up 19 hits and drive in 16 runs. Add up the bases and the seven walks drawn, Williamson has reached base at a .600 club and is slugging 1.026.

For his out-of-the-world start, Williamson was named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week on April 15, the second time the 2012 third-round pick out of Wake Forest has earned the honor.

Under The Gun: Drew Tyndall

Name: Drew Tyndall
High School: Ashley
Graduation: 2021
Position: INF/C
Years with Dirtbags: 1
College Commitment: Uncommitted

What’s the biggest change you have had to make as a Freshman in High School? 

I have always been a utility player but for the last few years I have primarily been behind the plate. During this past off-season, the coaches at Ashley decided they need me in the middle infield. So, I have had to make a few adjustments to foot work, etc. just to get the feel for middle infield back.

What’s your toughest subject? Favorite Subject?

Math is definitely my toughest subject. My favorite subject is Science.

When did you start playing baseball?

I started playing baseball at 3 1/2 years old with Wee Ball at Winter Park Optimist.

How has your Freshman season been at Ashley so far? 

My freshman season is off to a great start. I am hitting really well from both sides of the plate.The Ashley coaches have a lot of experience and are very supportive so I am fortunate to be part of their program. It’s awesome to have a coach say they want you to switch at least once each game!

Heading into your first summer with the Dirtbags, what did you learn last fall with the club?

I was lucky to play up with the 2020 Dirtbags team this past fall and learned a lot simply because they were older and more experienced. But the biggest thing I have learned being in the Dirtbag program is that having talented players around you will push you to get better.

What’s the best advice you have received from playing with the Dirtbags? 

Keep working because someone else is. Always try to showcase what will make you unique as a player.

What drew you to the Dirtbags?

My goal is to play college baseball and the Dirtbags have a great reputation of helping players achieve that goal.  After meeting Coach Daly at a tryout in Greenville last fall, I knew I was meant to be a Dirtbag.

What goals are you looking to accomplish in 2018 with the Dirtbags? 

My goal is to improve my game and perform well enough this summer at the 15U WWBA National Championship that I can get on the radar of some of my top schools.

Favorite memory so far in a Dirtbag uniform? 

My second event with the Dirtbags was at ECU. Being from an ECU family, I was pumped about playing at Clark-LeClair but with the rotation for that game I only got 1 at bat late in the game. I ended up with a line drive deep to left field for a stand up double. But for a second, it looked like it was heading to the jungle. I will never forget that.

When you hear the word Dirtbag, what comes to mind? 

A dedicated player who is going to go after it on the field. And someone with enough swag to rock the crazy camo pants!

Stay tuned for another “Under The Gun” interview coming up on Thursday..

Former Dirtbags leading their teams as freshmen

The Division I college baseball season is two months old, with the homestretch in sight. As teams fight for conference crowns and jockey for positioning in the NCAA Tournament, several programs throughout the Mid-Atlantic and southeast are enjoying strong rookie seasons from former Dirtbags. Performing in ways which would have opposing coaches question their freshman status, here’s a look at a dozen standout seasons from former Dirtbags in their first college season.

Philip Clarke, Vanderbilt

From Franklin, Tenn., Clarke, when not behind the plate for the Commodores, has been a force at the plate for head coach Tim Corbin. Clarke’s .301 batting average ranks third on the team, with eight doubles and two home runs helping him slug .425.

Jarrad DeLarso, Richmond

A native of Marlton, New Jersey, DeLarso’s career is off to a solid start in the Commonwealth State. The right-handed pitcher has been called on 11 times out of the Spiders’ bullpen, pitching 13 innings. DeLarso holds a a 4.85 ERA with a .269 batting average against with nine strikeouts.

Zach Franklin, Western Carolina

The numbers jump off of the page when checking in on Franklin’s first season as a Catamount. In 27.1 innings, the right-hander has struck out 35 batters, nearly tripling the number of walks issued, 12. Although he has yet to record his first collegiate victory, Franklin has recorded as a save and dons a team-leading 3.29 ERA.

Gage Herring, North Carolina-Wilmington

Herring has appeared in 10 games for the Seahawks, making four starts to total 26 innings of work. With the way he’s pitched, it’s only a matter of time until Herring is a full-time starter. With a microscopic .169 opponent’s batting average, Herring 2.08 ERA leads pitchers with at least 25 innings of work. The right-handed has racked up 22 strikeouts to 15 hits surrendered in 26 innings.

