STEVE BROWN RETURNS TO TROIS-RIVIERES

The Trois-Rivières Aigles acquired veteran oufielder Steve Brown from the Washington Wild Things in return for two players to be named later. During his time in Trois-Rivières from 2013 to 2016, Brown marked the hearts of fans in addition to being still to this day the leader of the team record book for home runs, doubles, triples, base hits, and runs scored.

Brown will begin this summer his 15 th season in the professional ranks and the eleventh consecutive with a Canadian team. The 34-year-old Colombian joined the Edmonton Capitals in 2010 in the Golden Baseball League. Then, he had played a season with the Capitales of Quebec in 2012 before joining the ranks of the Aigles. He then wore the uniform of the Ottawa Champions from 2017 to 2019 where he was named to the Can-Am League All-Star team in his final season due to a .302 batting average and 54 RIBs.

“I’m very happy to acquire Steve Brown for this season. We have known each other for a very long time and I have enormous respect for what he has accomplished so far in his career. He makes us an even more formidable team and he will be a good example for our younger players. He is known to be a very talented player who performs in great moments,” said manager Matthew Rusch.

Due to the pandemic, he played last summer with the Cascades de Shawinigan in the Quebec Major Baseball League. Also, his wife, originally from Trois-Rivières, gave birth to their first child in recent months.

CAPITALES ADD EXPERIENCED HURLER

The Quebec Capitales today revealed their first signing of 2021 with the addition of starting pitcher Nick Economos. The 25-year-old pitcher signed with the Capitales after being coveted by several other Frontier League teams.

The first acquisition of the new year is an important one for the team! Right-handed pitcher Nick Economos is a major addition for the Capitals, who can count on the starter to fit into the top of the rotation.

Manager Patrick Scalabrini said he was fortunate to put the hook on a pitcher combining experience in a MLB organization as well as a desire to play in Quebec City. “He dominated in the High-A Florida State League in 2019. His statistics are convincing. It will be an important piece for us. We are very happy that he chose Quebec City after having made calls from different teams!

In 2019, between the South Atlantic League and the Florida State League, Economos maintained an excellent 2.62 ERA. He struck out 113 batters in 117 innings and was the winning pitcher 10 times during his stints with the Greensboro Grasshoppers and Bradenton Marauders. Nick Economos played for the Pittsburgh Pirates after being drafted in the 21st round in 2015 out of Mercer County Community College. The 6-foot-6 gunner will celebrate his 26th birthday during the 2021 Frontier League season.

VALLEYCATS ANNOUNCE PETE INCAVIGLIA AS FIELD MANAGER

The Tri-City ValleyCats organization is excited to announce that it has reached an agreement with Pete Incaviglia to become the team’s Field Manager for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Incaviglia brings over 35 years of experience in professional baseball, including a twelve-year, playing career in Major League Baseball.

Since 2001, Incaviglia has held a variety of coaching and managing positions within professional baseball. This includes championships as a Field Manager in the Atlantic League (’18) and American Association (’15, ’11). His coaching experience also includes time in the Detroit Tigers farm system. Incaviglia’s most recent tenure was with the Sugar Land Skeeters, formerly of the Atlantic League. After serving as the team’s Field Manager since November of 2017, he became the Director of Baseball Operations for the Constellation League in Sugar Land, Texas. This was an impromptu league that played during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“We’re excited to welcome Pete Incaviglia to the ValleyCats organization. Pete’s depth of experience as a player and manager will position the ValleyCats for success on the field while his passion for the game will be evident to our fans,” said ValleyCats President, Rick Murphy. “Pete understands the importance of creating an exciting and memorable experience for our fans.”

Along with his on-field responsibilities, Incaviglia will also be responsible for player procurement and building the team’s roster. The focus of this process is to create a winning environment that also provides opportunities for players to advance in their professional careers. Under his leadership in Sugar Land, Incaviglia saw roughly 50 players signed by MLB organizations while consistently competing for the league championship. 2021 will be his first time managing in the Frontier League.

