(Photo Credit: Mick Lite)
Former Rascals outfielder and hitting coach last season, Eric Williams, is moving on from the team to work in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Williams spent five seasons with the team and had an incredible knack for getting on base. When I was the Official Scorer for the team in 2012, there were many times that I marked him down for a walk after just the 2nd pitch because I could tell it was coming. He ended the season with 104 walks, which I believe would have been the league record, but Ryan Still of Traverse City ended up setting the record with 112 walks that same season.
The Rascals have announced that All-Star catcher Josh Ludy will fill the role this season as a player-coach. This will be his 3rd season with the Rascals.
“I’m excited for the upcoming season and the unique opportunity to begin a coaching career and still compete on the field,” said Ludy.
“Josh has been a leader on the team for the past two years so I have no doubt he will have success in this new role,” said Eric Williams.
Rascals’ field manager Steve Brook had this to say about the move, “I’m thrilled to be bringing Josh Ludy on as our 2016 Hitting Coach. Ludy carries the respect of our players and goes about his business in a dedicated, motivated, and professional manner day in and day out. His personality and character are a perfect fit for this organization and will translate into success as a player-coach. I’m so excited to see what he can do in this expanded role and am proud to be bringing him back in this capacity.”
Brook also said, “I’m very thankful for the service that Eric Williams has provided me, our players, and our organization these past 5 seasons. He is a true professional and I wish him the best with his new position in the Cardinals organization.”
In the past 7 seasons, the Rascals have made it to the Frontier League Championship in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2015, winning it in 2010.
Good Luck Eric Williams!