ALL-STAR BRAXTON MARTINEZ SIGNS WITH ANGELS

2019 Frontier League All-Star Braxton Martinez has signed with the Los Angeles Angels after spending the past four seasons with the River City Rascals.

Martinez, a 2016 graduate of St. Louis University, was runner-up for Frontier League Most Valuable Player in 2019 after hitting 24 doubles, 13 home runs, and driving in 75 runs in leading River City to their second championship.  Martinez ends his Frontier League career with 41 home runs and 178 RBI over 319 games, leading River City to playoff berths in three of his four seasons.  His 75 RBI in 2019 ranked second in the Frontier League while his .917 OPS was the top mark.

“The Frontier League truly is the League of Dreams! You just never know when your opportunity will come,” explained Steve Brook, former field manager of the Rascals.   “Braxton Martinez is the epitome of what the League is all about. The Angels are receiving a true professional both on and off the field. Braxton deserves this opportunity and I wish him the absolute best moving forward in his career.”

Martinez becomes the fifth player from the 2019 Rascals to sign with a MLB organization, joining Jackson Sigman (Milwaukee Brewers), Dalton Roach (St. Louis Cardinals), Alec Byrd (Cincinnati Reds), and Micah Kaczor (Colorado Rockies).  He is the 27th player from the 2019 Frontier League season to sign with a Major League organization.

CAPITALES SIGN FIRST TWO PLAYERS FOR 2020 SEASON

Les Capitales de Quebec began their winter signings for the 2020 season by awarding contracts to pitchers Yeudy Garcia and Frank Moscatiello. Both gunners will be an experienced player classification in 2020.

Acquiring Yeudy Garcia was key for Quebec manager Patrick Scalabrini, which laid the foundation for his rotation of starting pitchers. The 27-year-old Garcia played the last three seasons with the Altoona Curve, the AA-level team affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 6’2′ right-hander will be making his first experience in independent baseball after completing a six-season stint with the Pirates’ organization.

“We think it’s a very big signing. He has a very good experience in affiliated baseball. He has a major league arm, which can reach mid-90 miles per hour, and has dominated the A and A high levels. We think he will be a dominant pitcher with us this year in the Frontier League,” Manager Patrick Scalabrini said.

In more than 500 innings in the Pirates’ system, including nearly 200 at the Double-A level, the Dominican struck out 478 batters with a 3.57 ERA.  Previously used as both starter and reliever, Garcia had 72 starts, good for a record of 30 wins and 30 losses.

A key contributor out of the bullpen, pitcher Frank Moscatiello will not be in his first round at Canac Stadium.  For the past two seasons, briefly in 2019, mostly in 2018, he had played for the Rockland Boulders. It was during the 2018 campaign, then straight out of St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York, that Moscatiello had excelled as a rookie, striking out more than one batter per inning pitched and finishing the season with an earned-run average of 2.79.

This excellent first season in the professional world landed him a contract in the American Association before completing the summer of 2019 with the Southern Illinois Miners in the Frontier League. The 23-year-old American had recently been acquired from Gary SouthShore’s RailCats, to whom Southern Illinois traded him at the conclusion of the season.

“We liked Moscatiello when he was a reliever with Rockland in 2018. He reached 95 miles per hour at the test camp. We think he’s going to be a key part of our bullpen in 2020,” concluded Scalabrini.

SLAMMERS TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE, TOY DRIVE DECEMBER 7

The Joliet Slammers will host their annual Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 7th from 9 am to noon in the Hall of Fame Room located at DuPage Medical Group Field.

The public is invited to join the Slammers for Christmas cookies and candy, coffee, and a hot chocolate bar.  There will be ornament and sugar cookie decorating stations.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a toy to be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Joliet as part of the Slammers annual toy drive. Anyone that brings a toy to the open house will be entered to win a luxury suite night for the 2020 season.

Brand new merchandise will be available at the open house including windshirts, jackets, stainless tumblers, 10th Anniversary ornaments, and Kids Club membership boxes.  Merchandise and gift certificates can be purchased during the open house or during the Slammers normal business hours Monday through Friday 9 am- 4 pm. For more information, call the Box Office at (815) 722-2287.

