Rebel Alumni Go Pro

While I have been a casual record keeper and historian of modern era Rebels baseball, and I enjoy keeping tabs on what our alumni are doing, I am first and foremost a fan of these college athletes. I would not be involved in Rebels baseball if it weren’t for the magic on the field and the relationships built off the field. It is for this reason that it is always so exciting to me when my favorite players get the chance to continue their careers professionally. I hope other fans feel the same joy and excitement for these career updates that I feel!

This month we had a record breaking 7 Rebel alumni hear their names called in the MLB First Year Players Draft. Those players were Nate Pawelczyk (2016-17), Brandon Parker (2018), Jake Washer (2017), Reeves Martin (2018), Oraj Anu (2018), Keven Pimentel (2018), and Justin Crump (2016). Let me give you a quick update on where these players are at right now.

Nate Pawelczyk

Nate Pawelczyk pitched for the Rebels in 2016-17, coming to us from Winthrop University. He was drafted in the 10th round of the MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox. He has since signed with the White Sox and is currently pitching for the Great Falls Voyagers, which is an Advanced Rookie League team in Great Falls, Montana. He has appeared in relief in 4 games so far for the Voyagers and has posted a 5.4 ERA.

Brandon Parker

Brandon Parker was an outfielder with the Rebels for the beginning of our 2018 season, coming from Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 10th round of the draft. He signed with the team on June 17th and is currently playing for the Danville Braves in Danville, VA. So far he’s accumulated 5 hits in 7 games for the Braves and holds a .192 batting average.

Reeves Martin

Reeves Martin pitched for our 2018 Rebels coming from the University of New Orleans. He was picked by the Seattle Mariners in the 21st round of the draft. He signed quickly and was sent to Everett, Washington to play for the Class A Short Season Everett Aquasox. He has so far pitched in 4 games and holds a 6.23 ERA.

Oraj Anu

Oraj Anu was a hard-hitting outfielder on our Championship 2018 team, and was drafted for the second time this year in the 16th round by the Boston Red Sox. Oraj has not signed with the Red Sox, and is currently playing for the Cotuit Kettleers in the Cape Cod League. Most reports indicate that Oraj will not sign with Boston, but will keep his commitment to playing for the University of Kentucky this fall. If this is how things turn out, we won’t be surprised to see Oraj drafted yet again in 2020 and/0r 2021.

Keven Pimentel

Keven Pimentel was an All-Star pitcher for the Rebels in 2017. He played for the 2019 Championship-winning University of Tampa this year. He was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 28th round of the draft. He has since signed with the team and is currently pitching with the Class A Short Season Boise Hawks in Boise, Id. He currently has a 5.4 ERA after appearing in just 2 games for the Hawks.

Jake Washer

Jake Washer was a catcher for the 2017 Rebels coming from Eastern Carolina University. He was picked by the Chicago Cubs in the 29th round of the draft. He just signed the contract with the Cubs this past week and has not yet been assigned to a minor league team. We look forward to seeing where he ends up!

Justin Crump

Justin Crump pitched for the Rebels in 2016, coming from UNC Wilmington. He was selected by the San Francicsco Giants in the 30th round of the draft. He signed his contract on June 16th and was assigned to the Arizona League Rookie Giants. This league has not yet begun play, but their season starts tomorrow on July 1st.

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While it was truly a joy to see seven Rebel names called during the draft, there were a few names this Rebel fan was disappointed not to hear. Happily, in the time since the draft, we have had some of these players sign contracts with Independent League teams. The opportunity to play in the Independent Leagues is the opportunity to continue living the baseball dream, and maybe even regain the notice of MLB affiliated organizations, so we’re truly happy to have our alumni sign with these teams! The players we’ve noted so far in the transaction listings are Luke Johnson (2017), Nick Cottone (2017-2018), John Cable (2016), and Chase Sudduth (2017-18).

