Baseball
 

Armstrong and Vera Shine in Minors

 

(Story submitted by Trinity student Grant Chambers)

San Antonio - As Trinity baseball players, coaches, and fans eagerly await the upcoming season, two past players are making a name for themselves in the Minor Leagues.  

Jason Armstrong was Trinity’s shortstop from 2000-04, and he is the current record holder for career hits.  In 2004, Jason was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 25th round and has put together an eventful Minor League career so far.  In 2005, Jason was selected to represent the Lansing Lugnuts in the Midwest All-Star game.  That same season, Jason was named the Lugnuts’ Most Valuable Player. 

To Armstrong, Trinity was a tremendous opportunity that helped to define him as a major league quality baseball player: “I learned the importance of staying humble, and to never think that one person is bigger than the game.”  In regards to his 2005 Lansing MVP selection, Armstrong notes, “Coming out of a small school like Trinity, it served as a defining moment in my career because it proved to me and the organization that I belonged in the minor leagues and could compete with the best young players in the world.”

Another former Tiger, Nick Vera has a duly noteworthy story.  It’s a story that really speaks to the strength of Trinity’s program.  Despite the odds, the 2007 senior, was recently selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 32nd round of the amateur entry draft.   

Nick put together an impressive rookie season for the Johnson City Cardinals.  It was an effort that resulted in a .286 batting average and four homeruns.  Nick’s season saw him transition from a college outfielder to a quality minor league third baseman and potentially to a solid backstop.  Nick’s quality performance culminated in an invitation to Instructionals, a very high distinction for developing high-potential minor leaguers.

Vera’s biggest takeaway from Trinity University Baseball was “how to play the game; there’s no point in playing the game if you’re not playing it with passion and having fun while you’re out there.”

Both players credit making the decision to choose Trinity University over larger Division I schools as a key for making their dreams of playing professional baseball come true.

“For me, I had opportunities at several Division I schools around the country to play college baseball.  But Coach Scannell and his staff expressed that I would have the opportunity to play right away as a freshman.  And that they would not try to mold me into a slap type hitter but rather help me learn to drive the baseball.  I really feel playing at Trinity opened the door for me to play with the Blue Jays.”  Armstrong continued, “ I feel that some of the teams I played on at Trinity were equivalent to many Division I schools around the country.”

As for Vera, “ I believed Coach Scannell when he said that if I came Trinity he could place me a competitive collegiate summer league and he did.  It was in those summer leagues that I saw I could play with the very best college players from around the country.  My confidence as a baseball player just went through the roof and now I am playing in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.”

In the past seven years, Trinity Baseball has produced seven professional baseball players:

JC Bunch                           Texas Rangers
Steve Edsall                      Colorado Rockies
Jason Armstrong              Toronto Blue Jays
Joe Brown                          Lincoln Saltdawgs
Adam Frey                        Alexandria Aces
Chuck Huggins                 Arizona Diamondbacks
Nick Vera                           St. Louis Cardinals

Jason Armstrong played with the Lansing Lugnuts in 2005, playing in the Midwest All-Star game and earning distinction as the team MVP

Nick Vera made the transition from outfielder to third baseman with the Johnson City Cardinals in 2007, hitting .286 with four home runs

Tim Scannell will begin his 10th season as Trinity's Head Baseball Coach in 2008, totaling 283 wins and amassing a winning percentage over 70%

 

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