BULLARD, Texas (KETK) – With Major League Baseball players getting set to report to their respective team headquarters Friday, a few East Texans are included in that group like a pair of Atlanta Braves relief pitchers, Josh Tomlin and A.J. Minter.
The two of them took advantage of a great opportunity afforded to them by Brook Hill head baseball coach Jerry Courtney as with the COVID-19 shutdown he opened up the new state of the art facilities at the private school in Bullard to Tomlin and Minter among others.
Minter, a Brook Hill and Texas A&M alum will be looking to win back his spot with the Braves big league club as he had become their primary closer in 2018.
Tomlin a ten-year MLB veteran, and a Whitehouse grad (played his college ball at Angelina & Texas Tech) enters his second season as a reliever for the Braves. He previously spent eight solid years as a starter primarily for the Cleveland Indians, during which time he helped the Tribe reach the 2016 World Series.
“It’s been a lifesaver for us no doubt about it. It’s been one of those things where we’ve had to make adjustments there’s no question about it, and figure out ways to get better when you know, times are tough, where you can’t really get into a gym that you’ve been going to for quite some time, or having the resources to throw, or being around people enough to be able to get that work in,” said Tomlin.
“Finally got the clear to head back to baseball here in a few days. It’s been a crazy off-season. Fortunately I get place like here at Brook Hill to work out at and throw. And I wasn’t blessed enough to have the field on when I was here at Brook Hill. But it’s truly a special place, and just grateful to get to throw here,” said Minter.
Other players that have worked at Brook Hill Ballpark’s Herrington Field the last three months include Tyler Lee alum, and Oakland A’s pitcher Burch Smith; Central Heights alum, and Baltimore Orioles minor league pitcher Grayson Rodriguez; Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos; All Saints alum and Sewanee University outfielder Sully McCreery; All Saints grad and Auburn first baseman Johnny Ceccoli.
Watch the video to see the story.
Footage, and images courtesy of Travis Albea and The Brook Hill School.