Yesterday, former AppleSox utilityman and new volunteer assistant coach Jacob Prater spoke with Don West on the Don West Show on News Radio 560 KPQ.
Head coach Kyle Krustangel added Prater to the AppleSox staff last month. Once he graduates from Seattle U in May, Prater will work with AppleSox hitters and aid assistant coach Cash Ulrich in working with Sox infielders. Krustangel is excited to add a coach fresh off his playing days to the team’s staff.
“His presence and competitiveness will be felt amongst the players,” Krustangel said. “He brings a winning mentality and a grinder approach.”
Prater started off by telling West about his senior season at Seattle U as well as what it’s like to play in the West Coast League.
“The West Coast League,” Prater said, “is basically like if you took all of the players in all the different divisions in the United States and put them into a bin and took a few out and put them on different teams to play each other. It’s a really unique experience that you get to meet a bunch of players from all across the nation, play a bunch of different guys, travel to a bunch of places on the West Coast.”
Prater also commented on his excitement about returning to Wenatchee this summer. After graduating from Wenatchee High School, Prater played for the AppleSox in 2015, 2016 and 2018. He hit a combined .289 in his AppleSox tenure, including a team-high .359 in 2017. Last year, Prater won the inaugural Tommy Watanabe Award, given to the player who best exemplifies our late former player’s passion for the game of baseball.
“The AppleSox have been a great place for me to come back to in the summer to be home and develop my skills as a baseball player and I’ve developed a really close relationship with Coach Krustangel,” Prater said. “Being that the AppleSox have provided so much for me in the past four years, it was a no-brainer for me to come back and have an impact on the program in a different way.”
With his playing career coming to an end, Prater wanted to continue his involvement in the game via coaching. He was grateful for the opportunity to coach with Krustangel.
“It’s hard thinking of myself not having some kind of connection with baseball,” Prater said. “The game of baseball has never owed me anything, so it’s nice for me to give back to the game in this way.”
Listen to the full interview between Prater and West below.
The 20th season in Wenatchee AppleSox history begins on June 3. With promotions like cap night, two bobblehead giveaways and fireworks night, this promises to be a season you won’t want to miss. Guarantee that you have seats for all the exciting games by purchasing season tickets. They run as low as $115 and can be purchased at the team’s office at 610 N Mission St #204 in Wenatchee.