Frontier League HR Leader Re-Signs

WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Wild Things continue with their roster construction with the announcement of re-signing 2019 Frontier League All-Star outfielder Hector Roa.

In his first season being selected as both a Mid and Post Season All-Star, Roa showed the consistency of being one of the most feared hitters in the league. His 70 RBI, 21 doubles, 18 HR and 8 stolen bases were career highs for the eight year pro. His longball totals tied for the league lead and his power was on display as the Frontier League’s HR Derby representative in the 2019 Finals. Roa is the first Wild Thing in franchise history to total 60+ RBI in three consecutive seasons and he is just 56 RBI away from breaking the franchise record for runs driven in for a career.

“Roa has grown to become one of the most dynamic players in our league. He has learned so much over the years from the players around him and I believe that has truly helped elevate his game,” said General Manager Tony Buccilli. “Beyond hitting homeruns and flashing his defensive skills in right field, he genuinely enjoys putting smiles on our fan’s faces and building those relationships with them personally. He has grown to call Washington home and has embraced becoming a leader and a face synonymous with the Wild Things. Bringing back Roa was a priority and we are happy to get a deal done,” Buccilli stated.

The Wild Things open the year on the road Friday, May 15 to take on the New York Boulders, with the home opener slated for Tuesday, May 19 vs the Quebec Capitales at Wild Things Park.

Gateway Announces Steve Brook as Pitching Coach

SAUGET, Ill – The Gateway Grizzlies have hired former River City Rascals manager Steve Brook as their next pitching coach.  Brook has spent the last ten seasons as the manager of the River City Rascals in the Frontier League.

During his tenure, Brook lead River City to a record of 542-415 (.566).  The Rascals brought home the Frontier League title twice over the course of Brook’s regime (2010, 2019).  Under Brook, the Rascals finished with a record under .500 only once.  River City appeared in the Frontier League championship six times during that span.

“Steve Brook and I have competed against each other for many years as both players and managers in the Frontier League. We are two of the most tenured people in the Frontier League and have been a part of the growth of the Frontier League almost since its inception. Ironically, this growth has now allowed us to work together towards the same goal, a Frontier League Championship. He’s very accomplished and I look forward to working alongside him this season. His experience as a manager, pitching coach, and Frontier League recruiter will help our club immensely.”

Before his managerial career Brook spent four seasons as a starting pitcher in the Frontier League with River City (2004-2007).  He racked up an impressive 33 wins during his tenure and posted a career 4.14 ERA.  Brook was named an all-star in 2005 and 2006.

Brook had this to say, “I am beyond excited to begin this new chapter of my career with the Gateway Grizzlies. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work alongside Phil Warren and the entire Gateway family. The St. Louis community has become my home, and I look forward to helping the Grizzlies reach a new pinnacle of success both on and off the field.”

Brook will make his Grizzlies debut on May 14th when the Grizzlies host the Evansville Otters for their season opener.

Otters record-holder Schultz coming back to Evansville

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters announced that franchise record-holder and three-time All-Star John Schultz has signed to come out of retirement and play for Evansville in 2020.

Schultz, an outfielder and West Lawn, Pa. native, is one of the Otters’ most productive players in franchise history, originally coming to Evansville in 2013.

Schultz holds career franchise records in games played (420), RBIs (207), at-bats (1,560), hits (458), runs (280), doubles (90), total bases (710), and walks (219).

“We’re excited to have John come back to Evansville and help us get back to that championship level like when he was here in 2016,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said.

“He loves the game and wanted to get back out there. John plays the right way, he’s a very good hitter, and brings a lot of leadership and experience with him.”

“I’m really excited to come back, and to get that phone call and have the opportunity not just to play but to come back to Evansville, where it all really began for me, was really special,” Schultz said.

In five seasons with the Otters, Schultz had batted .294 with 458 hits and 207 RBIs. He also had 90 doubles, 18 triples and 42 home runs through the 2017 season.

Schultz was a Frontier League All-Star in 2013, 2015, and 2017, and has also been instrumental in leading the Otters to the playoffs in three of his last four seasons with Evansville—including a Frontier League title in 2016.

“Winning the championship in 2016 was an amazing feeling, a feeling I had never experienced before in professional baseball,” Schultz said.

“In 2017, we had a good team that we thought could make a run but had an early exit to the eventual champion Schaumburg Boomers, but having that feeling of winning a championship is something I’m really looking to get again.”

At the end of the 2017 season, the Otters retired Schultz’ number four jersey, the second number to be retired in franchise history next to the late Otters manager Greg Jelks’ number 44 jersey.