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.  Visit the Slammers online at www.jolietslammers.com or call the ticket office at 815-722-2287 for more information! Don’t forget to “Like” the Slammers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jolietslammers or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers!

STRECKER LEADS GROUP OF WILD THINGS’ RETURNEES

The Washington Wild Things announced today the resigning of 12 players from the 2019 roster for the upcoming season.

Headlining the group of returnees is two-time Frontier League All-Star RHP Zach Strecker. Last season he broke the franchise single season ERA record posting a 1.29. His 52 career saves is also a franchise record and Zach is approaching milestones which will place him among the best in Frontier League history.

“Having someone as reliable, available and productive as Strecker is a complete luxury. He wants the ball in every late, tight situation and he is one of the best team-first guys we have,” stated General Manager Tony Buccilli. “His family has become our family and their support of Zach and our organization speaks volumes,” Buccilli continued.

The pitching staff also sees returns of the rotation with LHP John Havird, RHP Michael Austin, LHP Nick Wegmann and RHP Nick Gallagher.

“Our rotation in the second half showed to be a competitive group. This is a passionate core who strive to go deep into games and put us in position to win. The best rotations feed off each others successful starts and with another year together we look for them to challenge from within,” Buccilli continued.

Joining Strecker in the bullpen will be RHP Jesus Balaguer, RHP James Meeker, LHP Zach Reid. All three posted career lows in ERA in 2019; 2.33, 3.17 and 1.80 respectively. Late addition RHP Matt Marsili and previously injured rookie Elliot Forde round out the group resigning.

“Our bullpen was our strength last season and we are very excited to bring back reliable pieces. Jesus is one of the premier strikeout artists in our league. Meeker took great strides in year two and grew into a great bridge or matchup option for us. Reid was signed out of our Post Draft Workout and provided us another weapon from the left side. We look to see others grow into complimentary roles to provide us depth,” Buccilli confirmed.

From the group of position players the Wild Things resign rookie INF Chase Slone and rookie OF Terrence Pinkston.

“We saw flashes from both Chase and Terrence in their small sample size. Slone has shown the ability to defend at a high level professionally, so now the focus is on being a consistent offensive piece and physically preparing for a long season. Terrence plays a smart game that leans towards his athletic strengths and we are excited to get a longer look at him,” Buccilli concluded.

Beyond the 12 players who were resigned, the Wild Things also exercised the club option on 8 others before the December 5th deadline.

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

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON WILD THINGS

The Washington Wild Things are a professional baseball team in the Frontier League that plays in Washington, PA. Since their inception in 2002, the Wild Things have won 6 Division Titles and earned numerous playoff appearances. Fans and media can stay aware of all the happenings in the Wild Things’ organization by following the team’s social media and website, washingtonwildthings.com. Season ticket packages, with new benefits are now available by calling the box office at 724-250-9555.

MINERS BRING BACK YELTSIN GUDIÑO

The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have re-signed infielder Yeltsin Gudiño for next season, securing another veteran hitter for the upcoming 2020 campaign.

Signed in late July by the Miners after being released by the Baltimore Orioles organization, Gudiño slotted into the top part of the Miners’ lineup immediately, and proved to be a force on both offense and defense. The Maracay, Venezuela native hit .321 down the stretch for Southern Illinois, with nine doubles, 19 RBIs, and 43 total hits in 31 games along with a .366 on-base percentage. He also struck out just 19 times in those contests.

On the other side of the ball, Gudiño was the Miners’ everyday shortstop, and committed just two errors in 101 chances defensively for an outstanding .980 fielding percentage. Entering his seventh year of pro baseball, he previously played at class A-Advanced Frederick in the Orioles system, hitting .256 in 76 games in 2019 after spending five years with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was ranked as the eighth-best international prospect by Baseball America in 2013, and 11th-best by MLB.com that same year before signing with Toronto at age 17.

Gudiño has also shown a knack for making contact at the plate, as he owns over 400 professional hits in 517 career games played, along with over 200 runs scored and only 277 strikeouts, an average of one for every 6.3 at-bats.

“Yeltsin did a tremendous job for us in every way last year,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “He provided a consistent, contact bat while playing defense at shortstop at the highest level. Game after game, he provided us with highlight-reel plays. We have gotten off to a great start this off-season with him agreeing to return to Marion, and we are very excited to see him back with us this spring.”

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.

SUSSEX COUNTY ACQUIRES INFIELDER AND CATCHER FROM KANSAS CITY T-BONES

The 2019 Can-Am League Regular Season Champion Sussex County Miners announce the acquisition of Kansas City T-Bones (American Association) infielder John Brontsema, catcher Austin Biggar and a player to be named later in exchange for right-handed pitcher Frank Duncan.

“Brontsema is a heck of a player with high energy who I had the opportunity to watch from the other side [when he was with the Rockland Boulders]. He is a good defender who plays multiple positions and is also a good teammate,” Miners Manager Bobby Jones said. “Plus anytime you have the opportunity to acquire someone like Biggar who was highly recruited out of high school and played at a big Southeastern Conference school [University of Georgia], it’s really exciting. He’s a baseball rat and a good defensive player.”

A 24-year-old Santa Barbara, CA native, Brontsema is a pure hitter who brings four years of professional baseball experience to the Sussex County. Owner of a career .301 batting average, the T-Bones acquired Brontsema two weeks ago in a trade with the Rockland Boulders where he had a fantastic 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.

Before joining the Boulders, Brontsema spent three seasons in the Kansas City Royals organization. Drafted by the in the 26th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of California Irvine where he played in the 2014 College World Series as a freshman. Brontsema authored an excellent professional debut. Spitting the season between the Surprise Royals (Arizona League, Rookie Level) and the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League, Single-A) Brontsema hit .337 (63-182) with 34 runs, nine doubles, one triple, 24 RBIs and nine stolen bases. He ranked second in the Arizona League in batting average (.346) and third in hits (60) and on-base percentage (.395) while earning Arizona League Postseason All-Star honors. After spending the 2017 season in Single-A with the Lexington Legends (South Atlantic League) and the Blue Rocks, he split the 2018 season with Wilmington and the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League).

Loaded with offensive potential, the 22-year old rookie backstopper from Liburn, Georgia was signed by the T-Bones on August 23rd as a free agent after playing three seasons at the University of Georgia. He hit .214 for the T-Bones (2-11) with one homer and three RBIs during the regular season and hit .143 (1-7) with a walk during the American Association playoffs. In 99 games with 73 starts, Biggar hit .203 with four homers and 28 RBIs in his collegiate career. His best season was his junior lear when he batted .255 with four doubles, two home runs in 30 games with 13 starts while the Bulldogs went 46-17 overall (a school-record 21-9 in the Southeastern Conference) and earned a national No. 4 seed in the NCAA Championship. He was touted as the top catcher in the state of Georgia out of Parkview High School, No. 9 nationally among catchers and the No. 97 overall prep prospect by Perfect Game. Biggar was named a 2016 Louisville Slugger High School All-American and 2nd Team Rawlings/Perfect Game All-American while hitting .318 with 15 doubles as a senior and named first-team All-State, All-County and All-Region plus to the Braves 400 club and Gwinnett Daily Post Super 6.

“Frank is such a warm guy and easy to get along with. He is consistent as a person and as a player and great in the locker room. On the field he was super competitive and kept the ball down,” Miners Manager Bobby Jones said. “Kansas City is getting a really good one and I’m grateful to have coached him. We wish him nothing but the best.”

