SEATTLE — According to a report published in the Seattle Times, Napoleon High School grad Art Warren will be called up to the Major Leagues by the Seattle Mariners today.
The story, written by Ryan Divish, reports Warren and three other players from the Mariners’ Class AA affiliate Arkansas Travelers were being added to Seattle’s 40-man roster.
According to the story, the Mariners won’t officially announce the roster moves until today, but the four players were en route to Seattle Monday and will be in uniform and available for tonight’s game against the Cincinnati Reds at T-Mobile Park.
Warren is the first Napoleon High School baseball player to advance to the Major Leagues. He graduated from NHS in 2010 and also played for the Napoleon American Legion River Bandits.
In high school, Warren helped lead Napoleon to its second district title in school history. As a member of the River Bandits, he won a State American Legion title in 2011.
“First and foremost, I would like to congratulate Art and his family on his recent call up to the Seattle Mariners organization,” said former Napoleon baseball coach Justin Firks. “It was an honor and privilege to coach him and to finally see his childhood dream become a reality. His perseverance, grit and work ethic are what has allowed him to reach the big leagues, and I am extremely proud and happy not only for him, but his family as well.”
Warren started his collegiate career at the University of Cincinnati before transferring to the University of Ashland. During his collegiate career, Warren needed to have Tommy John surgery on his shoulder.
Warren was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 23rd round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
“It has been a lot of hard work and perseverance to get there,” said former Napoleon American Legion baseball coach Randy Bachman about Warren. “He had to transfer from UC to Ashland to reach his dream. I am very proud as he is now the sixth Bandit to make it to the bigs. He is also proof you don’t have to go D1 to get noticed and drafted.”
Current Napoleon baseball coach Jason Holubik said the news about Warren’s call up to the Major Leagues is a boost to the program.
“I think I speak for our entire coaching staff when I say that we are really proud of Art,” said Holubik. “Our whole community should be when you think about he’s playing at a professional level. On top of that he has had to overcome injuries and he has battled through them.”
Holubik said Warren has remained part of the Wildcats’ program, running a pitching camp with former Napoleon player Zach Willeman, who is in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
“Art in the offseason is around our program a lot along with Zach Willeman,” said Holubik. “Both have been a part of our winter camps for us over the years. We always want alumni to come back and help in any way and Art has always come back in the offseason and worked out with the kids. It is a good example for our players and that is when you have a tremendous work ethic to go along with talent great things can happen for you.”
According to the Seattle Times report, Warren, 26, almost didn’t get the call up.
A groin strain sidelined him for the final weeks of Arkansas’ season and jeopardized his promotion. But he got healthy in time to pitch in the playoffs and get a call up.
Warren earned an invite to MLB spring training before the 2018 season, but injury problems that season didn’t get him an invite for 2019 MLB spring training.
Warren has dealt with shoulder issues the last two seasons that have put him on the injured list for extended periods. But a change to his mechanics and a diagnosis of what was causing the issues has him feeling confident that those shoulder issues are in the past.
Rated as the No. 26 prospect in the Mariners’ system, Warren served as the Travelers closer this season, appearing in 29 games, tallying 15 saves with a 2-1 record and a 1.71 ERA. In 31 2/3 innings pitched, he struck out 41 batters with 13 walks.