Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

June 13, 2008

Princeton roster released

PRINCETON — There is a Beckham on the roster for the Princeton Rays. It’s just not Tim or even David. There is, however, a Burt Reynolds.

Jim Holland, Princeton’s general manager, has released the names of the players that will start the 2008 Appalachian League season with the Rays when the campaign begins Tuesday against the Pulaski Mariners at Hunnicutt Field.

It includes plenty of familiar names from last year’s squad that finished 33-35. The Rays were third in the Eastern Division, and had the fifth best mark in the league.

“We’ve got a good bit of experience there,” Holland said. “We’ve got 14 returning players, and nine of those are pitchers and they did some good things for us.

“(Eli) Sonoqui and (Justin) Reynolds were regulars for us.”

Sonoqui, a ninth round pick in 2006, returns for his third season in Princeton. He was batting .333 with 14 RBIs and five doubles before a wrist injury ended his year. Reynolds, a 31st round selection in ‘06, batted .270 with four home runs, 16 RBIs and 16 stolen bases for the Rays. He played in 64 of Princeton’s 68 games.

“Sonoqui was tearing the league up and then he got hurt,” Holland said. “Reynolds played every day for us.”

Not on the roster is Tim Beckham, the top pick in last week’s Major League Amateur Draft. His brother, Jeremy Beckham, a second baseman from Georgia Southern, arrived in Princeton on Thursday to play for the Rays. He was a 17th round selection.

As for Tim Beckham, Holland knows about as much as anyone else. Beckham, a shortstop from Griffin, Ga., is still unsigned.

“Who knows, you just have to wait and see,” Holland said. “We’re just spectators like everybody else.”

Princeton also returns Dustin Biell, a fifth rounder last year by the Rays, who batted .218 with 20 RBIs and seven stolen bases in center field. Mayo Acosta, a catcher, is also back. He batted .234 with 11 RBIs and 10 doubles, and led Appy League catchers, throwing out 16 of 51 potential base stealers.

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