From Press Release
MEDFORD, OR – The Medford Rogues today announced the signing of 2012 WCL All-Star third baseman Austin Byler from the University of Nevada-Reno, and first baseman/outfielder Billy Hansen from Regis (CO) University. Byler, now in his sophomore year, starred for the Klamath Falls Gems in 2012 and was named to the WCL’s West Division All-Star Team. Hansen, a freshman at Regis, is a native of Ashland and is signed to a 10-day contract to start the 2013 season with the Rogues.
Byler finished the WCL season among the MVP candidates for the league. His eight home runs were one behind the league leader and one away from a league record. Byler’s 35 RBI were good for third in the league, and his .325 average was sixth among all WCL hitters. He also finished second in the WCL All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby. The national scouting firm Perfect Game recently ranked Byler the 74th best prospect for the 2014 draft. Byler joins Nevada-Reno teammates Ryan Teel and Mike Bradshaw (North Medford High) on the Rogues roster.
Hansen passed up offers from a number of Division I schools in order to play both baseball and basketball at Regis. He was named All-State in baseball for the Ashland High Grizzlies in 2012, when he hit .447, following up a stellar junior season when he hit .542. He also led the State of Oregon in scoring with 22.9 points per game his senior basketball season.
“Bringing Austin and Billy aboard is an early Christmas gift for us,” Rogues General Manager Chuck Heeman said. “Austin is one of the top two or three returning players to the WCL. He’s a quality player, a tremendous person and has a great family supporting him. Billy kind of fell into our lap through contact with his family, his Legion coach (Nate Mayben) and his coach at Regis, Dan McDermott. We are hoping that Billy can bring us some wins in the early season and make a name for himself among the Division I guys we have coming in. We’re thrilled to have Austin and Billy with us.”
The Rogues also announced that LHP Steven Schoonover (Nebraska-Omaha) will not be playing summer ball in 2013. Schoonover, recovering from a torn labrum, suffered a setback and will miss the 2013 college and summer seasons due to injury. The two additions, along with the loss of Schoonover, brings the 2013 Rogues roster to 31 including five 10-day contract players.
The West Coast League is an 11-team collegiate wood-bat baseball league composed of the best college players, coaches, facilities and operators in the industry. Ranging from Medford, Oregon north to Kelowna, B.C., the league has operated as the WCL since 2005. In 2012, a league record 57 WCL players were selected in the Major League draft. For more information on the WCL, go to www.wccbl.com.