Hansen commits to Medford Rogues
Former Ashland High standout Billy Hansen and 2012 West Coast League all-star third baseman Austin Byler signed to play for the Medford Rogues on Wednesday.
Hansen — who is signed to a 10-day contract to start the 2013 season — passed up offers from a number of NCAA Division I schools in order to play both baseball and basketball at Regis (Colo.) University, where he is a freshman. As a senior at Ashland, he was named to the Class 5A all-state baseball team after hitting .447. His junior year, Hansen hit .542.
Hansen also led the state in scoring with 22.9 points per game his senior basketball season.
Byler, now a sophomore at the University of Nevada-Reno, starred for the Klamath Falls Gems in 2012 and was named to the WCL's West Division all-star team. He finished the WCL season among the MVP candidates for the league with eight home runs, 35 RBIs and a .325 batting average.
The national scouting firm Perfect Game recently ranked Byler the 74th best prospect for the 2014 draft. Byler joins Nevada-Reno teammates Ryan Teel and Mike Bradshaw (a former North Medford standout) on the Rogues roster.
"Bringing Austin and Billy aboard is an early Christmas gift for us," Rogues general manager Chuck Heeman said. "Austin is one of the top two or three returning players to the WCL. He's a quality player, a tremendous person and has a great family supporting him. Billy kind of fell into our lap through contact with his family, his Legion coach (Nate Mayben) and his coach at Regis, Dan McDermott. We are hoping that Billy can bring us some wins in the early season and make a name for himself among the Division I guys we have coming in. We're thrilled to have Austin and Billy with us."
The Rogues also announced that left-handed pitcher Steven Schoonover (Nebraska-Omaha) will not be playing summer ball in 2013. Schoonover, recovering from a torn labrum, suffered a setback and will miss the 2013 college and summer seasons. The two additions, along with the loss of Schoonover, bring the 2013 Rogues roster to 31, including five 10-day contract players.