The 12th-ranked Texas Wesleyan University baseball team is wrapping up its season, but that doesn’t mean baseball is ending for several players.
Many of the players go right from playing for Wesleyan to summer baseball, either in the area or in other states. Some leagues require an invite, while others just want ballplayers looking to improve their game.
Rams head coach Mike Jeffcoat and assistant Robert Garza help guide the players to teams that best fit their summer plans and skill level, according to junior pitcher Stephen Yancey and sophomore pitcher Parker Robinson, both of whom are playing this summer.
Yancey, a business major, prefers to travel for summer ball; he will be assigned to a volunteer host family in Minnesota, where he will be playing for the Duluth Huskies in the Northwoods League. Robinson will play for a team Garza is coaching in the Metroplex. Another Ram, junior pitcher Chandler Muckleroy, will play in the Hamptons in New York state.
“Playing summer ball for clubs like these, you face a high level of competition,” Yancey wrote in a text message. “It raises your playing ability to those around you. This league is closely related to an MLB season because there is a game every day of the week.”
Yancey plans to report to Duluth on May 28, but he may get there later, depending on how well the Rams do in the NAIA Division I national tournament, and will return to Wesleyan with just enough time to move into his dorm and start the first day of class in August.
“If there is a downfall of summer ball, it has to be the lack of free time,” Yancey wrote. “Baseball is 24/7 in these leagues; there is no time for goofing off.”
Robinson, an exercise science major, plans to start playing summer ball in June. He prefers to stay around the Metroplex, and his team will play about twice a week.
“It is more common than not for collegiate players to play summer ball,” Robinson wrote. “Summer ball is a time to prepare for the upcoming season and work on certain things that were struggled with during the past season.”
Muckleroy, a marketing major heading into his final summer season, wrote that he will miss having baseball as a summer job after he graduates college.
“I got the most out of making great new friends,” Muckleroy wrote of his past experiences. “We really got to know each other while playing the game we love and that is what I will miss most about summer ball.”