“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the organization for this opportunity, including Matt Callahan, Rick Murphy and the Gladstone Family,” said Incaviglia. “I’m looking forward to getting to know and work with everyone involved with the organization, including the fans. I have no doubt this will be a very exciting and successful season.”

Incaviglia played his college baseball at Oklahoma State and is the all-time home run leader for both a single season (48) and collegiate career (100) in NCAA Division I Baseball. He was drafted in the first round by the Montreal Expos in 1985 but following a trade, made his MLB debut for the Texas Rangers in 1986. Incaviglia holds the distinction of being one of the few players in history to reach the Major Leagues without playing a single minor league game. He hit 30 home runs in his rookie year on his way to amassing 206 home runs during a career that included time with six different teams.

“We had tremendous interest in our Field Manager position and appreciate the many conversations that were had as part of this process,” said ValleyCats General Manager, Matt Callahan. “We are thrilled to have Pete join the ValleyCats organization and believe that he is the ideal fit as we begin our first season in the Frontier League. Pete’s experience in building and managing winning teams is second to none. We look forward to working with him to bring an exciting brand of baseball to the Capital Region.”

The Frontier League plays a 96 game schedule which will include 48 home games for the ValleyCats at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. The league features 16 clubs stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. The season is set to begin in late-May with a complete schedule to be announced in the near future. Located in Pomona, NY, the New York Boulders will be the closest geographical team at just over 120 miles away.

Information on new mini-plans and season ticket packages for 2021 is available at www.tcvalleycats.com or by contacting the team’s Ticket Operations & Sales Manager, Jessica Guido, at jessicaguido@tcvalleycats.com.

OTTERS ANNOUNCE FRONT OFFICE ADDITIONS

Looking forward to the return of baseball in the coming year, the Evansville Otters have announced additions to the team’s front office staff for the 2021 season at Bosse Field.

The Otters announced the hiring of Travis Painter and Brittany Skinner for the 2021 season.

Painter will be the General Manager for the Otters. Painter is a Luray, Va. native and graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. with a major in sports management and a minor in business. He will help lead sales and business operations.

Painter served the last five years as General Manager of the Hagerstown (MD) Suns, Class-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals in the South Atlantic League, helping the organization to increased attendance and revenue sales from sponsorships and tickets.

He has 12 years of Minor League Baseball experience, spending time with the Potomac Nationals, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, and the Quad Cities River Bandits before joining Hagerstown.

“I’m eager to get working for the 2021 season with the Evansville Otters,” Painter said. “I’m excited to utilize my previous experiences and bring in new ideas to keep the Otters at the top of the Frontier League. I can’t wait to see what Otters baseball is like at Historic Bosse Field.”

Skinner will serve as the Director of Marketing and Community Relations. She will oversee marketing, promotional, and social media efforts as well as relationships with sponsors and non-profit partners.

Skinner is from Evansville, Ind. and attended North High School before graduating from the University of Southern Indiana, where she majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Management.

Skinner’s passion for sports began at a young age, but it became recognized while she was playing high school golf where she won three state championships with her team. She continued on to play golf for the University of Southern Indiana for two years until she left to pursue internship opportunities and leadership positions in other campus organizations.

She interned with the Otters for the beginning months of 2020.

“I’m excited to be back with the Otters and ready to experience my first season as a full-time member of the staff!” Skinner said.

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.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS ADDS PEORIA NATIVE MANGIERI

The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have signed infielder and Illinois native Luke Mangieri for the upcoming 2021 season.

Hailing from Peoria, Illinois originally, the 6’3” infielder spent two seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, batting .256 with nine doubles, seven homers and 32 RBIs in 64 games between Single-A Greensboro and Short-season Single-A West Virginia in 2019. In 44 games at the latter level in 2018, he hit .247 with eight doubles, two home runs, 16 RBIs, 23 runs scored and nine stolen bases in 10 attempts.