Schultz could not return to the Otters in 2018, as the Frontier League eliminated the veteran status for its roster eligibility rules that year. After league expansion and some rule changes this past fall, the Frontier League brought back a tweaked version of the veteran status, allowing Schultz to sign another player contract with the Otters for 2020.

“When the rule changes became official, I got together with our coaching staff and we talked about how that would affect us and looked at our options,” McCauley said. “Of course, we all thought of John Schultz as a possibility.”

During a phone call with Schultz, McCauley said there was a mutual interest between him and Schultz in making this reunion happen in 2020.

“After 2018, I kind of thought I would be done, but I always missed playing deep down and never really got rid of that itch to play,” Schultz said. “The phone call confirmed it for me that I still have time left in this game and really some unfinished business.”

Schultz will also return as a high-level leader in the clubhouse next to pitcher Tyler Vail, serving as a voice among the position players just like Vail among the pitchers.

“John has a good feel of what’s going on in the clubhouse, and because he’s been around our staff for so long, he knows what we’re thinking ahead of time,” McCauley said. “He’s bought in to what we’re trying to build and do in Evansville.”

It’s been a year removed since Schultz last played, as he appeared in 13 games with the Sussex County Miners at the beginning of the 2018 season.

Even though the amount of time since he last played presents its challenges, Schultz has still been around the game of baseball by working in training academies, coaching, giving lessons, and doing some hitting.

“I’ve committed myself full-time to training, and I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked,” Schultz said. “I’ll be ready to do whatever the team needs me to come May.”

McCauley said he envisions Schultz being in the Otters’ lineup one way or another, splitting time between left field, first base and as the designated hitter.

After playing collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh, Schultz was drafted in the 34th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by the Florida Marlins. He spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Marlins.

Schultz attributes his loyalty with the Otters to the fact McCauley gave him the only phone call and offer to play in 2013 following his release by the Marlins after 2012.

“The game had soured on me at that time in affiliated baseball, but Evansville helped me find that love for the game again,” Schultz said.

“I owe everything to Evansville, as Andy and owner Mr. Bill Bussing took me in and gave me a chance when no one else would. They’ve been so loyal to me through it all.”

Schultz also said the decision to come back to Evansville was easy for him and no way he could pass up the opportunity.

“This opportunity is especially exciting with the league’s expansion,” Schultz said. “There are some really cool places we’ll travel to, there are really good teams and coaches, and the future is very bright for the Frontier League with the continued growth.”

Overall in his professional career, Schultz has recorded a .292 batting average, while posting 365 runs, 594 hits, 110 doubles, 23 triples, 48 home runs, and 263 RBIs.

“John loves Evansville, Bosse Field, and the Bussing Family,” McCauley said. “He’s an Otter all the way through, having proved that on the field. He’s all in to help us get back to winning the Frontier League championship.”

“Last year, the Otters had a really good team, coming up just short of their goals,” Schultz said. “With the possibility of a good number of those guys coming back, it’s a good opportunity for me to come back and join a team with all the pieces that are there and help the team get another championship ring for Evansville.”

Spring Training and the exhibition season will begin in early May for the Otters. Evansville will open the regular season May 14 at the Gateway Grizzlies before their home-opening weekend series at Bosse Field against the Grizzlies May 15-17.

You won’t want to miss what’s new in 2020 at Bosse Field with the Evansville Otters, featuring some new Frontier League competition as part of the largest, independent professional league in North America!

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.

The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call (812) 435-8686.

TAMPA BAY RAYS ORGANIZATION PURCHASES CONTRACT OF NEW JERSEY JACKALS ALL-STAR INFIELDER CONRAD GREGOR

Little Falls, NJ – The 2019 Can-Am League Champion New Jersey Jackals announce that the Tampa Bay Rays have purchased the contract of infielder Conrad Gregor. While playing in the Can-Am League, the New Jersey Jackals have sold 37 player contracts – including Gregor — to Major League Baseball organizations. Right-handed pitcher Robert Stock was the last Jackal to be signed by an MLB organization when his contract was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds on February 19, 2017.

“We couldn’t be any happier for Conrad than we are right now. He’s a perfect example of what hard work, perseverance and focus can accomplish,” Jackals manager Brooks Carey said. “On behalf of the Jackals organization, the fans and myself, we thank you Conrad for all you have done for us both on and off the field.”