A stalwart of the Sussex County starting rotation, Duncan authored a stellar 2019 season by logging a Can-Am League single-season record eight complete games along with ranking among the league leaders in shutouts (3, 1st), innings pitched (132.2, 1st), wins (10, 3rd), ERA (3.05, 3rd) and strikeouts (111, 3rd). Plus he threw the second no-hitter in Sussex County history — the first over a full-nine innings — in a masterful 89-pitch performance against the New Jersey Jackals on June 13. Interestingly, Duncan’s performance happened four years after Sussex County’s first no-hitter that was thrown by Jamie Walczak against the Ottawa Champions over seven innings in the second game of a doubleheader in 2015. Along with being named to the Can-Am League All-Star Team, the San Francisco, CA native was the first Can-Am League hurler to earn Pitcher of the Week three or more times in a season since 2014 when Rockland left-handed starting pitcher Sean Bierman was selected three times and New Jersey Jackals lefty Mike Antonini was selected four. Prior to being signed by Sussex County he spent five seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers organizations, reaching as high as Triple-A.

ABOUT THE SUSSEX COUNTY MINERS
The 2018 Can-Am League 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.

WASHINGTON ACQUIRES VERSATILE INFIELDER FROM SUSSEX COUNTY

The Washington Wild Things announced today that they have finalized a trade with the Sussex County Miners. Experienced infielder Jarred Mederos was acquired in return for outfielder Blake Adams.

In 2019 Adams joined Washington and finished third on the club with 7 home runs and 16 doubles respectively as a rookie. Blake played in 68 games with the Wild Things, manning 46 in the outfield and 22 as the designated hitter.

“Blake was heavily sought after by clubs after the league merger and new roster rules. With a surplus of rookies, we felt like this deal put us in the best position to continue our revamp,” stated General Manager Tony Buccilli. “We greatly appreciate Blake’s efforts and commitment during his time in Washington. We surely wish him the best in Sussex County,” Buccilli stated.

The Wild Things receive 26-year old INF Jarred Mederos from Sussex County in this deal. Mederos played his college ball at St John’s University in Queens, NY before joining the defunct Laredo Lemurs of the American Association in 2015. After two seasons with the Gary SouthShore RailCats, Mederos landed in Sussex County where he has appeared in 271 games. During that timeframe he has totaled 38 doubles, 7 home runs and 55 RBI. Medero’s best season professionally was in Sussex County’s 2018 championship season when he hit .271, driving in 43 runs and drawing 47 walks.

“Jarred has shown to be a quality defender at multiple positions and his offensive game is predicated on being a tough competitor,” said Buccilli. “Being in a new division, facing new clubs we look at his experience to be a benefit to our group. He was a meaningful piece during the Miner’s 2018 Championship run, which we value. He plays a style that will challenge teams we play against and we look for his demeanor to rub off on others as the leader of the infield,” Buccilli continued.

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

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON WILD THINGS

The Washington Wild Things are a professional baseball team in the Frontier League that plays in Washington, PA. Since their inception in 2002, the Wild Things have won 6 Division Titles and earned numerous playoff appearances. Fans and media can stay aware of all the happenings in the Wild Things’ organization by following the team’s social media and website, washingtonwildthings.com. Season ticket packages, with new-and-improved benefits are now available by calling the box office at 724-250-9555.

FLETE RETURNS TO MINERS FOR 2020

The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have signed all-star infielder Bryant Flete for the upcoming 2020 season, bringing back a big piece of their 2019 lineup after a short stint in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

The Venezuela native joined the Miners’ active roster in late May and tore up the Frontier League almost immediately as a fixture in the leadoff spot of the Southern Illinois lineup. In only 37 games, Flete hit an incredible .360 as a Miner with 54 hits, 30 runs scored, and 22 walks for an on-base percentage of .445.

He was voted as the starting shortstop for the 2019 Frontier League vs Can-Am League All-Star Game in New York, and was leading the circuit in batting average and on-base percentage while ranking second in total hits when he was picked up by the Reds on July 4, finishing out the season by splitting time between Double-A Chattanooga and A-Advanced Daytona over 40 total games.

“Bryant really gave us an impact, top-of-the-order bat last season,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “He just finds ways to get on base and impact a game. We are very happy to be able to add him to a strong core of returning players for next year.”

