As the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of high school spring sports, local seniors were faced with an abrupt ending to their prep careers. A group of these students were also athletes at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, presented by Toyota. This Rangers Academy Senior Spotlight series seeks to highlight those athletes who have worked on their craft at the academy as they move into the next chapter of their lives.
Joshua Marcellus, Sachse High School
Joshua Marcellus sets goals for himself.
Playing college baseball is only one of them.
“It was pretty important because for one, I will have a chance to finish what I started,” Marcellus said. “Playing at the next level will make it easier for me in life after college. It will also give me an opportunity to be on the path to do what I want to career-wise. It is something I have worked toward my whole life.”
In November, Marcellus took a significant step in that direction when he signed his National Letter of Intent to play at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan.
“I wanted to go to a college that offered me the opportunity to play baseball on a scholarship, in a location reasonably close to home, and that offered my major of psychology,” Marcellus said, of his decision to play for the Swedes.
The Sachse High School senior has been patrolling the outfield at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, presented by Toyota, since its doors opened in 2017, so it was appropriate that he made history by becoming the first academy participant to host his signing day at the facility.
“Josh and his family will always hold a special place in the Rangers Youth Academy’s history. The decision for him to hold his signing day at the complex and share that special moment with our staff is one that we will never forget,” academy director Juan Leonel Garciga said. “His signing is the first of what we anticipate will be a great tradition for academy seniors announcing their commitments to play college baseball and softball for years to come.”
Marcellus played in the Rangers Academy RBI league in 2018 and '19, earning spots on the All-Star teams that competed in the RBI Southwest Regionals in Austin, Texas, both seasons.
In 2019, the outfielder was one of 64 elite prep players selected to participate in the MLB/USA Breakthrough Series event at the MLB Compton Youth Academy. And he was named to the Rangers Academy team that participated in the All-Star Commissioner’s Cup Tournament in Cleveland in July.
“The most important thing that baseball has taught me is that you will only go as far as you allow yourself to go,” Marcellus said.
It’s an important lesson in the midst of a pandemic that forced the cancellation of his senior season.
“It was heartbreaking,” Marcellus said. “Everyone looks forward to taking the field as a senior and taking the emotional last ride surrounded by the guys they’ve gone through all four years with. Not being able to finish the season, or really even start it, will always make this chapter in my baseball career seem incomplete.”
Looking forward to his time at Bethany has made the abrupt ending a bit easier for Marcellus, who is still using the time to prepare for the next step.
“Every day I continue to get up early and have routines that consist of working out, lifting weights, hitting drills and running drills with my brother, Chris. I also work hard at eating right, putting on healthy weight, and I continue to read and study,” Marcellus explained.
Marcellus heads to Bethany with plans to study psychology, eventually becoming a therapist or psychologist with dreams of owning his own practice. He’s taking the lessons he’s learned through baseball with him on the next step in his sports and career journey.