In the first roster announcement of 2017, the Sheboygan A's welcome back a handful of familiar faces, and several new faces to the organization.
Returning to the team in 2017 are pitchers Taylor Schwarz, Eric Schmitz, Derek Loomans and Mitch Gardner, infielders Harry Steldt, Taylor Grimm, Hunter Berry and Mitchell Sutton, and outfielder Weston Nelson.
Schwarz, a University of North Carolina-Greensboro alum, returns to the A's for his ninth season. Schwarz, a three-time team Most Valuable Pitcher, comes off of a season that saw him go 5-1 with a 2.37 ERA.
Equally as impressive, Schmitz and his career 1.85 ERA over four seasons return to help lead the staff. A UW-Whitewater alum, Schmitz went 7-1 last season, striking out 78 over 60.2 innings of work.
Player-manager Derek Loomans, a product of Lakeland University, will be in his sixth season in 2017, his third as Manager. Loomans provides solid pitching depth to the rotation with a heavy dose of offspeed pitches. Loomans possesses a 21-16 career record with a 3.42 ERA in 275.2 innings.
Marian University alum and longtime Sheboygan A's member Mitch Garder returns to the fold in 2017. After making only three appearances combined in the last two seasons, the veteran right-hander looks to provide more solid depth to the rotation and bullpen. Eerily similar to Loomans, Garder has a career record of 22-14 with a 3.41 ERA in 282 innings of work.
Steldt, a former A's MVP and a UW-Stevens Point alum, leads the returners on offense. Entering his seventh season, Steldt is coming off of a five home run, 33 RBI campaign that saw him hit .329, appearing in 52 games. Joining Steldt is Taylor Grimm, a catcher from UW-Oshkosh who finished with four home runs and 42 RBI in 51 games in 2016. Grimm enters his third season.
Hunter Berry (Marian Univesity) and Mitchell Sutton (UW-La Crosse) both enter their second seasons with the team. Berry appeared in only 11 games in 2016 due to injury. He had one home run and seven hits for a .233 average. Sutton, the starting first basemen from a year ago, had a solid debut campaign with the team, hitting .331 with 25 RBI in 47 games.
Rounding out the list of returners so far is Weston Nelson, a local product and UW-Stevens Point pitcher. Nelson adds tremendous versatility to the A's bench, as both a pitcher and outfielder.
Joining the team for the first time are infielders Jake Arens (Marian University) and Kyle Peterson (Ripon College), catcher Logan Reckert (UW-Oshkosh), outfielders Chris Saltzman (Minnesota-Duluth) and Mark Wanner (Indian Hills Junior College), and pitcher John VanderPloeg (St. Cloud State commit).
The A's open the season on Saturday, May 27 against Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball Leauge newcomer Marinette at 2PM. Opening Day is presented by CITGO and will include a pregame concert by Pay McCurdy. A ticket to see McCurdy plus both games of the A's doubleheader costs only $5. The first 50 fans in to see McCurdy will receive a $5 CITGO gas card. The first 100 fans into the baseball game will receive a Sheboygan A's rally towel. Miss Wisconsin will also be making an appearance.
The Sheboygan A's are members of the Wisconsin State League and Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League. The A's have helped develop more than 41 players that have reached professional baseball, including 2002 World Series Champion Jarrod Washburn (Anaheim Angels). All Sheboygan A's home games are played at Wildwood Baseball Park in Sheboygan. Connect with the A's on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.comments powered by Disqus