By Paul Lecker
Four local high school graduates are playing sports professionally across the country. Periodically, Hub City Times will update readers on their exploits.
Varsho off to good start
Daulton Varsho has started his professional baseball career with a bang.
A Chili native and 2014 graduate of Marshfield High School, Varsho’s first action in his pro career came on June 22 with the Hillsboro Hops, a short-season Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Varsho was drafted with the 68th pick overall and first in the Competitive Balance Round B following the second round of the MLB Draft by Arizona on June 12. Within 10 days he signed a contract and was off to Hillsboro, Oregon, to play for the Hops.
Varsho collected his first hit in his third game and had a home run and five RBIs on July 5 against Salem-Keizer.
In 13 games in the Northwest League (through July 9), Varsho was batting a team-best .353, going 18-for-51 at the plate with two home runs, 10 RBIs, four doubles, and seven runs scored.
Hillboro’s season runs through Sept. 3.
Ashbeck remains out
Elliot Ashbeck, a 2012 Marshfield High School graduate who went on to play collegiately at Bradley University, remains out of action after suffering an arm injury last summer.
Ashbeck was a 16th round draft choice by the San Diego Padres in 2015 and pitched in 23 games in the minor leagues in the 2015 and 2016 seasons before his injury sidelined him while with Fort Wayne (Ind.) in the Midwest League last May.
Zimmermann off to slow start
Jordan Zimmerann, who graduated from Auburndale High School in 2004, is in his second season pitching for the Detroit Tigers.
The right-hander is 5-7 this season with a 5.87 ERA in 17 games, all starts. He has 67 strikeouts in 95 innings pitched and has not won a game since June 3, when he gave up just one run in six innings to beat Cleveland.
Zimmermann, who played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, was a second-round draft pick by the Washington Nationals in 2007 and made his Major League debut in 2009. He went 70-50 in seven seasons with the Nationals, earning spots on the National League all-star teams in 2013 and 2014. He signed as a free agent with Detroit prior to the 2016 season and is 14-14 in 36 games with the Tigers over the past two years.
Finlay in sixth MLS season
Ethan Finlay, a 2008 graduate of Marshfield High School, is in the middle of his sixth season with the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.
In 17 games this season, including 13 starts, Finlay has one goal and one assist for the Crew. His goal came in the season opener on March 4 against Chicago, and he had an assist against New York City on April 29.
Columbus is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference at 9-10-1 and is just two points out of fourth place. The Crew has 14 games remaining in the season, which ends Oct. 22 at New York City FC.
Finlay missed two games earlier this season due to injury before returning to the starting lineup May 31. Finlay started the 100th game of his career on July 1 against Atlanta.