Minor league baseball: Wagner called up to Kannapolis
By Mike London
Rocky Wagner watched Carson football practice Tuesday and strolled back to his car.
He checked his cell phone and was startled to see he'd missed 11 calls, mostly from family members, in a short period of time,
His first thought ó something really bad's happened.
His first returned call was to Chris Wagner, his oldest son. Chris informed him, "Well, they've sent Daniel home."
Daniel is the professional baseball player in the family, so that sounded like awful news.
Wagner, who's been playing for the Bristol White Sox in the Appalachian League, was promoted yesterday to the Kannapolis Intimidators. For the South Rowan graduate, Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium is practically home.
"Daniel was getting ready for practice in Bristol at 1 p.m. when they told him he needed to pack his bags," his father explained. "He had about a four-hour drive to make down to Greenville, S.C., to join the Intimidators."
The minor league season is winding down, but Wagner will at least get a taste of full-season Class A ball in the South Atlantic League.
Kannapolis, which is rolling and looks like a lock to qualify for the SAL playoffs, is on the road the rest of this month and finishes the regular season at home from Sept. 1-7.
Wagner, 21, is a left-handed swinging second baseman who was batting .258 with one homer, 10 doubles, 11 steals and 26 RBIs in 56 games at rookie-level Bristol.
He's impressed some people and has been told by the White Sox he'll be part of their instructional league in Arizona this fall.
Second baseman Drew Garcia (six homers, 59 RBIs, .264) has been a solid player all season for the Intimidators so it isn't clear yet what role Wagner will take on.
At the very least he'll have a place to stay ó with his father ó who is already housing one Intimidator.
When first baseman Dan Black was promoted from Bristol to the Intimidators this summer, he asked Wagner if he could suggest any place to live in Kannapolis.
"Well, you could stay with my dad," Wagner said.
Black, a 14th-round pick out of Purdue, took him up on the offer.
Now it looks like he'll have company.