A 27-year old left-handed hitter, Gregor was a lightning rod for the Jackals offense as evidenced by his .322/.460/.515 slash line along with amassing 12 homers and 67 RBIs. Plus the Carmel, Indiana native broke the Jackals’ single-season stolen base record – previously held by Chris Curran (45, 2013) — by swiping 49 bags which ranked second in the Can-Am League. Along with his record-setting thievery, he finished in the circuit’s Top 5 in 12 additional offensive categories including runs scored (85, 1st), walks (82, 1st), triples (5, 2nd), RBIs (67, 3rd), on-base percentage (.460, 3rd), hits (105, 4th), total bases (168, 4th), batting average (.322, T-4th), slugging percentage (.515, T-5th) and more. Gregor also logged a 15- game-hitting streak (.411 AVG, 2 HR, 8 RBI) that tied for second in the league. A member of the Can-Am League All-Star Team, the most memorable highlight of Gregor’s season was his thunderous three-run homer in Game 4 of the Can-Am League Championship Series. The homer capped a five-run fourth inning that helped propel the Jackals to an eventual title clinching 8-7 victory over the 2018 defending champion Sussex County Miners.

Gregor was drafted by the Houston Astros in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft out of Vanderbilt University where he enjoyed a highly-decorated collegiate career including his making the SEC Academic Honor Roll (2012 and 2013) as well as being named Second Team All-SEC (2011) and 2013 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American Team. Spending four years in the Astros system, his best season was in 2014 when he was named by MILB.com’s Organization All-Star. While splitting time between the Single-A Quad City River Bandits (Midwest League), Lancaster Jethawks (California League) and the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas League) he hit .304 with 16 homers, 86 RBI and sported a .404 on-base percentage and a .509 slugging percentage. His most memorable moment of the season came while he was playing with the River Bandits. On May 24, Gregor blasted a three-run homer off of against Cedar Rapids Kernels (Midwest League, Minnesota Twins) starting pitcher Ethan Mildren and his dad, Marty, caught it in the right-center field stands. His first homer of the season powered the River Bandits to a 4-2 lead and not only did they win the game 5-2, remarkably, this Field of Dreams moment happened in Iowa.

Following his release from the Houston Astros organization in 2017, Gregor signed with the New Jersey Jackals and had a stellar year. Over 69 games played, he batted .303 while belting 12 home runs and logging 74 RBI which ranked fourth in the Can-Am League. The Boston Red Sox signed him to a minor league contract on August 3, 2017 and assigned him to the Single-A Salem Red Sox (Carolina League) where he finished the season hitting .302 with 4 home runs and 19 runs batted in. After electing free agency at the end of the season, he returned to the Sox on a minor league deal and began the 2018 season with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.

After being released by the Red Sox on May 13, 2018, he returned to the Can-Am League and signed with the Rockland Boulders where he authored a solid season with a .300 batting average, 10 homers and 53 RBI. He finished the year with the Lancaster Barnstormers where over five games he hit .421 with two home runs and four RBI.

About The New Jersey Jackals: 2019 Can-Am League New Jersey Jackals professional baseball team plays at Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, NJ on Montclair State University’s campus. The Jackals play a 96-game schedule in the newly formed Frontier League from May through September. Yogi Berra Stadium is centrally located near the intersection of Route 3 and Route 46 and is easily accessible by car or via local commuter trains, which offer stops on the university’s campus. The Jackals have a wealth of fan-friendly amenities to enhance everybody’s experience when visiting “The House That Yogi Built”. Everyone can enjoy watching exciting highlights and engaging videos on Yogi Berra Stadium’s first-ever HD video scoreboard. Fans can kick back enjoy tasty food and drinks in the Fork in the Road craft beer pub and children can enjoy the fun- filled kid zone. Open since 1998, Yogi Berra Stadium’s seating capacity exceeds 5,000, including fixed seats, lawn seating, an open-air picnic area for birthday parties and special events, and, a general admission lawn seating section. For group and season tickets, call 973-746-7434 or email contact@jackals.com.

WILD THINGS ADD FORMER DOUBLE-A ALL STAR

WASHINGTON, Pa. -The Wild Things continue with their roster building as they today sign experienced INF Randy Cesar.

The Santo Domingo native signed with the Houston Astros back in 2012 as a 17 year old. Cesar has annually showcased an impactful bat, posting a career .269 batting average but 2018 was his breakout season. While playing for the Corpus Christ Hooks in the Texas League Cesar went on to make history and broke a 49 year record, hitting in 42 consecutive games. His hitting streak ranks as one of the longest in Minor League Baseball’s 120+ year history and he is the most recent player to hit in 40+ straight games professionally.

After a historic 2018 campaign, Cesar went on to sign with the Minnesota Twins where he appeared in 45 games with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings. Despite some nagging injuries he went on to hit .262 and drove in 31 runs.