Mangieri, who has played primarily first base but has also seen time at third base and in the outfield as a professional, was a 25th-round selection by the Pirates in the 2018 MLB Draft out of Bradley University, where he batted .322 with 15 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 34 RBIs, 65 hits, 41 runs scored, and more walks (31) than strikeouts (29) across 51 games as a junior for the Braves in 2018.

For his career at Bradley, the left-handed swinger hit .314, with 31 doubles, nine triples, nine homers, 84 RBIs, 174 hits, and 104 runs scored in 145 games. He was also at his best in the biggest games, as Mangieri batted .385 with a pair of home runs, seven RBIs, and 10 runs scored in 10 career Missouri Valley Conference tournament contests.

“Luke comes with some great recommendations as a hitter who brings a lot of quality at-bats to the game,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “He has some power in his bat, and is very athletic around the bag at first base. We are glad to have him 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. In addition, they have sent 59 players to MLB organizations in their 13 years of operation. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS ADDS PITCHERS WITH AFFILIATED EXPERIENCE

The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have signed right-handed pitchers Kyle Hinton and Ryan Miller for the upcoming 2021 season.

Hinton comes to Southern Illinois with two years of experience in the Kansas City Royals organization, most recently at Single-A Lexington in 2019 where he posted a 3-5 record, five saves, and a 3.26 ERA, striking out 60 batters while allowing just 38 hits in 58 innings over 36 games. He had similar success the previous season between Rookie-level Burlington and A-Advanced Wilmington, amassing six saves in 20 games with a 3.31
ERA, 46 strikeouts, 20 walks, and 23 hits in 32 2/3 innings.

Selected in the 16th round by the Royals in the 2018 MLB Draft, Hinton pitched three years collegiately at the University of Delaware in his home state, boasting a 2.78 ERA and 94 strikeouts over 90 2/3 innings as a starter his junior season.

A native of Venice, Florida, Miller joins the Miners from the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, where he pitched for two seasons. In 27 games at Single-A Kane County in 2019, he pitched to a 4-6 record in 27 games along with a 3.62 ERA, 36 strikeouts and 17 walks in 54 2/3 innings. As a rookie for Short-season Single-A Hillsboro in 2018, Miller put up a 3-0 record in 12 games, a 3.86 ERA, and 10 strikeouts against a lone walk in
11 2/3 innings.

He burst onto the scene that same spring as a senior at Clemson University, where he went 7-1 with four saves in 26 games, a 2.51 ERA, 64 strikeouts, and just 17 walks in 71 2/3 innings. The Diamondbacks then selected him in the 6th round of the 2018 MLB Draft.

“We are excited to have Kyle and Ryan joining the Miners Family,” manager Mike Pinto said. “Both of them have strong experience both at the Division-I level and through their professional seasons. They have both shown the ability to be strike-throwers, and we believe both of them will be impact guys on our staff this year.”

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. In addition, they have sent 59
players to MLB organizations in their 13 years of operation. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.

BOOMERS SIGN FAMILIAR FACE IN JAKE JOYCE

The Schaumburg Boomers are excited to announce, pitcher Jake Joyce has been signed for the 2021 season.

Joyce returns to Schaumburg for his seventh season as a professional and his fifth with the Boomers. He was a very productive closer for the Boomers from 2015 through 2018. He was a key contributor to the Boomers during the historic 2017 champion run, including picking up the save in the final game. The right-hander spent the 2019 season with the Milwaukee Milkmen of the American Association and the Somerset Patriots formerly of the Atlantic League.

“Couldn’t be more excited to have Jake Joyce back with us,” said manager Jamie Bennett. “He has had a long history of success with us and having him back in our bullpen is a comforting feeling as a manager. His experience will be a valuable asset to our entire staff. He is a true pro that continues to work hard and provides a great example of how this game should be approached.”

