WILLMAR, MN- The Willmar Stingers of the Northwoods League announced today that pitching coach Tyler Shepple (pictured) will return for his third season with the club. This week the Stingers also announced four additional players to the 2012 team, which now brings the roster to 16 players committed for the upcoming season.
Joining the roster for the 2012 season will be; freshman Michael Suchy (OF/1B, Florida Gulf Coast University), freshman Brady Anderson, (OF, P, Florida Gulf Coast University), red-shirt junior Zach Benson (INF, Stephen F. Austin University) and junior Hunter Dozier (INF, Stephen F. Austin University).
Coach Shepple has been with the team since the inaugural season and primarily responsible for the 15-man pitching roster each summer. He will have the luxury this upcoming season of having six pitchers back from the 2011 team that finished with a 39-31 record missing the playoffs by a narrow margin.
Shepple, an Arvada, CO native attended the University of Washington and was a 7th round draft pick by the Milwaukee Brewers. Shepple played two years of professional baseball before having a career ending shoulder injury. After his pro career, he went back to Seattle and began operating an indoor baseball training facility. He currently operates a facility in Denver and Seattle, while also training athletes in sports performance.
“Having Coach Shepple back for another season is impactful to the Stingers,” Co-owner Ryan Voz said. “He played professional baseball and can relate to these guys playing every single day.”
The latest additions to the roster will need to be impact players. Suchy, a 6-foot-4 inch 235 lbs. recruit from Florida Gulf Coast will play primarily outfield but will see time at 1st base as well. Joining him will be college teammate Brady Anderson. Anderson, a 6-foot 180 lbs. utility player will also see time on the mound. He is projected to be in the line-up every day for the Eagles and also be their potential closer.
“Florida Gulf Coast places quite a few players in the Northwoods League and we have been fortunate to get some of their best players,” Voz said.
In two seasons, the Stingers have had pitchers Jacob Barnes and Ricky Knapp along with outfielder Sean Dwyer from Florida Gulf Coast University.
The Stingers also signed two players from another familiar program. Dozier, a 6-foot-4 inch 210lbs. infielder for Stephen F. Austin is looking to follow-up a strong summer and collegiate season last year. Dozier hit .315 last year for the Jacks in college and was named the No. 3 prospect in the Texas Collegiate League last summer. He was named to the league’s all-star team and was ranked in the top 10 for hitting (.301 average), runs scored (26) and stolen bases (10). Teammate Zach Benson, a 6-foot, 190 lbs. infielder rounds out the list of the latest players to sign contracts with the Stingers. Benson was a redshirt last year with the Jacks and played his first two years at San Jacinto Community College. Last season catcher Jarid Scarafiotti played for the Stingers and pitcher Jason West prior to signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent.