By CHRIS DOBROWOLSKI
TRAVERSE CITY — Affiliated baseball’s loss is the Traverse City Beach Bums’ gain.
After a short stint with the Texas Rangers organization at the end of last summer and a spring training tryout with the Washington Nationals, Taylor Wrenn is back in a Beach Bums uniform.
Wrenn, a Frontier League all-star shortstop last year before the call-up to play with the Rangers, has mixed emotions about another season in a Traverse City uniform.
“It feels good (to be back), but it’s bittersweet, of course,” said Wrenn. “I love coming to Wuerfel Park and playing for the Bums, but part of me still wants to be in professional baseball, trying to make it to the show. I worked my butt off in the off-season to get ready for a professional season and whether it was for the Rangers or the Nationals, or whoever it was, I prepared for a professional season. That came down to the Bums. They’re going to get the best of me every day. I’m going to come here ready to play. I’m ready for it.”
The Beach Bums are not taking Wrenn’s presence for granted. They know they can expect great things from the 24-year-old veteran, who led Traverse City with a .288 average in 59 games last year. Even though he didn’t play a full season in Traverse City, Wrenn finished tied for third in triples (3) and home runs (8), fourth in RBIs (43), tied for fifth in doubles (15), fifth in runs scored (44) and sixth in hits (70).
“It’s outstanding to have Taylor back,” said Traverse City manager Dan Rohn. “This kid was one of the best players in the league last year until he got picked up by affiliated. I’m excited to have him back here because he really solidifies the right side of our infield. Having him in there every day at shortstop makes it a plus and makes us solid. We know we’re getting a two-hole hitter and we know what we’re getting defensively.”