In his first stint with the Boomers, Joyce etched his name in the record books. He holds a 16-11 record and has appeared in 145 games, which is most in team history. He has recorded 30 saves, which is second best to Dexter Price who has 60. As a closer he is third in team history for strikeouts with 231.

“Jake is a huge add for us in the back end of the bullpen. Any time you can add a guy that’s been in Schaumburg before and won a championship here it feels like a no brainer, said new pitching coach, Connor Reed. “I’m really excited to have his experience in the bullpen and in the clubhouse.”

The Washington Nationals selected the righty in the ninth round (#286 overall) of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Virginia Tech. Joyce spent two seasons pitching for the Auburn Doubledays the Nationals’ Class A Short Season affiliate.

To stay up to date with all things Boomers baseball, follow the Boomers on social media and on www.boomersbaseball.com.

HELP FIND THE NEXT CRUSHERS THEME NIGHT AND ATTEND FOR FREE

The Lake Erie Crushers want to know want theme nights you want to see this season at Mercy Health Stadium.  While we will be bringing back fan favorites from years past (Star Wars, Christmas in July, Pack the Park Pink) we are always on the lookout for new ideas.

Submit your theme idea in the form at https://lakeeriecrushers.com/news/help-find-the-next-crushers-theme-night-and-attend-for-free/ and be entered to win two ticket vouchers to see your night brought to life! We will pick up to three of the best answers to add to the 2021 season.

Contact Allison Albers with any questions at aalbers@Lakeeriecrushers.com

OTTERS ADD RHP VALENZUELA

The Evansville Otters have signed right-handed pitcher Sergio Valenzuela to a contract for the 2021 season.

From Monterey Park, Calif., Valenzuela signs with the Otters as he heads into his first season in the Frontier League.

“I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Evansville Otters organization,” Valenzuela said.

“2020 was a rough year and definitely set back a lot of things, but my mindset hasn’t changed. I’ve made proper adjustments and stayed safe while getting my work in for 2021.”

In 2019, Valenzuela pitched for the Bakersfield Train Robbers of the Pecos League, where he made 33 appearances.

Overall, Valenzuela went 3-1 with a 1.35 ERA in 40 innings. He picked up two saves, and he struck out 53 batters and only surrendered six walks. He posted a WHIP of 0.97.

“Sergio is represented by a trusted agent, who has sent us numerous good players previously,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said. “Plus, he had impressive numbers in the hitter-friendly Pecos League.”

“On the mound, my approach is to compete, throw strikes, and give my best effort every chance I get,” Valenzuela said.

“With my pitch arsenal, I can change speeds with my mix of fastballs and off-speed pitches, and I can change eye levels as a sidearmer.”

Before joining Bakersfield that summer, Valenzuela finished his collegiate career at the University of St. Mary. That spring, he appeared in 15 games and posted a 2-2 record along with two saves on the mound. Valenzuela recorded a 3.53 ERA and struck out 26 batters in 43.1 innings pitched.

He spent his underclassmen years at Pasadena City College.

“He throws from a different arm angle that should translate to Frontier League success from a position in the backend of our bullpen,” McCauley said.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity, and I’m really looking forward to being in a winning environment and learning from my teammates and coaches,” Valenzuela said.

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.

SLUGGER JACOB BROCKELIE JOINS WILD THINGS

The newest addition to the Washington Wild Things’ roster had a big summer for the Baseball Brilliance Sox in 2020 during pod play in Washington. Jacob Bockelie hit six home runs and drove in 21 runs. The former was tied for the pod lead in the category. Now Bockelie is set to begin his Frontier League career with Washington, as the team has announced his signing for the 2021 season.

Bockelie played in 17 games for the Sox and sported an on-base percentage of .416. His .621 slugging percentage was a top-five percentage in the pod as well. Of his six home runs, one was a grand slam and two came in one contest.