“Randy is a corner defender who has shown great development as a hitter. We greatly value his consistent run production and the level of competition he has faced,” said General Manager Tony Buccilli. “We expect Randy to provide that daily threat in the middle of our lineup. He is eager to approach this opportunity and be an dynamic player in Washington,” Buccilli stated.

The Wild Things take to the field as they open the season Friday, May 15 vs. the New York Boulders, with the home opener slated for Tuesday, May 19 to take on the Quebec Capitales at Wild Things Park.

Sabol’s Return Bolsters Washington’s Bullpen

WASHINGTON, Pa. (Jan. 10)-
The Wild Things continue with their roster construction with the announcement of re-signing left handed reliever BJ Sabol.
After a shortened season in 2018, Sabol returned to Washington for his first full pro campaign and he certainly did not disappoint. He appeared in 44 games for the Wild Things, which tied for the team lead alongside RHP Zach Strecker. In his 41+ innings pitched he only allowed 36 hits and struck out 56 of those he faced. He ranked among the league’s best in K/9, posting a club leading 12.1 strikeouts per 9 innings and dominating left handed hitters to a clip of .143 BAA. Sabol went on to impressively striking out 35 of the 77 left handed hitters he faced last season.
“Having back one of the best matchup relievers in the league is very exciting for us. BJ approached last year like a true professional and came into camp with a purpose,” said General Manager Tony Buccilli. “Late in ballgames, he is a real weapon. He works very hard to make sure he is available every day for the team and takes great pride in his role. Like BJ, we still see room for his game to grow and I know the collective group in the bullpen will continue to push him to be better,” Buccilli stated.
The Wild Things open the year on the road Friday, May 15 to take on the New York Boulders, with the home opener slated for Tuesday, May 19 vs the Quebec Capitales at Wild Things Park.

FREEDOM HIRE WITHIN; WHITE PROMOTED TO FIELD MANAGER

FLORENCE, KY – The Florence Freedom are proud to announce Pitching and Catching Coach Brian White has been promoted to Field Manager for the Florence Freedom.

White has coached our pitchers and catchers for five seasons and contributed to four winning seasons under previous Field Manager Dennis Pelfrey.

“He’s been with me since I started in Florence and is more than ready to take over the Florence team.” said Pelfrey “We’ve been the best team in the league over the last three seasons and he will continue the winning tradition.”

In his five seasons, White’s pitching expertise has led to ten pitchers being signed by MLB clubs.

White is looking forward to moving up within the organization and continuing what Pelfrey has built in Florence.

“The goal is to always win a championship every year.” said White “However, we’ll take things one day at a time and work to get better each day.”

The Florence Freedom open the season and play their first regular season game with White as field manager on May 14, against the New Jersey Jackals.

Arturo Nieto Comes Back To Miners

The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have re-signed catcher Arturo Nieto for the upcoming 2020 season.

Returning as a professional player in 2019 after a season in the major leagues as a bullpen catcher with the San Diego Padres, Nieto established himself as a veteran presence behind the plate for the Miners this past year. He finished with a .256 average in 56 games for Southern Illinois, adding nine doubles, three homers and 21 RBIs. He finished the year strong at the plate, batting .400 in his last 12 games (six of which were multi-hit contests) while adding five doubles.

Nieto was also outstanding in the field, as he committed just five errors, and posted a .988 fielding percentage at the catcher position. He has an identical fielding percentage for his career as well over 328 games, while Nieto has nabbed opposing baserunners at a 42% clip.

Like fellow Miner Gianfranco Wawoe, the Maracay, Venezuela native spent seven years in the Seattle Mariners organization from 2011-17, signing with them at the age of 18. He will enter his ninth year of professional baseball this summer with nearly 300 career hits in 377 games.

“Arturo did an outstanding job for us last year,” said Miners manager Mike Pinto. “He was a leader on the field and in the clubhouse with great experience in the game. He will be an impact guy again this year in helping our pitching staff to perform at their best this season. I am very excited to have him back with us.”

The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League’s most-successful franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.

SEVERAL CHANGES IN THE WORKFORCE

The Capitals have been on the job this holiday season as several changes have been made to the squad for the upcoming season. Seven players, including Arik Sikula, were released and three launchers signed to join the team. Receivers Corey Bass and Chris Shaw, infielder Nick DeTringo and Stayler Hernandez and pitchers Austin Chrismon and Seth Davis are players who, like Arik Sikula, have been released in recent weeks. The organization would like to thank Arik for his contribution for the past three seasons which he has played in front of Quebec fans.