Mason Hickman, Vanderbilt

Like Clarke, Hickman opted to stay in-state for college, heading to Nashville from Hendersonville. The 6’6 right-handed pitcher has often treated SEC hitters like the preps he once dominated, racking up 40 strikeouts to 13 walks in 39.1 innings. With a 4.35 ERA, Hickman sports a team-best 6-1 record.

Bryce Jarvis, Duke

The Blue Devils lead the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division, and the Blue Devils’ 30 wins are the most in the ACC. Having no problem stepping into a key role and coming up big for one of the country’s top clubs is Jarvis. Making four starts over 14 appearances, Jarvis has a 2.49 ERA over 25.1 innings. The righty has recorded 39 strikeouts to just 13 walks, stymieing the competition with a .138 batting average against.

Reid Johnston, North Carolina State

Racking five times as many strikeouts to walks issued is usually the sign of a polished pitcher. That’s what Johnston is doing as a freshman in Raleigh. The Rocky Mount Academy product has logged four saves over 13 appearances while also sporting a 4-0. But most impressive, even more than his 2.48 ERA in 29 innings, is the 21 strikeouts to four walks for the rookie.

Josh Madole, North Carolina-Greensboro

Appearing in every game this season for UNCG, Madole is showing the plate presence of a player beyond his years. The first baseman from Hampstead, N.C., has eight doubles and a triple while batting ..288, but his on-base percentage jumps to .408 when adding the 21 walks to 18 strikeouts, one of only two Spartans with more walks than strikeouts.

Keir Meredith, Clemson

Although he has been limited to 19 at-bats in five starts, Meredith has shown glimpse of the promise which made him a highly-sought recruit. In five hits, Meredith has a triple and home run, slugging .526, next to a .440 on-base percentage, while stealing four bases in five attempts, more than all but one Clemson Tiger.

Landon Roupp, North Carolina-Wilmington

The second of two Dirtbags shining as freshmen at UNCW, an 0-1 record doesn’t do justice the season the native of Rocky Mount, N.C., is having for the Seahawks. Appearing in seven games, all starts, Roupp sports a 3.03 ERA over 32.2 innings. The right-handed pitcher has struck out 34 batters, leading to a .191 batting average against.

Sam Weatherly, Clemson

A Dirtbag all the way from Michigan, Weatherly has shown the strikeout stuff which made him one of the Midwest’s top 2017 MLB Draft prospects. Weatherly has punched out 12 of the 41 batters he’s faced this season, holding a .293 batting average against over 10.2 innings in three starts.

Bryson Worrell, East Carolina

Worrell has made two start for the Pirates, appearing in 18 games total. A solid .261 average over 23 at-bats rests for the backstop from Sims, N.C., composed of three singles, a double, a triple, and a home run, leading to a .522 slugging percentage.

 

 

Under The Gun: Dylan Mauldin

Name: Dylan Mauldin
High School: Ashbrook
Graduation: 2019
Position: OF
Years with Dirtbags: 1
College Commitment: Uncommitted

What’s the strength of the 2018 Ashbrook baseball team?

The strength of the 2018 Ashbrook baseball team is experience. We have many guys who have played the game for a long time and they know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.

What’s one part of your game you have improved since last year?

One part of my game that I have improved on since last year is my leadership on the field.

What’s your approach at the plate?

My approach at the plate is to be aggressive early. Hop on a fastball, hit it hard and drive it somewhere.

Do you have any pregame routines? Superstitions?

One of my pregame rituals is when I warm up I always go to the fence, tap on it with a baseball and then throw it to my partner as our last warm up throw.

Describe Dylan Mauldin off the field?

I would describe myself as a hard worker when I’m not on the field. I do whatever I that can will help improve my game but also better me as a person.

Playing for the Dirtbags, what’s one thing you have learned?

I have learned that you hustle no matter what. You never know who, but there is always someone who is watching you.

How was your first year with the Dirtbags last year? Who did you play for?

My first year with the Dirtbags couldn’t have been anymore successful. I instantly fell in love with the organization when I put that jersey on. I played for Coach Morton.

When you hear the word Dirtbag, what comes to mind?

When I hear the word Dirtbag, I instantly think of someone who gives it their all and is confident in their abilities to get the job done.

Why did you decide to play for the Dirtbags?

I heard about the Dirtbags from Bradley Keller (2015 Dirtbag/ Drafted by the Atlanta Braves) and he said you play the elite of the elite. I love to play the competition that brings out the best in me. He said I wouldn’t regret it if I played for the Dirtbags.

