Just a few weeks ago, Drew Devine did not know what was going to happen next for his career.
The Kalamazoo, Michigan, native wrapped up his college career at Western Michigan and was playing summer ball in North Carolina.
That was until a teammate got Devine connected with Lincoln Saltdogs assistant coach T.J. Zarewicz. Devine was invited to work out with the Saltdogs in Chicago and signed with the team.
Devine has delivered in his short time as a Saltdog. He is 4-for-9 at the plate and had a walk-off base hit against Cleburne last Friday.
“Everyone’s goal here is to continue on and play professionally, and this is that next step for me,” Devine said ahead of Tuesday's series opener against Milwaukee. “So being able to have this opportunity to come in and get my feet wet, it has been awesome.”
Devine hit .303 with Western Michigan this spring and was first-team all-MAC. So far, he has been a valuable player at the dish and in the field for the Saltdogs.
“You love his energy and love what he does defensively,” Lincoln manager Brett Jodie said. “He definitely makes our bench a lot stronger as well as our team defense and team speed. He’s already been a guy that has come up in big situations and delivered.”
Devine adds to the list of successful additions from players who were in college in the spring. Pitcher Ben Wereski and two-way player Garett Delano, who make up 40% of the starting rotation, have also made their marks with the team.
“They have all come in at times in the year we kind of needed a pick-me-up and needed to revamp some things and they have come in and done a great job,” Jodie said. “I like their composure. I like the way that they think the game and the fact that they are just comfortable.”
Strength in numbers: Devine has not cemented a starting spot, but according to Jodie, is still a positive for the team in helping provide depth. Despite a few injuries, the team is at the healthiest point it's been in a few weeks.
“It’s great to have that (depth) again, finally, because it’s been hit or miss with guys banged up and hurt and stuff,” Jodie said. “We know we got some guys we can go to if needed and that’s huge when you have to run for guys late in a game or do a defensive replacement or whatever we want to do.”