Flete came to the Miners initially last offseason after playing in the Chicago Cubs and White Sox organizations, including a 2018 season which saw him play at both the Double-A and Triple-A levels with the White Sox. Entering his ninth year of professional baseball in 2020, he initially signed with the Cubs in 2012, and was an all-star in 2017 at class A-Advanced Myrtle Beach before being sent to the White Sox as part of the trade package for major league pitcher Jose Quintana. Overall, in 607 professional games, Flete owns over 500 career hits and nearly 300 runs scored while seeing time at six different positions defensively, mostly at shortstop and second base.

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.

OTTERS’ SITTINGER SIGNED BY DIAMONDBACKS

Evansville Otters pitcher Brandyn Sittinger had his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend.

Brandyn Sittinger, from LaGrange, Ohio, signed and joined the Otters midway through the 2019 regular season after a stint with the Detroit Tigers organization.

The right-hander was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 17th round of the 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Ashland University, reaching as high as Double-A with the Erie SeaWolves.

“I was excited and relieved to get the news,” Sittinger said. “It’s exciting to get a call that someone wants to sign you but also a relief because I don’t have to wonder if anyone will give me that second opportunity in affiliated baseball.”

“Brandyn has a power arm and an ability to throw four-plus pitches,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said. “Moving him to the starting rotation was key to getting him innings in a short amount of time.”

In consecutive starts in early August against the Southern Illinois Miners and the Washington Wild Things, Sittinger combined to go 12 innings pitched, allowing no earned runs, and struck out 21 batters.

“The keys for me on the mound were going right at hitters and being confident while I was out there,” Sittinger said.

“Max (Peterson) and Andy (McCauley) made me feel very comfortable out there knowing they believed in me, which made it that much easier to go out there and have confidence in myself while I was on the mound.”

“Brandyn was a great character guy in our clubhouse,” McCauley said. “He had a comfortable transition to independent baseball, getting along with the other guys.”

Overall, Sittinger went 2-2 with a 1.42 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched and seven appearances with the Otters.

“I want to go out there right away and prove myself to the staff and coordinators of the Diamondbacks, but at the same time, I have to go out there and just do what I’ve always done – compete,” Sittinger said.

This time around Sittinger said he’ll have a mindset of knowing he belongs and can compete at the affiliated level.

“I’m just going to continue to do what I did in Evansville, competing on every pitch,” Sittinger said.

Sittinger joins five other Otters to be signed to an affiliated organization in 2019 and second signed by the Diamondbacks.

“Arizona was interested in Brandyn from the day we signed him,” McCauley said. “They just were waiting for a spot to open and it never did during the season. They didn’t want to take a chance of missing out on him as the off-season progressed.”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity the Diamondbacks are giving Brandyn and wish him the best of luck.”

Former Otters starting pitcher Patrick McGuff also signed with the Diamondbacks organization after a 5-0 start with a 1.04 ERA and 60 strikeouts in early June.

The Otters have sent 80 players to affiliated organizations out of Evansville.

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.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS ANNOUNCES APPRECIATION NIGHTS FOR 2020

The Southern Illinois Miners announce their 2020 appreciation night with the first being Coal Miners Appreciation Night.  The Miners will play host to Sussex County, a new to team join the expanded Frontier League for 2020, on May 28th for Coal Miners appreciation Night.  Back for 2020 is the popular Stand Up For Blue on August 13th, where the Miners honor those in law enforcement.  The regular season will finish up on September 6th at home for Fan appreciation night.  Follow the Miners on social media to stay connected about upcoming theme nights and other Miners news.  You can also JOIN our newsletter e-mailing list for more Miners information.

The full schedule of 2020 appreciation nights is:

Thursday, May 28 – Coal Miners Appreciation
Tuesday, June 9 – Teachers Appreciation
Thursday, June 11 – Firefighters Appreciation
Thursday, July 2 – Military Appreciation
Thursday, August 13 – Stand Up for Blue
Friday, August 21 – Farmers Appreciation
Thursday, September 3 – Union Appreciation
Sunday, September 6 – Fan Appreciation

FLORENCE ANNOUNCES NAME THE TEAM FINALISTS

Freedom Baseball Club, LLC is giving you the opportunity few fans ever get – the opportunity to help us name your professional baseball team! Submit your team name using the form below, and you just might secure your place in baseball history. If your name is chosen, we’ll set you up with Two (2) Lifetime Season Tickets.