Three young pitchers join the team: Right-hand gunners Marshall Shill, Joe Rivera and Brock Knoten have ratified agreements between them and the Capitals for the next season. All three having played in the Pacific Association of Independent Baseball in the summer of 2019, they will have to earn their place during training camp to start the 2020 campaign in the relievers’ enclosure. Acquired in exchange sending Jack Charleston to the American Association, outfielder and first baseman Riley Pittman also officially signed with the team

Boomers Re-Sign Three From 2019 Roster

SCHAUMBURG, IL – The Schaumburg Boomers presented by Wintrust Community Banks, have re-signed three members of the 2019 season.

Reliever Dylan Stutsman returns for his third season with the Boomers. He appeared in 44 games in 2019. Stutsman posted a 6-3 record with a 2.40 ERA and struck out 67 batters in 48.2 innings of work. On July 23 he tossed 1.2 innings of relief with a season high four strikeouts to help preserve a 1-0 win against Southern Illinois.

Gian Martellini will return for his second season with the Boomers. Martellini signed on August 6, 2019 after playing four seasons at Boston College. He played in just nine games for the Boomers last season and had six hits in 32 at bats. Martellini hit his first career triple in a 10-4 victory at Windy City on August 13.

Relief pitcher Thomas Nicoll returns for his second season with the Boomers. Nicoll was received via trade on August 12 from the Gateway Grizzlies. He pitched in a total of 26 games during the 2019 Frontier League season, six of them with the Boomers. Nicoll’s 2019 season saw him throw 68.1 innings with 86 strikeouts and a 3.56 ERA combined in Gateway and Schaumburg.

The Boomers 2020 season, presented by Wintrust Community Banks, begins May 14. The Home Opener is Friday, May 22 vs. Trois-Rivieres Aigles.

Season ticket packages and group and hospitality offerings for the 2020 season can be reserved by calling (847)-461-3695 or emailing info@boomerbaseball.com.

PITCHER JONATHAN NUNNALLY JR. SIGNED

Joliet, IL — Jonathan joins us a RHP from the Napa Silverados. Prior to the Silverados Jonthan played for the Chicago Dogs. He attended college at Arizona Christian University and Scottsdale Community College. At ACU, Jonahtan set the home run record twice.  In 2015 he helped SCC reach the NJCAA Division II and earned All-Conference and All-Region Honors. Jonathan comes from a baseball family with his father playing in the Majors and continuing on as a hitting coach.

 About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers play at DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet, Illinois, and are members of the professional, independent Frontier League.  The Frontier League is entering its 28th season of play in 2020. It is the largest independent professional league with 14 teams spanning from the Mississippi River to the East Coast.

NEW JERSEY JACKALS SIGN SANTIAGO CHIRINO TO CONTRACT EXTENSION

Little Falls, NJ – The Hit King has returned. The 2019 Can-Am League Champion New Jersey Jackals announce signing infielder Santiago Chirinoto a contract extension. Along with being a key contributor to the Jackals’ 2019 championship run, the Can-Am League’s merging with the Frontier League brings Chirino back to the circuit where he owns the all-time hits record with 726. This signing also marks the seventh year that the 28-year old Punto Fijo, Venezuela native has played for New Jersey Jackals manager Brooks Carey. Six of those years came when he played for Carey when he managed the Normal CornBelters from 2013-2017.

“This is the seventh year I’ve had the opportunity to sign Chi-Chi and every year I’m more excited than the year before,” Carey said. “He’s a great example of how a professional should act and go about the business of being ready to play every day. He’s a leader on and off the field and I’m sure the Frontier League will be thrilled to have their Hit King back.”

A solid defender and contact hitter, last year Chirino was one of the Jackals’ steadiest players. Along with posting a robust slash line of .308/.355/.366, the right-handed hitting infielder logged a 13-game hitting streak that tied for fourth in the Can-Am League. During this sizzling stretch spanning from July 1-17, Chirino hit .345 (19-55) with two doubles, nine runs and seven RBIs. In the field, he led shortstops in games played (66), total chances (252) and putouts (101). Chirino’s consistent play was on display during the Can-Am League Playoffs when he hit an overall .289 (11-38) with one double and four runs scored and RBIs apiece against the Rockland Boulders and defending 2018 Champion Sussex County Miners.

Chirino has authored a legendary career in the Frontier League. Along with being the circuit’s all-time hits leader, he ranks second in at-bats (2219), third in games played (560) and fifth in runs (331). Plus Chirino is a four-time All-Star (2015-2018) and owns back-to-back batting titles. In 2017 he swatted 141 hits which ranks second in league history while batting .357 (141-395) with 26 doubles, four triples, three homers and 60 runs scored and 60 RBIs. Chirino topped his performance by hitting .367 in 2018 (137-373) with 68 runs scored, 25 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 59 RBIs. In addition to capturing his second straight batting title, he broke the league’s all-time hits record on June 24 against the Gateway Grizzlies with his wife and host family in attendance. In his first at-bat, he lined a single to left-center to tie former Washington Wild Thing Chris Sidick. After walking in his next two at-bats, Chirino laced a single to right field in the sixth inning to earn the record which was 635 hits at the time.

The Texas Rangers signed Chirino as an international free agent on July 2, 2008 and spent five years in the organization’s farm system. His best season came in 2011 with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the Single-A Carolina League where he slashed .263/.339/304 while setting single-season highs in games played (115), runs scored (54), hits (111), total bases (143), doubles (18), home runs (4) and RBIs (41). He was released by the Rangers on March 24, 2013 and was signed in April by the CornBelters.

About The New Jersey Jackals
2019 Can-Am League New Jersey Jackals professional baseball team plays at Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, NJ on Montclair State University’s campus. The Jackals play a 96-game schedule in the newly formed Frontier League from May through September. Yogi Berra Stadium is centrally located near the intersection of Route 3 and Route 46 and is easily accessible by car or via local commuter trains, which offer stops on the university’s campus. The Jackals have a wealth of fan-friendly amenities to enhance everybody’s experience when visiting “The House That Yogi Built”. Everyone can enjoy watching exciting highlights and engaging videos on Yogi Berra Stadium’s first-ever HD video scoreboard. Fans can kick back enjoy tasty food and drinks in the Fork in the Road craft beer pub and children can enjoy the fun-filled kid zone. Open since 1998, Yogi Berra Stadium’s seating capacity exceeds 5,000, including fixed seats, lawn seating, an open-air picnic area for birthday parties and special events, and, a general admission lawn seating section. For group and season tickets, call 973-746-7434 or email contact@jackals.com.

NEW JERSEY JACKALS SIGN LEFT-HANDED PITCHER JAYSON AQUINO

The 2019 Can-Am League Champion New Jersey Jackals announce the signing of left-handed pitcher Jayson Aquino. A 27-year old native from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, Aquino brings nine years of professional baseball experience to the Jackals including two brief stints with the Baltimore Orioles in 2016 and 2017. Known for his durability and control (averaging 2.6 walks per nine innings), he also pitched in the Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations.

“Jayson has thrown almost 1000 innings and brings a lot of experience to us. We think he has a lot left in the tank and can be one of our top starters,” Jackals manager Brooks Carey said. “He’s young and motivated to get back to the Major Leagues. He pitches both sides of the plate with a good breaking ball and changeup and a fastball that runs up to 96 [miles per hour].”

Signed as an international free agent on July 2, 2009, Aquino quickly became a perennial prospect Top 30 prospect (ranked by Baseball America, peaking at #9 in 2013) in the Rockies farm system. From 2010-2012 he dominated the Dominican Summer League by going a combined 18-5 with a stingy 1.29 ERA while hurling 216.1 innings with only 41 walks and 210 strikeouts. His most dominant season during this stretch was in 2010 when not only was Aquino named to the DSL All-Star Team; he threw a nine-inning perfect game against the DSL San Diego Padres on July 5.

He spent two additional seasons in the Rockies system making it as high as Double-A Tulsa in 2014. The following season he was designated for assignment and traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on February 4, 2015. The Blue Jays optioned Aquino to the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats on March 8, 2015. On May 10, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who traded him to the Cleveland Indians on July 29, 2015.

Aquino was claimed off waivers from the Indians by the St. Louis Cardinals on December 9, 2015. He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on April 7, 2016, where pitched for the Bowie Baysox (Double-A, Eastern League) and was named to the circuit’s All-Star Team before he was promoted to the Major Leagues on July 4, 2016. Making his debut that day against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he pitched two-thirds of an inning and retired both batters he faced: Chase Utley and Corey Seager.

In 2017, Aquino earned his first Major League win against the Boston Red Sox on April 22 after hurling six innings and only yielding two runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts. On the season, he would make an additional start and two relief appearances for the Orioles and went 1-2 with a 7.43 ERA in 13.1 innings with six walks and 13 strikeouts. He also spent a portion of the season with the Norfolk Tides (Triple-A, International League) and went 3-10 with a 4.24 ERA and logged 114.2 innings with 41 walks and 89 strikeouts. After spending 2018 in the Orioles system with stops in Norfolk and Bowie — going 4-6 overall with a 5.15 ERA over 57.2 innings with 26 walks and 40 strikeouts, he was released on June 19. He briefly pitched with the Kansas City T-Bones in the American Association and with Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League.

