Wetrich signs pro contract with River City Rascals

Iowa shortstop Tanner Wetrich will begin his professional career in the Frontier League.


David Harmantas

Iowa's Tanner Wetrich pops the ball up during a baseball game against the University of Illinois on Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini 3-1.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

Cole McDonald is no longer the only Hawkeye baseball player headed to the professional ranks.

Iowa shortstop Tanner Wetrich signed a professional contract with the River City Rascals of the Frontier League on Wednesday.

Wetrich slashed .263/.374/.451 with a team-high 7 home runs in 50 starts last season. He also led the team with 35 runs scored and racked up 28 RBIs.

The Moberly, Missouri, native finished the regular season on a high note as well, going 2-for-4 with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs in the regular-season finale against Maryland, including a grand slam and a 3-run homer.

He helped the Hawkeyes to a 31-24 record, clinching Iowa’s sixth 30-win season in a row.

Wetrich had big shoes to fill entering the season, as Kyle Crowl, one of Iowa’s top returning hitters, departed the team for Central Oklahoma.

Crowl hit .247 in 2018 with 33 RBIs and 6 home runs. In the same season, Wetrich hit .224 while bringing in 11 runs and hitting 1 dinger. It was a solid blow to the lineup, as Robert Neustrom and Tyler Cropley had already signed pro deals after the MLB Draft.

“I was ready to take on that challenge,” Wetrich said on April 16. “Last year, I wasn’t happy with how I played, I wasn’t happy with a lot of things I did myself. I came in with a different attitude. I left and played summer ball, gained some confidence. My main thing was just coming back and trying to provide this team with somebody who can be a force in the lineup, be consistent in the field, and give us a chance to win day in and day out.”

The Rascals, from O’Fallon, Missouri, sit in fourth place in the Frontier League’s West Division with a 20-18 record.



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