Sports

Fletcher Vynne hired as assistant coach of the Wenatchee AppleSox

Former Friday Harbor Wolverine Fletcher Vynne is advancing in his baseball coaching career.

Vynne, a graduate assistant baseball coach at Seattle University, will join the West Coast League's Wenatchee AppleSox as an assistant coach in summer 2010.

Like teams in the Alaska League and the Cape Cod League, West Coast League teams consist of college players. As college players, they are not compensated but are housed with host families. Many West Coast players go on to play professionally.

The league has a 2010 summer schedule of 53 games, followed by the division and championship series. Games are often played in Minor League ballparks. Wenatchee has a 1,200-seat stadium but averages 1,340 fans.

Joining Wenatchee in the league are the Bellingham Bells, Bend Elks, Corvallis Knights, Cowlitz Black Bears, Kelowna Falcons, Kitsap BlueJackets, Moses Lake Pirates, and the Walla Walla Sweets.

Wenatchee won the West Coast League championship three of the last five years.

"The West Coast League (WCL) reminds many of the Northwoods League and the Coastal Plain League," League President Ken Wilson wrote on the league Web site. "Our league is also minor league-like. June through August, a demanding schedule, travel and wood bats test prospects, preparing them for the pros. Coaches and players live with host families and play in front of large crowds in a range of intimate ballparks from old minor league parks to state-of-the-art collegiate stadiums.

"Our member teams recruit players nationwide and are committed to developing aspiring pros. No college summer league has ever had as many drafted student-athletes and alumni reaching the big leagues so early in its history. The level of play is challenging for even the best college players."

At Wenatchee, Vynne will coach first base, work with hitters, take care of the field, and help scout.

AppleSox Coach Ed Knaggs said he's looking forward to working with Vynne. "He's a high-energy guy, a great assistant coach. He's a loyal, hard-working kind of guy."

After an outstanding prep career at Friday Harbor, Vynne — Class of 2003 — went on to play for the University of British Columbia, helping the team win its first-ever NAIA World Series in 2006. He was a four-time All-Academic Award winner at UBC and won the Jeff Francis Award in 2007 and 2008. He was second on the team in batting average his junior year and led in home runs his senior season, when he served as team captain.

Vynne graduated from UBC in 2008 and is working toward a master's degree in sports administration and leadership at Seattle University. He has served as graduate assistant coach for the Seattle U baseball team, working for Head Coach Donny Harrel, since 2008.

Vynne was also an assistant coach for Chaffey Baseball during summer 2008, and was co-head coach of the Northwest Bandits this summer after helping Bellevue High School win the 3A KingCo Tournament as an assistant coach during the 2009 season.

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