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Baseball: Expect to see these Forsyth County grads soon as MLB expands rosters
From left, Kyle McCann (Lambert), Ethan Hankins (Forsyth Central), Seth Beer (Lambert) and Dakota Chalmers (North Forsyth) will participate in summer training camp when players report Wednesday. File Photos

Major League Baseball teams released their 60-man rosters this week, with four players from Forsyth County making the cut.

Seth Beer, Dakota Chalmers, Ethan Hankins and Kyle McCann will participate in summer training camp when players report Wednesday, and could appear in regular-season games.

MLB’s opening day is scheduled for July 23-24, and teams will play a shortened 60-game schedule this season because of COVID-19.

Each MLB team will have a 60-man player pool this season, as the Minor League Baseball season was officially canceled Tuesday. Teams will have a 30-man active roster for the first two weeks of the regular season, with the other 30 players training at a separate facility. Those players can be added to the active roster in the event of an injury or illness.

The 30-man active roster will shrink to 28 players after the first two weeks of the season, then will be reduced to a 26-man roster after two more weeks, which will last the rest of the regular season and postseason.

Beer, a Lambert graduate, is one of the top prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization. The former all-everything Clemson Tiger slugger, Beer played by far the longest season of his professional career in 2019, totaling 613 at-bats in 141 games across four leagues (including the Arizona Fall League). Beer was dealt in the middle of the season by the Houston Astros to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Double-A Southern League, where he initially struggled to the tune of a .205 average and just one home run in 24 games. Still, Beer had such a prolific first half of the season that his yearly totals looked like this: .289 batting average, 130 hits, 26 home runs, 24 doubles and 103 RBIs. 

Chalmers, a North Forsyth graduate in the Minnesota Twins’ organization, played in three different leagues last season but saw his best results in High-A Fort Myers, where he went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in five starts, striking out 29 batters across 21 1/3 innings. Chalmers also played in the Arizona Fall League and the Gulf Coast League for the Twins' rookie ball team. Chalmers underwent Tommy John surgery in early 2018 while with the Oakland Athletics' farm system, then was traded to the Twins in a deal involving veteran reliever Fernando Rodney.

Hankins, a Forsyth Central graduate, is a former first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians and impressed in Class A ball last season, compiling a 2.55 ERA in 13 starts. Hankins dominated at the Low-A level, where he struck out 43 batters across 38 2/3 innings and posted a 1.40 ERA. Hankins, the first Forsyth County player ever taken in the first round, pitched four years at Forsyth Central High School and helped the USA Baseball U-18 team to a WBSC World Cup title.

McCann, a Lambert graduate in the Oakland Athletics’ organization, crushed the ball in his final season at Georgia Tech in 2019, slugging 23 home runs and driving in 70 runs in 62 games. McCann was drafted in the fourth round by the Oakland Athletics and carried that power into the A's rookie league, hitting two homers and driving in seven runs in just five games before being promoted to Low-A Vermont. McCann, who was considered the top catcher in the state while at Lambert, struggled in the New York-Pennsylvania League, where he hit just .192 and managed just seven home runs in 55 games. It's worth reminding, however, that McCann took a ton of swings in 2019, playing 122 games combined between his junior year at Georgia Tech and his first year in the minors.