by Jim Holland*action photo courtesy of Beckley Register-Herald
Austin Norman, who was one of the main offensive leaders in sparking the West Virginia Miners to the 2016 Prospect League baseball title, has signed his contract to return to the team for the summer of 2017. His signing was announced by the team on January 13 in the first of many individual contract signings expected to be periodically unveiled by the Beckley, WV based team over the next several months. Norman, who is currently a college junior from Fairmont, WV and will be spending this spring as an outfielder for his hometown Fairmont State University Falcons, made a big splash in last summer’s Prospect League campaign, finishing tied for sixth in the league in hitting with a .324 batting average. In addition he set Miners’ single-season franchise records in doubles (19), RBI (45), and extra base hits (28) while tying for the franchise high for triples in a season with six. He complemented his skills with the bat on the basepaths by stealing 20 bases in 28 attempts. His skills were recognized by the league as he was selected to play in the mid-season 2016 Prospect League All-Star Game in Kokomo, IN.
The Prospect League is the premier collegiate wood bat summer baseball league in the Midwest. It has been operating in its current form since 2009 while serving the summer baseball needs of top collegiate players. The 2016 Prospect League title won by the Miners was the team’s third league championship in the last five seasons. Season-long box seats and other ticket packages for the West Virginia Miners are already on sale for the 2017 Prospect League season, which begins on May 30 while the Miners home opener will be on June 1 versus the Butler (PA) Blue Sox. Persons needing more information on the Miners can contact the team either by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone at 304-252-7233.