June 19, 2012. The Atlanta Braves have officially announced that former Appalachian State University baseball standouts Nathan Hyatt (Brevard, N.C./Brevard) and Tyler Tewell (Charlotte, N.C./Butler) have signed contracts with the organization and been assigned to the Danville (Va.) Braves of the rookie-level Appalachian League. The Mountaineer duo will make their professional debuts on Tuesday night when Danville opens its 2012 campaign at home versus the Elizabethton Twins.
The Braves used back-to-back picks to select Hyatt, a relief pitcher, and Tewell, who is slated to play catcher as a pro, in the 13th and 14th rounds of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft on June 5. By signing professional contracts, Hyatt and Tewell have elected to forego what would have been their senior collegiate seasons in 2013. However, both players’ contracts include compensation specifically earmarked to allow both to return to Appalachian State to complete their degrees in the future.
Hyatt and Tewell up the number of former Mountaineers currently playing affiliated professional baseball to seven, joining 2012 ASU teammates Ryan Arrowood (class-A Tri-Cities Dust Devils — Colorado Rockies) and Jeremy Dowdy (rookie-level Bristol White Sox — Chicago White Sox), 2009 MLB Draftees Zach Quate (class-AA Montgomery Biscuits — Tampa Bay Rays) and Rand Smith (class-A Greensboro Grasshoppers — Miami Marlins) and Wes Timmons, who played for the Apps from 1999-2001 and is currently one step away from the Major Leagues with the triple-A Sacramento River Cats in the Oakland Athletics’ organization.
Seth Grant (Etowah, N.C./West Henderson), the third of Appalachian’s record-tying four MLB draftees earlier this month, was released by the Miami Marlins shortly after signing a professional contract due to a previously undetected injury. The right-hander will look to continue his professional career in the near future.