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Coe proud of ACE students, athletes

White Sox youth baseball initiatives director hopes former participants will be drafted
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CLEVELAND -- Ronell Coleman might hear his name called by a Major League team over the next three days during the 2017 Draft, beginning Monday night.

At the very least, White Sox director of youth baseball initiatives Kevin Coe believes the one-time participant of the organization's Amateur City Elite baseball program will be a senior sign.

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CLEVELAND -- Ronell Coleman might hear his name called by a Major League team over the next three days during the 2017 Draft, beginning Monday night.

At the very least, White Sox director of youth baseball initiatives Kevin Coe believes the one-time participant of the organization's Amateur City Elite baseball program will be a senior sign.

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But in relation to the White Sox amazing ACE setup, Coe doesn't focus as much upon Coleman as a draftee as he does about Coleman recently earning his degree in general studies from Vanderbilt University.

"He's a phenomenal kid. It's an unbelievable story. Really, really proud of him," Coe said during a phone interview before traveling east as one of the club's representatives at the 2017 Draft. "The program is to help kids get to school.

"Professional baseball is the icing on the cake. We help kids get to college, help them get a college degree and they get to play baseball at the same time. That's what makes me proud more than anything."

In ACE's 10th year of operation, Coe pointed out that it will exceed 150 kids from the program who have gone to college. It also should surpass 20 kids drafted who have ACE experience.

Corey Ray stands as one of the greatest ACE success stories, baseball-wise. He was taken fifth overall by the Brewers in 2016, and he entered Sunday batting .259 with 14 stolen bases for Class A Advanced Carolina.

Coe also likes that Ray is close to earning a degree from Louisville, where he was a standout player for three years.

"I'm a college guy," Coe said. "Go to college, start college, which is the most important thing. I push this to the kids.

"If you just go to college and you start it, there's a better chance you go back and finish. Corey has one more year. He told me he has less than 24 hours to graduate. There's a strong chance he's going to go back individually and complete those hours and get his degree."

The high school portion of the ACE season began this week, and Coe had already heard from 15 college coaches by text or call as of Saturday. It's an opportunity for inner-city players to continue their career, maybe even to the pro level like Ray or possibly Coleman, but also to use baseball to gain valuable education.

Renteria believes in bunt

Manager Rick Renteria won't shy away from using the bunt in the proper game situation, despite the White Sox struggling of late to get bunts down. Leury Garcia popped up a suicide squeeze attempt in the eighth Saturday, leading to Yolmer Sanchez being doubled off of third.

Video: CWS@CLE: Ramirez, Lindor turn two on popup

"To me it's just the value of the run," Renteria said. "If I just need that one run, I need to be able to have somebody execute a play, whether it's a [sacrifice bunt], whether it's moving a guy from second to third, whether it's just getting them from first to second.

"If that run's the most important thing for me and I've got one way to put myself in a better position to score that run, I need to be able to do it. So it's all relative to how you view how you want your team to play, or how people view the game."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox