12175740262?profile=RESIZE_710x12175741096?profile=RESIZE_400xBriny Breezes resident Rochelle Schanuel with her grandson Nolan Schanuel, the top draft pick of the Los Angeles Angels last month. RIGHT: Nolan’s promotion to the Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas in northern Alabama prompted the team to create an image to mark his rapid ascent through the lowest two levels of minor league ball. Photos provided

By Steve Plunkett

Briny Breezes has its first direct link to Major League Baseball: Nolan Schanuel, the Los Angeles Angels’ top draft choice and No. 11 overall, often visits his grandmother here.

“He loves Briny,” said Rochelle Schanuel. “He says I’m probably the only nana that has fishing poles in their bedroom so I can go fishing.”

The slugging first baseman, who played earlier at Park Vista High School west of Boynton Beach and at Florida Atlantic University, signed a contract for a reported $5.25 million after the first-year player draft on July 9.

Schanuel, 21, had 46 home runs and 176 runs batted in during his three years at FAU, and was named 2023 Conference USA baseball player of the year.

He jumped quickly from the bottom two of the Angels’ four minor league levels to the club’s Double-A team in northern Alabama.

“Let’s go launch ’em,” the Rocket City Trash Pandas, his new team, posted on July 28 on X, the rebranded Twitter network.

The promotion to Double-A came after Schanuel got seven hits in 14 at-bats in his first five games.

Briny Breezes Mayor Gene Adams, who has known the Schanuels for years, said he is looking forward to watching the new Angel play.

“I’m very, very proud of him. He’s a good kid,” Adams said. “I was pleased at how high he went in the draft.”

Rochelle Schanuel, who summers in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, hasn’t made plans yet to watch her grandson play but of course is a big fan.

When Nolan was in high school and college, “I went to every baseball game that was played at home,” she said.

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