Willmar Stingers' Dwyer drafted by Padres
WILLMAR -- Sean Dwyer, a left-handed hitting first baseman/outfielder, joined the Willmar Stingers Wednesday, a day after being drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 15th round of the major league baseball draft.
A high school star at Leesburg, Fla. last season, Dwyer had committed to Florida Gulf Coast University. He will play for the Stingers this summer and then decide whether to turn pro or attend college. Once a player attends college, he forfeits his draft selection and can't be drafted again until after his junior year.
He was in uniform Wednesday against the Alexandria Beetles. Northwoods League teams are only permitted to sign one high school player each season. That player must sign a two-year contract and if Dwyer does attend Florida Gulf Coast, he likely will return next season with the Stingers.
Dwyer played first base, third base and outfield, as well seeing some action on the mound in high school. He is projected as a first baseman by pro scouts. He batted .444 with five home runs his senior year at Leesburg.
ADJUSTMENT TIME: The majority of the players on the Stingers' team are still acclimating themselves to wood bats. Sti-ngers manager Matt Hollod said it takes players "around two weeks" to get used to swinging with a wood bat after playing most of their high school and collegiate careers with aluminum bats. While some of the players who hit well in college are off to slow starts in the Northwoods League, four players are hitting over .300 through Tuesday night's sixth game; Isaac Ballou (.400), Eduardo Gonzalez (.389), Carlos Leyva (.389) and Jordan Smith (.368). Smith, who sat out his first game on Tuesday in Brainerd, has a four-game hitting streak.
REYNOLDS INJURED: Mikey Reynolds, an infielder from Glendale, Ariz., is expected to miss 5-7 games after cutting his hand and requiring seven stitches on Monday night against the Brainerd Lunkers at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Re-ynolds was trying to advance to third on a single, diving head first into third base. The Brainerd catcher, hustling to third to cover with the third baseman out of position, inadvertently spiked Reynolds on the hand. Joe Sever, a second baseman for most of his freshman year at Pepperdine, made his first start at shortstop Tuesday night against Brainerd and drove in two runs. Sever has already played four positions in five games, having also been inserted at third base and left field.
BELL ON HIS WAY: Carter Bell, an infielder from Courtenay, British Columbia, earned a spot on the Canadian National Team. Bell signed on with the Stingers but has not been with the team as he was trying out with the national team. The national tournament doesn't begin until July 21 and Bell will now arrive on Monday to be with the Stingers for a month. Bell, primarily a shortstop, was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 22nd round of the MLB draft in 2008, but elected to attend Oregon State instead.