After finding success as an All-Star in the Pioneer League, Nick Sell has quickly become acclimated in the Midwest.
The Dodgers outfield prospect went 5-for-5 and knocked home a run in his third game since getting promoted to help Class A Great Lakes past Kane County, 6-2, on Wednesday.
Sell signed with the Dodgers less than two months ago after going undrafted out of Division II Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. The 23-year-old earned himself a trip to the inaugural Northwest-Pioneer Leagues' midsummer classic earlier this month before the Dodgers sent him up to the Loons on Aug. 8. Since then, he has six hits and three RBIs in 12 at-bats.
"I've been moving up the ranks lately and getting here was really cool," he said. "A whirlwind of moves and everything coming to Great Lakes, but I'm settling in. Tonight, I was starting to see the ball better. My timing is coming back, so it was definitely a good night. It gives me some confidence going into the rest of the season."
Sell used the whole field on his perfect night at the plate. He singled to right in the second and the fourth, then singled to center in the fifth and seventh. In the latter, he drove in Kyle Garlick to give the Loons a 6-0 lead. He capped the game with a single to left in the ninth.
"My first couple games I was trying to prove something," Sell said. "I got back to what I do best -- try to square it up where it was pitched and it paid off for me tonight."
The right-hander batted .347 with four homers, 32 RBIs and a .401 on-base percentage in 124 at-bats over 31 games with Rookie-level Ogden this season, hitting .363 against righties and .306 against lefties.
Sell put up monster stats during his senior campaign at Seton Hill in 2015, sporting a .444 average with 28 homers, 18 doubles, 10 steals, 33 walks and 92 RBIs in 56 games. He won the Tino Martinez Award as the most outstanding player in Division II, earned three All-American accolades, was named the ABCA/Rawlings, Daktronics and NCBWA Atlantic Region Player of the Year, the ECAC Division II Player of the Year and was an ECAC Baseball All Star. He departed Seton Hill with a program-record .398 career average.
"It was kind of tough," Sell said about not being drafted after putting up those numbers. "I actually talked to about eight to 10 teams. I ended up getting a questionnaire letter from the Dodgers, but didn't hear anything after that. The whole Draft goes by, I wasn't picked and I was miffed, I was kind of lost on what was going on. The Draft ended, and about two minutes later, the Dodgers called me and asked me to come out and sign a free-agent contact.
"I was very surprised. Teams said, 'We want to take you earlier than later,' and I was pretty optimistic. By Day 2, I thought that would be unreal. Day 3 was realistic and nothing transpired of it, and I said, 'Well, I don't know what to do now.' Then the Dodgers offered me a shot, and all I wanted was an opportunity and I'm pretty excited to have that."
Sell went 0-for-2 in the All-Star Game on Aug. 4, but got a lot out of it anyway.
"It was really fun and an experience I'll never forget," he said. "Hopefully, this is another step on the ladder of a hopefully long career. I take every day as a gift. It's an unbelievable opportunity to wake up and play baseball every day."