What are you looking forward to the most about the 2018 Dirtbags season?

I am looking forward to every game and improving my game so I can play to my full potential.

Stay tuned or another “Under The Gun” interview coming up on Monday..

Under The Gun: Michael Smith

Name: Michael Smith
High School: New Bern
Graduation: 2019
Position: INF/RHP
Years with the Dirtbags: 2
College Commitment: Uncommitted

Heading into the second part of the High School season at New Bern, what are you looking to accomplish?

I’m looking to keep getting better and help my team as much as I can. We got off to a slow start, but we are starting to turn it around.

What position do you play for New Bern and where do you hit in the lineup?

I play 2nd primarily and sometimes 3rd. I bat 4th.

Whose best team you have played so far this spring?

DH Conley.

What are your goals this summer with the Dirtbags?

Personally I want to continue to work hard in the weight room and on the field and have that transfer to the games. Specifically this summer with the dirtbags I want to continue to improve my approach at the plate by being aggressive early and looking to drive the ball. I also want to continue to expand my versatility as a fielder.

How would you describe your game for people that haven’t seen you play?

I think people notice me first as a hitter I am able to drive the ball with good power while minimizing strike outs. As a fielder I’m versatile and can play multiple positions in the infield. I feel like I’m an underrated pitcher.

When you hear the word Dirtbag, what comes to mind?

The Dirtbags is a successful organization that competes at a high level nationally. The coaches are fantastic. I’ve improved my game and had a lot of fun and good memories with this group.

Who’s the best player you have played with while playing with the Dirtbags?

Will Butcher (2019 NC State Commit).

Best piece of advice you can give to future Dirtbags?

Play hard and try to make new friends. Also make sure you are training hard in the weight room so you are physically prepared for competing at higher levels and always working on your skills on the field.

What’s one area of your game you feel like you need to improve?

I need to continue to work on developing my speed using the conjugate system developed by Westside Barbell.

If Michael Smith wasn’t playing baseball, what would he be doing?

I would be studying the works of many renowned sports scientists and training, so I can open my own gym one day and help other athletes achieve their dreams.

Stay tuned for another exciting “Under The Gun” interview coming up on Thursday..

Reid Won’t Settle in Second Dirtbag Summer

There’s a natural tendency to take a pause, exhale, and admire the work done when an accomplishment is achieved. After all of the labor, sweat, and sometimes blood and tears that go into arriving at a major milestone or having a grand project finished, a break is deserved to appreciate where one is now compared to where they once were.

Just don’t tell that to Regan Reid.

Heading into his second summer with the Dirtbags, Reid, a junior shortstop at T L Hanna High School in Anderson, S.C., is determined to make the most of his final go with the organization. That means embracing every game, playing with maximum effort, and doing whatever it takes to lead the Dirtbags to victory, even though he has already issued a verbal commitment to Clemson.

“I always tell myself I haven’t made it, even though I am committed, Reid said. “I take it as I just have my foot in the door, so I still have every shot and opportunity to still impress everybody as much as I can.”

On the subject of impressions, Reid made an immediate one in the fall of 2016, which opened the door for him to be a Dirtbag.

Participating in Impact Baseball’s end-of-fall college coaches camp, Reid’s athletic ability and mental makeup stood out in the eyes of Dirtbags General Manager Trey Daly, providing an opportunity for the slick-fielding middle infielder to join the nationally-renowned organization. The first impressions were mutual, the interaction with Daly was Reid’s first experience with the Dirtbags, and as the GM liked what he saw in the player, soon the player would appreciation what Daly and the Dirtbags stand for.

“The first time I came in contact with the Dirtbags was at [Impact’s camps] in Myrtle Beach. I didn’t even know who the Dirtbags were, but I got to meet Trey Daly, he said I could play with them.”

In Reid, Daly saw a player “who coaches love to coach,”  where “effort is never a question”.” With good actions and range up the middle, Reid is capable of sticking in the heart of the diamond in the toughest of college baseball conferences. Instantly Daly knew Reid could make an impact at the southeast’s major programs and went to bat for him.

“I was really impressed with Trey,” Reid said. “I knew Trey for maybe two weeks at the most, I had never played a game with the Dirtbags and he already got me in contact with Clemson, Carolina, Coastal, a lot of the in-state schools…he had never really seen me play a game, but he just believed in me, step forth and got the contacts.”

After believing the Dirtbags could help him grow as a player, Reid’s first summer with the organization came as a member of Ryan Falcon’s 16u team. Although a newcomer, Reid quickly became one of the guys, finding himself embraced with open arms.