See Official Rules for details.

*EDIT: Due to the large amount of responses & the want to pick the best name for the community, we are going to be releasing the top 5 names on November 27th. This part will run until December 11th. The winning name will be released within two weeks of the contest ending.*

TOP 5 CONTEST

Florence Go-Goettas

Florence is here to take back Goetta for its rightful Northern Kentucky owners. Choosing the name Go-Goettas celebrates this wonderfully weird piece of Northern Kentucky food culture, while giving the team an aspirational mindset to shoot for.

Florence Fossil Jockeys

Rising from the marshy pits at Big Bone Lick are the Fossil Jockeys: a group of raucous prehistoric riders who choose the mightiest beasts as their modes of transportation.

Florence Y’alls

We’re the first and last professional baseball team in the south (depending on which way you’re driving from), so we’ll take it upon ourselves to be the symbol for Southern culture. “Y’alls” as a name celebrates much more than a painted water tower, it celebrates who we are as Northern Kentuckians and Southerners, with “Go Y’alls” as our rally cry.

Florence Pop Flies

It’s no secret that we Northern Kentuckians love two things: pop and baseball. That’s why we married those two concepts together as the Pop Fly, which is not only a common baseball term but a name for a fly who has an unquenchable sweet tooth.

Florence No Sox

A nod to famous baseball names but with a Kentucky twist, the No Sox celebrates our relaxed, kick-up-your-feet kind of culture. Baseball and life are a little different down here in Florence, and the name No Sox lets everyone know they’re in for a unique experience.

CLICK HERE TO PLACE YOUR VOTE

QUEBEC, TROIS-RIVIERES EXCHANGE SLUGGERS

The Quebec Capitales and the Trois-Rivières Aigles have made a major transaction involving centerpieces of the lineup of the two Quebec teams. Outfielder David Glaude will join the Capitales while TJ White will head to Trois-Rivières.

This move is a return to the beginning for David Glaude in Quebec City. Prior to playing for the Aigles, he played his first professional (and alone) game with the Capitales in the home opener at Canac Stadium in 2017. Glaude had previously played with the Quebec Diamonds during his junior years, winning among other things the title of most valuable player of the LBJEQ in 2014. With the Aigles, Glaude has gradually proven himself over the last three summers.

During these three campaigns, he has successively increased all his major offensive statistics in addition to perfecting his game at second base. The 24-year-old has nevertheless asserted himself as one of the best players in the former Can-Am League circuit with 13 home runs, 49 RBIs and 16 stolen goals. In 90 regular-season games, he has a .290 batting average and a .381 batting average. By the end of last season, the Aigles had made him their MVP of the 2019 season.

The outfielder sees his wish to evolve in his native region to be fulfilled.  In this major exchange featuring two of the best players in independent baseball, the Capitales cede infielder TJ White after two seasons in Quebec City.

Having quickly established himself in the Old Capital, the 27-year-old American has become a crowd favorite and has demonstrated the extent of his talent on the pitches of the former Can-Am League.  Despite an injury that limited him in 2019, TJ White still earned the Capitales’ MVP and most popular player last season. In two seasons with Quebec City, White represented the Capitales’ colors in 136 games, hitting 21 home runs, producing 90 runs and maintaining a .281 batting average.

The Quebec City Capitales organization is very pleased to welcome David Glaude to its ranks and wishes TJ White the best of success by thanking him for his time in its ranks.

GATEWAY ANNOUNCES STEVE BROOK AS NEW PITCHING COACH

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 Thursday, May 14th when the Grizzlies host the Evansville Otters for their season opener.

 

OTTERS ACQUIRE INF DEJESUS

The Evansville Otters have acquired and signed infielder Andy DeJesus to a contract for the 2020 season.