Luke Johnson

Luke Johnson was a catcher for the Rebels in 2017. He played for Hartford Community College, Lander University and ended his college career at Wilmington University in DE. This month he signed a contract with the Eastside Diamond Hoppers of the United Shore Professional Baseball League in Suburban Detroit, Michigan. Luke is having a good season so far batting .324 in 34 at bats with two home runs!

John Cable

John Cable was a catcher/infielder for the 2016 Rebels. He played for the University of Georgia as well as the University of New Orleans. He recently signed a contract with the Lake Erie Crushers in the Frontier League. He has so far appeared in 9 games for the Crushers and holds a .229 batting average.

Nick Cottone

Nick Cottone is a pitcher from Elmira College who played for us in both 2017 and 2018. He recently signed a contract with the Plattsburg Thunderbolts in the Empire League, and has since been traded to the New Hampshire Wild in the same league. He has not yet appeared in a game, but we’re really excited to see his career continue!

Chase Sudduth

Chase Sudduth is an infielder from the University of North Georgia who again played for us in both 2017 and 2018. On June 21st, Chase signed a professional contract with the Washington Wild Things of Washington, PA in the Frontier League. So far Chase has had just one hit for the Wild Things, but he has only appeared in three games, so we fully expect to see that change in the near future!

Anna Lawrence

Player Intro of the Day

We’ve met most of our players for summer 2019, but there are always roster transactions and late comers throughout the season, so we’ll continue to introduce our newer players as they come in! Today we get to know Blake Ebo!

Blake Ebo

Blake Ebo is a 6-foot-4-inch, 205-lb Outfielder from The University of Kansas and Lumberton, NJ. He is a Marketing major going into his Junior year in school.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: LA Dodgers

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Yasiel Puig

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Bubblegum

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Both together

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Listening

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Youtube

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: Fast and Furious

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Powerade Blue

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: I can rap pretty well.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): Being friendly.

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Make it to the Big Leagues

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Go to Lake Como and to Santorini, Greece.

You can follow Blake on social media on Twitter @eboknowz and on Instagram @eboknows!

Player Introduction of the Day

Today let’s get to know Wilhelm Allen!

Wilhelm Josef Allen Jr.

Wilhelm Allen is a 6-foot, 195-lb right-handed pitcher from Marrero, LA and Southern University. He is a Political Science major going into his Senior year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Yankees

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Marcus Stroman

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Bubble gum

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Cookies on top of ice cream.

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Listening

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Youtube

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: Friday Night Lights

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Melon

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: Me and Jon Snow have something in common.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): Large legs. (teammates call me juicy)

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Mayor of New Orleans

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Hang with John Mayer.

You can find Wil on social media on Twitter @15wilallen15 and on Instagram @wilhelm_15.

Player Intro of the Day

Today let’s meet Pedro Castellano!

Pedro Castellano

Pedro Castellano is a 5-foot-11-inch, 184-lb infielder from The University of Central Florida and Davenport, FL. He is an Interdisciplinary Studies Major going into his Senior year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Houston Astros

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Jose Altuve

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Seeds

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Ice Cream

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Listening

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Youtube

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: Friends

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Orange

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: n/a

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): n/a

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Have a lot of money and make it to the MLB

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Get married, have kids, make it to the MLB.

Player Intros of the Day

Today let’s get to know Jeremiah McCollum and Cade Hungate!

Jeremiah McCollum

Jeremiah McCollum is a 6-foot-1-inch 180-lb Right-handed pitcher from Florida A & M and Fulshear, TX. He is a Broadcast/Journalism major going into his Junior year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Houston Astros

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Josh James

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Seeds

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Cookies

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Listening

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE:Netflix

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: Family Guy

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Orange

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: I love to sing but can’t actually sing.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): Big Booty

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Work for ESPN or Fox Sports

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Hang out with Drake.

You can follow Jeremiah on Twitter @JAMcCollum09 and on Instagram @hjam_28.

