DANVILLE, Va. – The Danville Braves returned to the diamond, finishing fourth in the east division in 2016. This year, they welcome in new skipper Nestor Perez, who is a former Appalachian League player himself. Perez is no stranger to Danville, having served as a D-Braves coach in 2013. He says he and his staff are all fully equipped to help the players reach their ultimate goal.
"You have to love the game, have to love teaching and we all love it. Me, our coaches we love to teach rookie ball players," Perez said.
The Braves have a loaded pitching staff, headlined by second round draft pick Kyle Muller, who's in his second season in Danville.
Muller said he's been "putting all the work in, in high school, doing all the travel ball tournaments and the extra work -- the late nights, early mornings. To be recognized for that and actually get an opportunity to play at the next level has been a dream come true."
Speaking of opportunity, the Braves have one outfielder who is making the transition from the football field to the baseball diamond.
Sanders Commings played football at the University of Georgia and was a 2013 NFL Draft pick. He spent three season as a defensive back with the Kansas City Chiefs, but decided to make a change after suffering three injuries.
"I'm really blessed to have this opportunity to play with the Braves. The transition took some time, about six months of grinding everyday to be able to put myself in this position," Commings said.
No doubt wins and losses are big, but the Braves say how they do it is just as important.
"We always teach the Braves way, the organization way. On and off the field at all times," Perez said.