About The New Jersey Jackals
2019 Can-Am League New Jersey Jackals professional baseball team plays at Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, NJ on Montclair State University’s campus. The Jackals play a 96-game schedule in the newly formed Frontier League from May through September. Yogi Berra Stadium is centrally located near the intersection of Route 3 and Route 46 and is easily accessible by car or via local commuter trains, which offer stops on the university’s campus. The Jackals have a wealth of fan-friendly amenities to enhance everybody’s experience when visiting “The House That Yogi Built”. Everyone can enjoy watching exciting highlights and engaging videos on Yogi Berra Stadium’s first-ever HD video scoreboard. Fans can kick back enjoy tasty food and drinks in the Fork in the Road craft beer pub and children can enjoy the fun-filled kid zone. Open since 1998, Yogi Berra Stadium’s seating capacity exceeds 5,000, including fixed seats, lawn seating, an open-air picnic area for birthday parties and special events, and, a general admission lawn seating section. For group and season tickets, call 973-746-7434 or email contact@jackals.com.

SUSSEX COUNTY COMPLETES FIVE-PLAYER TRADE

The 2019 Can-Am League Regular Season Champion Sussex County Miners announce the acquisition of right-handed pitchers Tyler Fallwell and Juan Aguilera and infielder Adam Sasser from the Sioux City Explorers (American Association) in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ryan Newell and infielder John Brontsema.

“We got a good return of talent in this trade, and as always in baseball, in order to get good players, you have to give good players. We got a couple of strikeout pitchers who don’t walk a lot of batters, and that’s what you want. Fallwell is more of a power guy and Aguilera has good swing and miss stuff and he pitched at the University of Arizona which is a good school,” Sussex County manager Bobby Jones said. “Sasser is young and has a lot of power. When you hit 10 homers and hit for average at an SEC school (University of Georgia), chances are you’re a good player.”

Fallwell is a four-year professional baseball veteran who spent two seasons with the Sioux City Explorers (American Association) where he was a vital contributor to the team’s formidable bullpen. The 24-year old Tucson, Arizona native authored a dominant 2019 season that propelled his being named to the American Association All-Star Team. Along with ranking ninth in the league in strikeouts (104), he ranked among the club leaders in wins (8, tied for 1st), ERA (3.13, 3rd), appearances (36, tied for 3rd) and opposition batting average (.208, 4th). In 2018 he was third on the Explorers in appearances (23) and posted a 2-1 record and two saves along with logging a minuscule 0.64 ERA which ranked second on the team. Fallwell’s contract was purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies organization on July 16 and he went onto play for the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws where he posted a 6.75 ERA over 12 appearances and he logged 21.1 innings with 21 strikeouts while walking just six batters. Fallwell was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 19th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft from Cochise Community College (Douglas, AZ). He spent two years in the Royals farm system.

A fellow Tucson, Arizona native, Aguilera was signed by the Explorers after being released by the Detroit Tigers organization). He served in the bullpen and logged a 5.40 ERA over 16 appearances while 23.1 innings and walking 15 and striking out 23. Aguilera was signed by the Detroit Tigers as an undrafted free agent after pitching two seasons at the University of Arizona where he went 6-1 with a 3.93 ERA and appeared in 29 games and threw 64.2 innings along with amassing 23 walks and 52 strikeouts. He split his first professional season between the Tigers East (Gulf Coast League, Rookie Level) and the Connecticut Tigers (New York-Penn League, Short Season Single-A) and went 4-1 with a stingy 0.73 ERA while walking 19 and striking out 39 over 37 innings.

A left-handed-hitting infielder, Sasser is the second University of Georgia Bulldog on the Sussex County roster. Fellow catcher Austin Biggar came over in a trade with the Kansas City T-Bones (American Association) on December 4. Loaded with power potential, the Evans, Georgia native made his professional debut with the Explorers last season and hit .223 (60-269) with four homers and 31 RBIs. Along with spending three seasons at The University of Georgia, he played his senior year at North Greenville University. Sasser hit his stride in his final two collegiate seasons. As a junior, he hit .317 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs overall while leading his team in Southeastern Conference action with a .346 batting average, six homers and 26 RBIs. He was a Second Team All-EC selection at first base while the Bulldogs went 39-21 and advanced to the NCAA Athens Regional Final. His explosive power potential became more realized in his senior year where he hit .327 (67-205) with a team-leading 21 homers and 63 RBIs which placed second on the North Greenville University Crusaders.

