ASU rookies make debut in pros tonight
by Staff Reports
The Atlanta Braves officially announced that former Appalachian State baseball standouts Nathan Hyatt and Tyler Tewell have signed contracts with the organization and been assigned to the Danville (Va.) Braves of the rookie-level Appalachian League.
The Appalachian State duo makes its professional debuts Tuesday night when Danville opens its 2012 campaign at home versus the Elizabethton Twins.
The Braves used back-to-back picks to select Hyatt, a relief pitcher, and Tewell, who is slated to play catcher as a pro, in the 13th and 14th rounds of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft on June 5. By signing professional contracts, Hyatt and Tewell have elected to forego what would have been their senior collegiate seasons in 2013.
Danville does not visit Elizabethton until Aug. 4 when the Braves are in town for a three-game series. The Braves play in Johnson City, Tenn., for a three-game set Aug. 26-28.
Both players' contracts include compensation specifically earmarked to allow both to return to Appalachian State to complete their degrees in the future.
Hyatt and Tewell lift the number of former Mountaineers currently playing affiliated professional baseball to seven. Also playing in the minor leagues are 2012 ASU teammates Ryan Arrowood (class-A Tri-Cities Dust Devils " Colorado Rockies) and Jeremy Dowdy (rookie-level Bristol White Sox " Chicago White Sox). Bristol plays a three-game set at Elizabethton June 25-28, and in Johnson City on Aug. 20-22.
Former Mountaineers from the 2009 include Zach Quate (class-AA Montgomery Biscuits " Tampa Bay Rays) and Rand Smith (class-A Greensboro Grasshoppers " Miami Marlins).
The Grasshoppers are in Hickory Thursday for a four-game series with the Crawdads. Greensboro hosts Lexington for four games from June 25-28, and then hosts Hickory from June 29 to July 3. Smith is hitting .230 with one home run and 10 RBIs for the Grasshoppers.
Wes Timmons, who played for the Mountaineers from 1999-2001, is currently one step away from the Major Leagues with the triple-A Sacramento River Cats in the Oakland Athletics' organization.
Seth Grant, the third of Appalachian's record-tying four MLB draftees earlier this month, was released by the Miami Marlins shortly after signing a professional contract due to a previously undetected injury. The right-hander will look to continue his professional career in the near future.