“On Coach Falcon’s team, we were the top team, but nobody was selfish or stubborn,” Reid said. “I came into open arms. They weren’t jealous of anything, if you got a good hit they were the first to tell you good job. I came in hitting three and four-hole, playing shortstop and nobody was mad about it, they were just out there ready to win, they didn’t care who were playing.”

In the fall, Reid joined the 17u All-Black team as they participated in the World Wood Bat Association World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. A year after winning the toughest travel baseball tournament in the world, the Dirtbags were unable to defend their crown, leaving Florida with only one victory. With that experience, Reid, who Daly says represents everything the Dirtbags name stands for, is ready to take on his second summer with the Dirtbags and make sure he can add to the program’s storied legacy.

“[Before last year] I never played showcased, I just played local legion ball,” Reid said. “Last year was kind of surreal, when we walked into the tournaments and everybody kind of turns their head because they know the wild uniforms are the Dirtbags coming in.

“I’m looking forward to getting back with the team I started with because we all believe we’re really good, they played for a really long time together and I’m really comfortable with them now, I feel like we’re going to gel well and be able to play well.”

That doesn’t sound like a player easing into his final summer, that’s Regan Reid, a player wanting to continue to get better and achieve more.

25 Former Dirtbags Begin Minor League Season

With minor league baseball seasons underway throughout the country, across 16 Major League Baseball organizations, 25 former Dirtbags have been assigned to full-season affiliates. Dirtbags will be found on minor league diamonds stretching from the Coastal Plains of Wilmington, all the way out to the heart of northern California in Sacramento. Led by 10 players one step away, arranged by class level, here are the Dirtbags who are setting out to fulfill their dreams and reach the bigs.

AAA

C Brett Austin, Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox)

RHP Austin Brice, Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds)

LHP Hunter Cervenko, Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles)

3B Ryder Jones, Sacramento River Cats (San Francisco Giants)

RHP Seth Maness, Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals)

C Michael Ohlman, Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox)

LHP Michael Roth, Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs)

RHP Seth Simmons, El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres)

RHP Trent Thornton, Fresno Grizzlies (Houston Astros)

OF Mac Williamson, Sacramento River Cats (San Francisco Giants)

AA

LHP Logan Allen, San Antonio Mission, (San Diego Padres)

2B Dillon Dobson, Richmond Flying Squirrels, (San Francisco Giants)

OF Eric Jenkins, Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers)

RHP Benton Moss, Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays)

2B Levi Michael, Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets)

3B Michael Russell, Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays)

OF Jerry Sands, Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants)

Advanced A

1B Braxton Davidson, Florida Fire Frogs (Atlanta Braves)

RHP Jared Ruxer, Wilimington Blue Rocks (Los Angeles Angels)

RHP Jeremy Walker, Florida Fire Frogs (Atlanta Braves)

A

OF Austin Beck, Beloit Snappers (Oakland Athletics)

RHP Bailey Clark, South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs)

RHP Reilly Hovis, Greensboro Grasshoppers (Miami Marlins)

OF Bradley Keller, Rome Braves (Atlanta Braves)

OF Vance Vizacaino, Lexington Legends (Tampa Bay Rays)

 

In addition to those 25 players, 11 former Dirtbags, nine of which were 2017 draft picks, are still in extended spring training, likely to join a short-season affiliate in June. Those eleven players and their parent club are:

OF Jacob Brown (Baltimore)

OF D.J. Daniels (Toronto)

RHP Sam Keating (San Diego)

RHP Kenny Koplove (Philadelphia)

RHP Zack Mozingo (Tampa Bay)

SS Wood Myers (St. Louis)

RHP Timothy Naughton (Baltimore)

DH Nathan Perry (Houston)

RHP Josh Roberson (Miami)

C Chandler Seagle (San Diego)

3B Davis Schneider (Toronto)

 

The 36 former Dirtbags in minor league baseball this year include three first-round picks (Beck, Davidson, and Michael), 13 players selected in the first five rounds, and 22 overall draft picks since 2015. The excellence of former Dirtbags in professional baseball will be highlight each week in the Dirtbags Weekly Digest.

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The Faceoff Academy Video Coach

Facing Off with the Pros with Up to Date Rules and Techniques. In this DVD The Faceoff Academy goes over:

- Warm Up - Stance - Moves - Wing Play
- Counters - Live Drills/Hand Speed Drills

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