“Newell was great for us and I am very grateful to have had him. I admire how he always did the work and was one of the first guys at the ballpark and he was a leader in a lot of ways. And I was looking forward to having a classy guy like Brontsema in the locker room,” Jones explained. “But when you run a good program with lots of good players, people [opposing teams] are going to want them.”

A cornerstone of the Sussex County bullpen, Newell was named to the 2019 Can-Am League All-Star Team and ranked second in the circuit with 19 saves. Overall, the Fairfax, Virginia native went 0-3 with a stingy 1.75 ERA with 60 strikeouts and only yielding 13 walks over 36 innings. An eight-year veteran, Newell was drafted by the Marlins in the 7th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Shorter University. He spent seven years in the Marlins system and another in the Diamondbacks organization and reached as high as Double-A for both farm systems. His best year in affiliated baseball was with the Marlins Single-A affiliate, the Greensboro Grasshoppers (South Atlantic League). As a member of the starting rotation, he tied for first on the club in shutouts and complete games (1) and ranked third on the team in wins (8), innings pitched (109.2) and strikeouts (94).

Owner of a .301 career batting average, Brontsema is having a busy off-season. Sussex County acquired the 24-year old Santa Barbara, CA native from the Kansas City T-Bones on December 4. Ironically, two weeks before that, the T-Bones acquired Brontsema from the New York Boulders where he had an excellent 2019 campaign. The Can-Am League All-Star led the club with 18-doubles while ranking second in hits (83) and stolen bases (14) and placing third in on-base percentage (.370) and slugging percentage (.436). Along with going 1-4 at the 2019 All-Star Game between the Can-Am League and the Frontier League, Brontsema logged a 15-game hitting streak that ranked second in the league. During this torrid stretch (May 19-June 7), he hit a sizzling .379 (22-58) with eight runs, four doubles, one triple, two homers, 13 RBIs and two stolen bases. Plus Brontsema bashed a league-high three doubles against the Quebec Capitales on June 1st.

About the Sussex County Miners
The 2019 Can-Am League Regular Season Champion Sussex County Miners are New Jersey’s newest professional baseball team. The Miners play a 96-game season in the newly expanded Frontier League from May through September. Their home games are played at Skylands Stadium, one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in North Jersey. Conveniently located in the heart of Sussex County, the Skylands Stadium Sports Complex includes a 4,200-seat stadium, the all-new 17,000-square foot indoor climate-controlled Champions Way Sports Academy, a 3-acre play and party area, an 80-seat full-service restaurant – the only of its kind in all minor league baseball — and a spacious parking lot. Along with baseball, Skylands Stadium hosts numerous events including food truck festivals, beer festivals, comedy nights, concerts, stunt spectaculars, boat shows, light shows, and holiday extravaganzas, as well as private and corporate functions. For more information or tickets, please click here or call 973.383.7644.

SLAMMERS ADD TWO OUTFIELDERS

The Joliet Slammers began building their 2020 roster with the addition of two outfielders last week.

Patrick Adams joins the Slammers as a left-handed hitting outfielder from the Eastside Diamond Hoppers of the United Shore League. During his time with the Hoppers Patrick was named 2019 USPBL Batting Champion batting .317 with a league-leading .474 on-base percentage over 49 games and 2019 USPBL All-Star game MVP. Patrick was a member of the 2019 All-USPBL team and holds the USPBL single season base/balls record. “Pat had a great season playing in the USPBL. He emerged as one of the leagues top hitters. He’s a left handed hitter that has the ability to hit for high average,” Salmmers manager Jeff Isom said.  Adams was named Most Improved Player his senior season at Wayne State University and selected second team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The Slammers also added right-handed outfielder Caeden Harris. Caeden joins us as an outfielder from St. Cloud State University. During his time at SCSU he played left field. In 2018 he led the Huskies in batting average (.387), slugging percentage (.571), on-base percentage (.464) and stole the second most bases with eight. He recorded 63 hits including eight doubles, five triples and four home runs. “Caeden has a lot of athletic ability. We signed him out of a tryout camp in Phoenix where he ran well and hit very well. We see him competing for a job in our outfield,” Isom analyzed.

About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers play at DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet, Illinois, and are members of the professional, independent Frontier League.  The Frontier League is entering its 28th season of play in 2020. It is the largest independent professional league with 14 teams spanning from the Mississippi River to the East Coast.

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