Joshua Marcellus has been playing baseball at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, ever since the doors opened in the winter of 2017.
On November 9, the Sachse High School senior wasn’t there for a game or a clinic or practice, though. With his parents and younger brother looking on, along with Academy staff and Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun, Marcellus signed his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Bethany College.
Video from Marcellus’s signing is available here: https://www.mlb.com/rangers/video/joshua-marcellus-signs-nli
Juan Leonel Garciga, Texas Rangers Director of Youth Academy & Youth Baseball/Softball Programs, praised Marcellus for the way he has represented the organization and thanked him for being the first athlete to choose the Academy to host his special day.
“You’ve been a part of this since the beginning, you were our first athlete to represent us at the Breakthrough Series, and have been so involved. It’s really, really special for me. I was even more excited when you wanted to sign here and have it be at the Academy,” Garciga told Marcellus in his remarks.
“We know that you worked very hard with other coaches and on your own, but the fact that you allowed us to be part of your process and want to celebrate with us is very special.”
Marcellus has played in the Rangers Academy RBI league in 2018 and 2019, earning spots on the Rangers Youth Academy RBI All-Star teams competing in the RBI Southwest Regionals in Austin both seasons.
This year, the outfielder was one of 64 elite high school players selected to participate in the MLB/USA Breakthrough Series event at the MLB Compton Youth Academy in June. He was named to the Rangers Academy Team participating in the All-Star Commissioner’s Cup Tournament, traveling to Cleveland, Ohio, in in July.
“Playing at the Academy really helped me for one, realize that there is more than just baseball as being a person, a teammate. Also development of playing from all the great coaching I got here just helped me a whole lot in the game of baseball and in life,” Marcellus said.
Calhoun, who attended the University of Arizona and Yavapai (AZ) College before being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015, also shared his advice with Marcellus at the event.
“That’s a huge accomplishment. I can remember it just like it was yesterday when I did it,” Calhoun said. “To be able to come out here every single day and to see that your hard work finally paid off, that’s awesome. All I can say is, continue to work. It doesn’t get easier. You have to keep pushing. No matter the ups and downs, you have to keep your head high. You might not like the outcome sometimes, but as long as you keep working as hard as you can, good things will continue to happen for you and your family.”
Marcellus still has one more season of participating at the Academy before he’ll be playing for the Bethany Swedes. In that time, he’s planning to share some of what he’s learned with his fellow Academy athletes.
“Always working hard and knowing that, like what Willie (Calhoun) said, it’s not going to get easier. You just have to keep pushing and accept what happens, but also not just completely surrounding your life in baseball. There’s more to life than just that,” Marcellus said.
Saturday was “Youth Academy Signing Day” across the MLB Youth Academy Network, featuring high school seniors from several MLB Youth Academies signing their National Letter of Intent to play collegiate baseball and softball during the early signing period.
More Academy Athletes Taking Game to College
While Marcellus became the first Academy athlete to hold his signing day at the facility, he wasn’t the only Academy participant to sign a National Letter of Intent during the beginning of the early signing period.
Softball player Gabi Quintanilla inked her letter for East Central University.
Quintanilla (Bishop Lynch High School) has participated in the Academy’s training program and Rangers RBI league.
The fall RBI season is underway, with the Academy’s fall RBI league hosting eight softball teams.
A schedule is below. Dates are subject to change, and updates can be found by following the Rangers Academy on Twitter at @RangersYA.
Fall Programming Underway
The Academy’s fall programming is entering its final week, with the last date coming Thursday, November 21.
Mondays and Wednesdays feature activities for 18U athletes from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays are designed for 12U athletes and also run from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Registration is available at https://texasrangersya.leagueapps.com/camps.
The Rougned Odor Weight Room is available for 18U athletes to work out after school from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays by registering in advance at rangers.com/academy. Weight room hours will be Monday through Thursday between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m. following the Thanksgiving holiday.