The Savannah Bananas are excited to announce the return of three additional players from the team’s inaugural season roster. Christian Hollie of the University of Texas at Arlington, Garrett Nelson of Long Beach State, and Braden Shewmake of Texas A&M will all be making Savannah their home for the summer once again.
Christian Hollie (Jr. INF) is hitting .310 with a double, a triple, and two homers in 45 plate appearances so far this Spring. He spent the beginning of the season recovering from a wrist injury, but is now a consistent part of UT Arlington’s lineup, usually as the Mavericks’ designated hitter. He is expected to play a large role in the Bananas’ success after being named one of the Coastal Plain League’s top prospects.
“Christian is another guy that I have had the privilege of coaching for the past two summer, both in Savannah and Martinsville,” says head coach Sean West. “His athleticism enables him to play anywhere on the field. I project Hollie to be amongst the league leaders in stolen bases this year. This will be a huge summer for Christian and his future in baseball at the next level.”
Garrett Nelson (RS-So. OF/1B boasted the Bananas’ highest slugging percentage last summer with .602. He was also tied for the most home runs, with five on the season. He was a regular fixture at first base for the Bananas, but has also covered center field, left field, and right field at Long Beach.
Coach West says, “Garrett is another athletic body who has returned to the Bananas line up for the 2017 summer. Another very athletic player, which allows him to play both in the outfield and at first base. He is a left-handed hitter which allows us to play match ups against our opponent’s starting arm. I believe Garrett is going to have a break out summer in 2017, and help guide our Bananas back to the championship.”
Braden Shewmake (Fr. INF) played for the Bananas briefly in 2016, with 7 RBI in only 31 at-bats. He is hitting .348 in his first season at Texas A&M and was projected by Perfect Game to be the 2017 SEC freshman of the year.
“Braden is a true freshman from A&M. Many of the Savannah Bananas fans might not remember Braden, but he was one of only a few high school seniors that was allowed to play in last year’s summer season before having to report for second semester summer school at A&M,” says West. “Braden is starting at second base and hitting in the three-hole for the Aggies, and having a tremendous freshman campaign. Braden will play shortstop for us, but his 6’4” frame, 6.6/60 speed, and the fact that he is a left-handed hitter will allow him to play anywhere on the field as well. I project Braden to be one of the top prospects in our league this coming summer.”
The Bananas second season begins on Thursday, June 1st. All reserved seating has sold out, and limited All-You-Can-Eat five-game plans are available. More information can be found at www.thesavannahbananas.com or by calling (912)712-2482.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 20th season in 2016, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 81 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.