DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) - As new 3rd round draft pick Drew Harrington tells it, "I went from Louisville with a million people, to Danville where there's 50,000." The rookie, however, quickly points out "..but that's good, I like it! It's more like my hometown."
Harrington hopes to make a big impression with his new hometown starting on Thursday, as the Danville Braves open their 2016 Appalachian League campaign. The D-Braves head to Pulaski to play the Yankees Thursday night, before opening their first homestand at Dan Daniels Park Wednesday evening against Johnson City.
New manager of the Braves, Robinson Cancel, is no stranger to Dan Daniels Park, as the former Milwaukee Brewer and Houston Astro served as a coach for the D-Braves in 2014. When asked his opinions on the Appalachian League, Cancel replied "It's not an easy league, there's some good competition, so I'm expecting good competition overall, so we're going to be right on it, too."
His 2016 is an interesting blend of highly touted draft picks, like Harrington, and returning veterans. Alec Grosser will start the season with the D-Braves, his third year with the franchise. After being drafted right out of high school, Grosser says he put the work in on the off-season, in order to improve his pitching, saying "I wanted to come back a little leaner, a littler skinner, more in shape." As for his new relationship with his skipper, Grosser smiled, continuing to say Cancel's main advice is to "..Just play the game hard, hustle on and off the field, be on time. I'm excited."
For tickets and schedule information, head to the Danville Braves website, and stay tuned to ABC-13 for continued updates on the D-Braves run towards to the Appalachian League title!