It's been in the 50s this week in Walla Walla. 50s in W2 after the cold and gray of January may as well be 80s. Attitudes are better, people are kinder, we walk outside more...it's like we are going to force spring here and there is nothing anyone can do to stop us. It is a great feeling.
While our opening day is still more than 100 days away, this week is magical for so many other reasons. The Big Leaguers reported to spring training this week - best day of winter, because it means it is over. College guys started play at the DII, DIII, and NAIA level overwear the last week, and most DI programs hit the field this weekend. That is exciting to us here in Sweets Country because we get our first glimpse of what these guys could look like come June.
It is also fun to see all the preview editions of baseball periodicals come out and to see who with Sweets connections are listed. As we sign and develop better players, we see more names pop up. Here are some examples that were in the past edition of Baseball America:
Hunter Virant ('12) and Cody Poteet ('13) are listed as "top newcomers" in the PAC-12
Best Defensive 2B - PAC-12 - Kevin Williams ('10-'11)
Top Prospects/2013-14 Drafts - Big West Conference - Matt Imhof ('12)
Top Newcomers - West Coast Conference - Taylor Jones ('13), Lucas Hunter ('13)
Top Newcomer - Missouri Valley Conference - Jonathan Harris ('13)
Obviously, Hunter Virant, Matt Imhof and Kevin Williams are not going to be in Walla Walla this season, but with Cody Poteet, Taylor Jones and Jonathan Harris, we have signed three young arms that are in a position to not only make an immediate impact on their college clubs but here in the shadow of the Blue Mountains. I am confident that we have a good mix of youth and veteran leadership that will allow us to return to competing for a WCL title. Because let's face it, that is a lot more fun than the alternative.