Cade Hungate

Cade Hungate is a 6-foot-2-inch, 190lb Infielder from Florida State University and Abingdon, VA. He is a Business major going into his Sophomore year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Red Sox

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Mike Trout

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Gum

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Ice Cream

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Talking

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Netflix

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: The Benchwarmers

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Blue

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: I don’t know.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): Being a nice guy.

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Make it to the big leagues.

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Travel the world.

You can find out more about Cade by following him on Twitter @cadehungate7 and on Instagram @cade_hungate7.

Player Intros of the Day

Apologies for a taking a few days off from player introductions, but let get back to it with the few remaining boys we haven’t met yet! Today lets get to know Kyle Decker and Sam Prince!

Kyle Decker

Kyle Decker is a 6-foot 180-lb Outfielder from Appalachian State University and Fletcher, NC. He is an Exercise Science major going into his Sophomore year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: New York Mets

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Kevin Pillar

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Yes

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Ice cream

CATS (boo) or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Yes

TALKING or LISTENING? Both

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Netflix

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: The Office

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Blue Cherry

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: I have two different colored eyes.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): Basketball, my jokes and my extreme golf skills

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Physical Therapy, family with 2 boys.

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Own as many dogs as possible!

You can find Kyle on Instagram @Kyledecker_16.

Sam Prince

Sam Prince is a 6-foot 180-lb Right-handed Pitcher from Pasco Hernando Community College and Palm Beach Gardens, FL. He is a Communications major with a minor in Psychology going into his Junior year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Miami Marlins

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Robinson Cano

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Seeds

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Fruit

CATS or DOGS: DOGS

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Listening

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Netflix

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: Remember the Titans/ How I Met Your Mother

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Cool Blue

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: I can talk to any species of animal. However, I am unsure of whether or not they understand me.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): My pre-pubescent singing career.

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Become President of the United States

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Eat dinner with Ellen, Oprah, and Coach Schaeffer all at the same time.

You can get to know Sam even better on Twitter @The_Prince_2 and on Instagram @SamPrince.13

Player Intros of the Day

Today let’s get to know Giovany Lorenzo and David Smith!

Giovany Lorenzo is a 5-foot-10-inch, 190lb Catcher from Stetson University and Fort Myers, FL. He is a Health and Exercise Science major going into his Junior year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Dodgers and Red Sox

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Yadier Molina

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: bubblegum

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Ice Cream

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Talking

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Youtube

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: The Blacklist or MLB Network

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Green Apple

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: I tap my helmet 3 times before each at bat when walking to the plate.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): I will beat anyone at MLB the Show.

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: I want to play in the MLB or become a Physician’s Assistant.

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: I want to travel to St. Tropez in France.

You can learn even more about Gio by following him on Twitter @g_lorenzo4 or on Instagram @gLorenzo4.

David Smith

David Smith is a 6-foot-2-inch, 195lb Catcher from Georgia Highlands College and Acworth, GA. He is a red-shirted Freshman with a Sports Management major.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Atlanta Braves

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Yadier Molina

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Seeds

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Cookies

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? listening

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Youtube

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: Final Season

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Yellow

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: Left hand dominate but throw right-handed.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): Fishing and hunting

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Be a pro baseball player

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Go on an elk hunt.

You can follow along with David this season on Twitter @DavidBrandon33 and on Instagram @David.Smith33.

Player Intros of the Day

Today we’ll meet Alvaro Valdez and Noah Bailey!

Alvaro Valdez

Alvaro Valdez is a 6-foot-1-inch, 2oolb Outfielder from Miami, FL and Tusculum College. He is a Sports Science major going into his Junior year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: New York Yankees

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: All Time – David Ortiz Big Papi, Current- Christian Yelich

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Bubblegum

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: cookies

CATS or DOGS: Dogs 100%

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Listening

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Netflix

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: Movie- Now You See Me, Show- Altered Carbon

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Melon

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: I have a crater on my forehead (chicken pox)

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): Being a competitive gamer.

