Sims, Woodcock Sign To Rejoin Rafters
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – Despite not spending full summers with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, Demetrius Sims (Bethune-Cookman) and Dustin Woodcock (SIU-Edwardsville) quickly distinguished themselves as fan favorites for their hard play and defensive prowess. While Sims suffered a shoulder injury that ended his summer early and Woodcock did not join the team until mid-June, each will be looking forward to a full summer when they return to Wisconsin Rapids for the 2016 season.
“We were very pleased with both of these player’s contributions on the field and in the community during their time here last summer and look forward to having them back in 2016,” said Rafters GM John Fanta. “They will both play major roles in the lineup and their experience in the locker room will be valuable for Coach Noto.”
IF – Demetrius Sims, 6’2” 185 lbs (R/R) Redshirt Sophomore, Bethune-Cookman
Few baseballs hit near the shortstop area found their way to the outfield with Sims manning the position, including the ball that would end up bringing his summer season to a close much earlier than planned. During a play in mid-June, which was recognized on Sportscenter, Sims ranged far into shallow centerfield and caught a shallow fly ball with his bare hand while in a full extension dive. The play would end his summer, in which he posted a .238 batting average, with a double, triple, and eight stolen bases. Sims will be a redshirt sophomore this year at Bethune-Cookman.
Field Manager Craig Noto on Sims: "Demetrius had his summer cut short by a shoulder injury, which hit our team hard because he's such a great guy and was really liked by his teammates. In a short time in the League, he proved to be the best defensive shortstop in our division. To have a guy like him anchor your infield defense is a great luxury for a pitching staff. Offensively he was coming into his own and I am depending on him to hit at the top of our lineup and cause havoc on the base paths.”
OF – Dustin Woodcock, 6’1” 215 lbs (L/L) Sophomore, SIU-Edwardsville
Before joining the Rafters, Woodcock was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American after making 48 starts for the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars and hitting .306 with six home runs, four triples, and nine doubles. Once he arrived in Wisconsin Rapids, Woodcock assumed control of right field for the Rafters and continued to provide outstanding defense. He finished the summer hitting .227 with seven doubles and drove in eight runs. Woodcock will return to SIU-Edwardsville for his sophomore season this spring.
Field Manager Craig Noto on Woodcock: “Dustin is a hard-nosed player that shows up every day to try and beat you in some way. He followed up his Freshman All-American campaign at SIUE with a very good summer with the Rafters and I'm expecting him to come in next summer, hit in the middle of our lineup, and deliver in big spots for us.”
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (KC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com.