DeJesus was acquired in a trade with the Gary SouthShore RailCats of the American Association for a player to be named later.

The infielder is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and brings experience with him to the Otters.

DeJesus has been with the RailCats since 2016 following his collegiate career with the Indiana State Sycamores of the Missouri Valley Conference.

“Andy is an experienced ball player that should compete for a starting job,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said. “His ability as a switch-hitter will give us flexibility in our lineup.”

“What excites me the most is to be given the chance to play baseball at a great competitive level in Evansville,” DeJesus said. “I’m excited to get the chance to show my abilities and skills, and to give it my all every day.”

DeJesus was also a member of the 2015 Prospect League championship team with the Terre Haute Rex, which was led by current Otters hitting coach Bobby Segal.

“A switch-hitting, middle infielder, Andy is extremely dedicated to furthering his future in the game,” Segal said.

Segal mentioned that DeJesus has gotten bigger, faster, and stronger physically since he last worked with him on the Terre Haute Rex.

“He is extremely focused and is not afraid to put the work in,” Segal said. “He will be an asset on both sides of the ball, as his athleticism allows him to play multiple positions on the field.”

In four seasons with Gary Southshore, led by former Frontier League and Evansville Otters manager Greg Tagert, DeJesus batted .260 with 101 runs scored, 29 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs, 96 RBIs, 33 stolen bases and 43 walks.

Defensively, DeJesus spent most of his playing time in the infield at second base, shortstop and third base.

“Offensively, he is an aggressive presence at the plate and will give competitive at-bats, but he remains a passionate individual who takes a lot of pride in his defense,” Segal said.

Collegiately, DeJesus played his first two seasons at Iowa Central before transferring to Indiana State.

With the Sycamores for his junior and senior seasons, DeJesus posted a .282 batting average with 63 runs, 32 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs, and a .971 fielding percentage.

“I consider myself a scrappy player, finding a way to get it done to end the game with a win,” DeJesus said. “I really enjoy doing the unexpected.”

Evansville will host Opening Night from Bosse Field against the Gateway Grizzlies May 15 at 6:35 p.m. Preseason exhibitions will begin May 2 for the Otters. The annual Education Day games will be May 6 and May 13 at 10 a.m.

To purchase a season ticket or group outing package, call (812) 435-8686 or visit the Bosse Field front office at 23 Don Mattingly Way, Evansville, Ind. The front office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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.

GRIZZLIES PITCHING COACH HIRED AS LINCOLN SALT DOGS MANAGER

The Lincoln Saltdogs have announced James Frisbie as their next manager.  Frisbie spent the 2019 season as the Gateway Grizzlies pitching coach.  He led the Grizzlies pitching staff to a 4.03 ERA last season, down nearly an entire run from the 2018 campaign.

Frisbie has a long history of managing and coaching in independent professional baseball.  In 2018, Frisbie was the field manager for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League, a role that he assumed on an interim basis midway through 2017.

When asked about Frisbie’s new opportunity Grizzlies manager Phil Warren said, “I’m happy for Friz.  As good of a pitching coach that he is, his aspirations have always been to manage at the professional level.  I appreciate his body of work with us, on and off the field, during the 2019 campaign.  He’s a good friend and will always be a good connection for us outside of the Frontier League. I wish him nothing but success in Lincoln.”

Frisbie’s managerial experience has included stops in Rio Grande Valley (2003), Bradenton (2007), Rockford (2013-2015), Texas (2016) and Southern Maryland.  He managed the West Division team for the 2015 Frontier League All-Star Game en route to leading the Aviators to their first playoff berth in eight seasons.  He also led Southern Maryland to the 2017 Atlantic League playoffs.

“James made a tremendous impact on our organization.  Friz brought a great intensity to the field every single day.  We wish him all the best.”  Said Grizzlies general manager Steve Gomric when asked about Frisbie.

“Friz” will be the Saltdogs eighth manager.

ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I-255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find – affordable, family, fun in the comfortable GCS Credit Union Ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000.

ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 10 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year.

California Winter League

 

Frontier League Transactions