EDMONTON, AB – We’re tantalizing close to the return of baseball in Edmonton.
In just under three weeks, the Edmonton Prospects will take the field for their eighth season at RE/MAX Field and first under Jordan Blundell. It’s been a hectic offseason for the organization’s newly-minted head coach, and one that likely won’t be completely over until the inaugural weeks of the season are complete.
“Being a first-year head coach (for the Prospects), I’m paying a lot more attention to when players will be in Edmonton,” Blundell commented. “It’s little things like whether or not they’ll be late or early as their college seasons end. Although it obviously helps the team having the full roster here on time, I’m always cheering for the guys to be playing as much in college as they make deep runs.”
Since his hiring in mid-October, the first-year bench boss has been actively recruiting to fill a number of roster spots left open by departing players. This season, the Prospects could field upwards of 20 new players, something that Blundell says is simply part of the game in the WCBL.
“At the end of the day, we’re always recruiting,” said the head coach. “We’re always working through the process on whether seeing guys are the right fit and sending out more contracts.”
Recently, the Prospects announced two more additions to their 2019 roster with the signings of Nolan Walker (1B) and Austin Herrington (RHP).
Walker, a native of Meridian, Ohio, recently completed his sophomore season at the University of Southern Idaho. In 53 games this season, the 1st baseman batted .317 last season with 43 RBI and 10 home runs.
“Nolan had a really good year at Southern Idaho,” Blundell espoused. “He’s had a lot of success as a second-year player, both offensively and defensively. (Nolan’s) a guy that’s going to grind the pitcher and consistently give you quality at-bats. He’s a really good fundamental offensive player, with both power and speed.
“Not only that, but he’s a really good first baseman. With RE/MAX being the size it is, I’m sure we’ll see the benefits of having a good glove over at first base.”
Herrington, a senior at Mayville State University in Mayville, North Dakota, is 2-2 this season with a 3.22 ERA. The Antioch, California native is expected to play a variety of roles on the mound for the Prospects in 2019.
“We feel really good about (Austin),” commented Blundell. “He had a really good senior season with a program that has a long history of winning (in Mayville State). He’s a competitive kid who can both start and relive. He’s got a great presence on the mound, and he likes to go after and challenge hitters. Austin has essentially become Mayville’s go-to guy on the mound this season.”
“Not only that, but he’s got a great demeanour about him,” Blundell continued. “He’s going to compete and give us a good outing every time he’s on the mound.”
“He’ll be a great fit here.”
The Prospects are set to kick off their 2019 WCBL season on May 25th against the Lethbridge Bulls. Tickets are available on the Prospects official website.
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