Last week’s trade between the Gateway Grizzlies and Wild Things has been completed as infielder Brian Sharp, whom Washington acquired by sending right-handed pitcher Clinton Hollon to the Grizzlies, has signed his contract to join the 2021 roster.
Sharp was the 26th round pick of the New York Mets in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of Missouri. He’d go on to play two seasons in the Mets’ organization between short-season A ball and Class A.
In 2018 with the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League, Sharp hit five home runs and drove in 22 runs in 50 games in his first taste of professional baseball. That season, he sported an OPS of .734 (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) while splitting time between third and first base, defensively. Sharp played for the Columbia Fireflies (A – SALL) in 2019 and had 12 doubles, five triples and 11 home runs to go along with 38 RBI.
Now he joins the Wild Things’ roster for manager Tom Vaeth’s first season with the club.
“He’s a plus defender who will solidify our infield defense,” said Vaeth. “At the plate he provides some much-needed left-handed power with the ability to be a run producer.. [We’re] very excited to add him to the Wild Things family.”
For president and general manager Tony Buccilli, Sharp allows the club to continue to do what has recently been done at the corner infield spots.
“There are aspects of Brian’s game we believe we can amplify. He fits the extra-base-centric hitter we typically plug into our corner spots,” said Buccilli. “We continue to build a deep, diverse lineup in hopes we can be as dangerous as possible.”
The news of the trade “surprised” Sharp a bit.
“[I was] a little surprised but also excited. I am looking forward to this opportunity and am eager to join Washington and play this season,” said Sharp. “For this season I want to continue to refine my skills as a baseball player. I want to continue my development and I want to improve and get better every day. Hopefully along the way we as a team can pick up some wins as well. Overall, I am excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to be back on a diamond after a long time away.”
Sharp played three seasons at Missouri from 2016-2018 totaling 158 games. He drove in 73 runs and hit 12 home runs in that time while sporting a slash line of .278/.385/.404.
He said the biggest difference between his experience at Missouri and in pro ball thus far has probably been the competition level, but also the adaption to playing everyday.
“I think playing every day and preparing your body for a full season is a lot different from college. I think I have improved as a player solely because I have played more games and had more at-bats,” said Sharp. “I believe getting game reps is the best way to improve your game.”
According to Sharp, fans can expect a versatile player who will do whatever it takes to help the team win. In other words, a player that will “give 100% every night.”
Sharp and the Wild Things are scheduled to report in May before May 27’s scheduled season opener at the New York Boulders.
ABOUT THE WASHINGTON WILD THINGS
The Washington Wild Things are a professional baseball team in the Frontier League, partner league of Major League Baseball, that plays in Washington, PA. Since their inception in 2002, the Wild Things have won six division titles and earned numerous playoff appearances. Fans and media can stay aware of all the happenings in the Wild Things’ organization by following the team’s social media platforms and website, washingtonwildthings.com. For other inquiries, call the front office at 724-250-9555.