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Have a great family to be a great Dad and a great husband.

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Go deep sea scuba diving.

If you’d like to get to know Alvy even better, you can find him on Twitter @AvDomo19 and on Instagram @Alvaro.Valdez19.

Noah Bailey is a 5-foot-11-inch, 185lb Right-handed Pitcher/Infielder from Northwest Florida State College and Niceville, FL. He is a Business and Financing major going into his Sophmore year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Yankees

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Dustin Pedroia

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Seeds

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Ice Cream

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Listening

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Netflix

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: Remember the Titans

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Watermelon

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: All my siblings are about the same height and I have two younger siblings.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): My video game playing ability.

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Get drafted.

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Go to Australia.

You can follow Noah on Twitter @n_j_b23 and on Instagram @njb_23.

Player Intros of the Day

Today we meet Benito Varela and Wilson Lorenzo Jr!

Benito Varela

Benito Varela is a 5-foot-11-inch 195lb Catcher from Stetson University and Fort Myers, FL. He is a Sports Business major going into his Senior year in college.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Yankees

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Wilson Contreras

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Seeds

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Cookies

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Talking

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Netflix

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: Game of Thrones and 42

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Mist Blue (Baby blue)

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: I’ve been to 3 universities.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): Playing golf, listening to music, hanging out with family and friends.

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Make it to the MLB

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Travel Europe

You can follow along with Benito on social media on Twitter @bvarela33 and on Instagram @benitovarela.

Wilson Lorenzo Jr.

Wilson Lorenzo is a 6-foot 185lb right-handed pitcher from Warner University and Fort Myers, FL. He is a Fine Arts and Communications major going into his Senior year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Dodgers and Red Sox

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Francisco Lindor, Javy Baez, Robinson Cano

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS:seeds

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Ice Cream

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Both

TALKING or LISTENING? Talking

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Youtube

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: All American, MLB Network, Million Dollar Arm

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Blue

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: I’m a sneaker head

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): My haircuts and my gold chain.

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Get drafted or become a successful man.

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Experiencing the west coast!

You can follow Wilson on Twitter @W_LorenzoJR6 and on Insta @Wilson_Lorenzo6.

Player Intros of the Day

Today let’s meet Gregory Strickland and Ramon Machado!

Greg Strickland

Gregory Strickland is a 5-foot-11-inch, 185lb Right-handed pitcher from Brown University and Raleigh, NC. He is a Biology major going into his Sophomore year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: Atlanta Braves

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Nathan Eovaldi

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Seeds

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Ice cream

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Listening

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Youtube

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: Narcos Mexico

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Yellow

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: I got pooped on by geese before a baseball game.

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): I am a Christian.

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: I want to live in a major city one day.

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

If you’d like to follow Greg on social media, he’s on Twitter @gstrick_3 and on Instagram @gregstrickland3.

Ramon Machado

Ramon Machado is a 5-foot-8-inch, 160lb infielder from Palm Beach Atlantic College and Palm Beach Gardens, FL. He is a Business Management major going into his Senior year.

FAVORITE MLB TEAM: LA Dodgers

FAVORITE MLB PLAYER: Javy Baez

BUBBLEGUM or SEEDS: Seeds

COOKIES or ICE CREAM: Cookies

CATS or DOGS: Dogs

MORNING or EVENING? Evening

TALKING or LISTENING? Talking

NETFLIX or YOUTUBE: Netflix

FAVORITE MOVIE & TV SHOW: 42 and Lucifer

FAVORITE GATORADE FLAVOR (COLOR): Blue

WEIRD OR HILARIOUS FACT ABOUT YOU: There’s a scar on my head and forehead

SOMETHING YOU’RE KNOWN FOR (OTHER THAN BASEBALL): n/a

NAME ONE LIFE/CAREER GOAL: Play Pro baseball

NAME SOMETHING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST: Make a million bucks.

You can find Ramon on Twitter @ramonnoodles and on Instagram @ramon_machado123.