Following a very successful inaugural season, those involved with the United Shore Professional Baseball League have been working hard to make sure that year two is even better. They have added a fourth team to the league (Westside Woolly Mammoths) and will have additional premium seating beginning with the 2017 season.
With the Woolly Mammoths being added to the league, some managerial changes have been made. On Monday, the USPBL announced those changes along with support staff additions for the 2017 season.
From USPBL Press Release:
Jim Essian – Manager, Utica Unicorns
Jim Essian started his 46-year professional baseball career in 1970 with the Philadelphia Phillies in their minor-league system where he was tagged as a Topp’s Rookie All-Star. Over the next three years, he excelled at all levels of Minor League Baseball earning All-Star recognition at almost every level before breaking into the Big Leagues with the Phillies in 1973. For the next 11 years, Essian played in the Major Leagues with the Phillies, A’s, White Sox, Mariners and the Indians. After his playing career, Essian became a manager with the Miami Marlins before moving to the Chicago Cubs organization in 1986. In his second season as manager of the Winston-Salem Spirits, Essian brought home the Carolina League championship and was named Manager of the Year. In 1991 he took the reigns as manager for the Chicago Cubs. In 2000, Essian was inducted into the Reading Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2016, Essian worked alongside Paul Noce of the Diamond Hoppers in the USPBL.
Shane McCatty – Manager, Westside Woolly Mammoths
Shane McCatty is returning for his second season with the USPBL after working alongside former Utica Unicorns manager Greg Grall during the league’s inaugural season. Under Grall’s guidance, they led the Utica Unicorns to the first ever USPBL Championship. Selected by the Washington Nationals in the 34th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Oakland University and a successful four-year professional playing career, McCatty turned his attention to managing. McCatty is following the same path as his father Steve McCatty, a former MLB player and pitching coach.
Chris Newell – Manager, Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers
Chris Newell is returning for his second year as Manger of the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers. Newell has been in professional baseball since 1997 as a player, manager and scout. After a successful college career, Newell played parts of two years in Professional Baseball in 1997-1998, earning a Gold Glove for his minor-league team. After retiring as a player, Newell began his scouting career with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, spanning from 1999-2005. Since 2006, Newell has been scouting for the New York Yankees. In 2003, Newell made his Professional Managing debut with the Kalamazoo Kings of the Frontier League, making him the youngest manager in professional baseball that season. Through his private instruction, he has trained 44 players who have either been drafted professionally or signed professional contracts. His former students include MLB All-Star and 2016 N.L. Batting Champion, DJ LeMahieu and 2015 Tampa Bay Rays draftee, Jacob Cronenworth.
Paul Noce – Manager, Eastside Diamond Hoppers
Paul Noce returns for his second year as Manager of the Eastside Diamond Hoppers. Noce has been in the game of baseball for over 33 years including two stints in the Major Leagues for the Chicago Cubs (’87) and Cincinnati Reds (’90). In
1986, Paul was selected as a Topps All-Star for his play at the Double-A level. After his successful playing career, Paul was an instructor and manager for MLB organizations before moving on to the collegiate ranks. In 1994, he took the reins at Hillsdale College in Adrian, Michigan. Noce had an accomplished career at the collegiate level winning 349 games during his tenure. Paul has excelled at every level of baseball, winning the Triple-A World Series in 1988 and being a part of the 1990 Cincinnati Reds World Series Team. In 2012, Noce was inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in San Mateo, California.
BASEBALL SUPPORT STAFF
Justin Orenduff – Throwing / Pitching Coordinator
Justin Orenduff is the founder of the Delivery Value System and creator of the DVS Scoring System. The scoring system was built as a product of Justin’s pitching career, research into throwing patterns among pitchers, and hours of testing and validating the scoring system over a 4-year period. Aside from the ongoing development of the DVS Model, Justin’s primary focus is to spread awareness and educate the baseball community on the cycle of information and movements within the pitching delivery that are injurious. Before DVS, Justin was an All-American pitcher at both George Washington University and Virginia Commonwealth University. He was a first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers and a member of the 2003 USA Collegiate National Team pitching alongside MLB stars Jered Weaver and Justin Verlander.
Casey Smith – Hitting Coordinator
Casey Smith grew up in the Marietta area and played high school baseball at McEachern where he graduated in 2002. Smith went on to play college baseball at Erskine College. At Erskine, Smith set numerous single season and career offensive records including RBI’s, Home Runs and Doubles and was named the 2005 CVAC, South Atlantic Region, and NCAA DII National Player of the Year. After a record-setting junior year, in which he hit .448 with 18 HR, 28 2B and 83 RBI, Smith was selected in the 9th round of the 2005 Major League Draft by the San Diego Padres. He spent over two years with the Padres and two years in the Frontier League with several different teams. He returned to Erskine and finished his last year of school, graduating with a degree in Sports Management. Today, Erskine is the owner of JCS sports in Georgia and serves as an off-season hitting coach to multiple minor-league and major league players, including 2016 National League Batting Title Winner DJ Lemahieu.