CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Appalachian League announced its 2021 All-Appalachian League Team prior to the completion of its inaugural season as a collegiate summer league as part of the MLB and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP). The honorees were nominated and voted on by the league’s managers and are highlighted by Elizabethton’s Marcus Brown, who was named Player of the Year, and Greeneville’s Bryce Mayer, who earned Pitcher of the Year honors for 2021. Additionally, Greeneville manager Alan Regier was named the Appalachian League Manager of the Year.
Brown earns Appalachian League Player of the Year honors after a stellar summer at the plate for the River Riders. As of Aug. 3, his .407/.602/.535 slash line leads the league and he has recorded a team-best 48 hits and 13 doubles. Brown, who plays collegiately at Oklahoma State, has slugged two triples and two home runs in 2021 and leads Elizabethton in runs scored (35), RBIs (30) and walks (27). The Springdale, Ark., native is also tied for the team lead in stolen bases with 12 so far this season.
In nine starts for the Flyboys, Mayer has recorded a 1.36 ERA over 33.0 innings of work en route to being named Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. Opponents have hit just .161 off Mayer this summer and the Marthasville, Mo., native has allowed just two extra-base hits in his outings. In three consecutive starts in June, Mayer recorded at least eight punchouts, including nine in his outings on both June 16 and June 29. The St. Charles Community College hurler currently leads the league in strikeouts with 59 this season.
Regier was named the 2021 Appalachian League Manager of the Year after leading Greeneville to a West Division title this summer. Regier has led the Flyboys to a league-best 30-14-1 record as of Aug. 3. Under his guidance, Greeneville holds the third-highest team batting average (.263) and the lowest team ERA (3.61) across the league. In addition, Regier’s Greeneville squad was one of just three teams to send seven players to last month’s inaugural Appalachian League All-Star Game presented by Pennzoil.
The All-Appalachian League Team is comprised of five infielders, four outfielders, three pitchers, one catcher and a designated hitter. The infielders include Brown at shortstop, Brady Day of the Princeton WhistlePigs at second base, Oscar Serratos of the Burlington Sock Puppets as a utility infielder, Mark Trotta of the Pulaski River Turtles at third base and Johnson City’s Joe Vetrano at first base.
Greeneville’s Homer Bush Jr., along with Princeton’s Nathan Holt and Dylan Rogers received All-Appalachian League honors in the outfield, while Kendal Ewell of the Bluefield Ridge Runners earned the distinction as a utility outfielder.
In addition to Mayer, who earned All-Appalachian League honors as a right-handed pitcher, left-handed pitcher Cole Kirschsieper and relief pitcher Zane Probst were also named to the All-Appalachian League Team. Kirschsieper competed for the Kingsport Axmen before joining the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in its series against the U.S. Olympic Team in July.
Rounding out the recognized athletes are catcher Ryan Johnson of the Pulaski River Turtles and designated hitter Sam Thompson of the Elizabethton River Riders.
In total, eight of the 10 Appy League teams are represented on the 2021 All-Appalachian League Team with Princeton’s four selections leading the way. Greeneville and Elizabethton are close behind with three each, while Pulaski boasts two athletes, and Bluefield, Burlington, Johnson City and Kingsport all have one. Additionally, eight of the 14 honored athletes play in the league’s East Division and six compete in the West.
The inaugural Appy League regular season will conclude Saturday, Aug. 7, before the 2021 Appalachian League Championship Game on Aug. 9. The Greeneville Flyboys secured their spot in the championship game after clinching the West Division title on Monday and will compete against the winners of the East Division for the title.
2021 Appalachian League Award Winners
Player of the Year: Marcus Brown (Elizabethton River Riders)
Pitcher of the Year: Bryce Mayer (Greeneville Flyboys)
Manager of the Year: Alan Regier (Greeneville Flyboys)
2021 All-Appalachian League Team
(Name; Position; Team)
Joe Vetrano; 1B; Johnson City Doughboys
Brady Day; 2B; Princeton WhistlePigs
Mark Trotta; 3B; Pulaski River Turtles
*Marcus Brown; SS; Elizabethton River Riders
Oscar Serratos; Utility INF; Burlington Sock Puppets
Homer Bush Jr.; OF; Greeneville Flyboys
Nathan Holt; OF; Princeton WhistlePigs
Dylan Rogers; OF; Princeton WhistlePigs
Kendal Ewell; Utility OF; Bluefield Ridge Runners
Ryan Johnson; C; Pulaski River Turtles
Cole Kirschsieper; LHP; Kingsport Axmen
^Bryce Mayer; RHP; Greeneville Flyboys
Zane Probst; Relief pitcher; Princeton WhistlePigs
Sam Thompson; DH; Elizabethton River Riders
*Denotes Appy League Player of the Year
^Denotes Appy League Pitcher of the Year