“Bockelie was among the most impressive players in our pod this past season,” said president and general manager Tony Buccilli. “We saw a maturity in his offensive game and know he is focused on constant development. I believe he has the ability to be an impact rookie and inflict damage.”

The decision to sign with the Wild Things was somewhat complex for Bockelie, as he said a couple of factors went into the decision.

“Mainly the environment that was shown during games, even during a pandemic was something that really caught my attention,” said Bockelie. “The fans are really supportive in the area and the team culture looks like one that I wanted to be a part of. Seeing some of the signings that Tony and the rest of the team made so far this offseason also excited me from seeing the caliber of play from the pod and knowing what these guys can be capable of.”

After a solid career from an individual and team standpoint at Shorewood High School, Bockelie matriculated to Pacific Lutheran University, where he played from 2015-2019. In 41 games in 2018, he hit .389 with eight doubles, eight homers and 49 RBI. He hit walk-off home runs in two games and was named Northwest Conference Player of the Year. He was also given d3baseball.com first-team honors and American Baseball Coaches Association Rawlings All-Region second-team honors. As a first-team All-NWC player in 2019, Bockelie hit .331 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs and 42 RBI.

Bockelie said the time spent at a Division III school allowed him to have a chip on his shoulder.

“I like to think of myself as a competitor who will give everything to win. As a guy who’s been looked over in the past, coming from a D3 school, I’ve had a chip on my shoulder after producing two very strong college seasons and a pro season overseas in Switzerland,” said Bockelie. “My expectations are high for myself going into this season, with hopes to make huge impacts for the team on the field with the bat and the glove and be a constant contributor.”

He wants to compete for a playoff spot and for a championship.

“I know [I] and the guys around me are going to be working towards that common goal of bringing the title to Washington,” said Bockelie. “For myself, my personal goal for the season is to simply be the best that I can be in all facets of life, whether that is on the field, interacting (hopefully) with fans and being a great representation to the organization that I can possibly be.”

The Wild Things will be announcing a new addition to the roster Thursday to join Bockelie as the latest additions to Tom Vaeth’s first team as manager of the club.

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON WILD THINGS

The Washington Wild Things are a professional baseball team in the Frontier League, partner league of Major League Baseball, that plays in Washington, PA. Since their inception in 2002, the Wild Things have won six 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 platforms and website, washingtonwildthings.com. For other inquiries, call the front office at 724-250-9555.

 

BJ SABOL RETURNS TO WASHINGTON

The pitching staff for the 2021 Washington Wild Things grew today with the team announcing the return of lefty BJ Sabol, who will be with the club for a third season after beginning his pro career with the team in 2018. He becomes the eighth pitcher officially announced to the roster for the upcoming season.

Sabol returns after posting a 3.24 ERA in 44 games from the bullpen in 2019. He logged 41.2 innings and struck out 56 batters against just 17 walks. Left-handed hitters batted just .143 against Sabol that season. Out of 86 lefties faced, he allowed 11 hits, seven walks and fanned 35.

“We are pleased to have BJ locked in for 2021. He adds a dynamic layer to our bullpen, historically being one of the most dominant arms versus left-handed hitters,” said president and general manager Tony Buccilli. “BJ has taken this extended time away to focus on his next level development and we look forward to showcasing his hard work.”

Sabol did not play in the 2020 summer pod in Washington, but said it aided the urge to come back for the upcoming season.

“I was really looking forward to the 2020 season and when that was taken away from us I really had the urge to come back for 2021,” said Sabol. “When I look back on the first couple years of being a Wild Thing the thing that sticks out to me are the teammates I had. The camaraderie that we all have with each other is truly unique. You don’t always get that kind of cohesiveness in a locker room where everyone’s competing for a job.”

In 2018, Sabol appeared in 12 games and logged 13.2 innings with 15 strikeouts. In seven of those appearances he didn’t allow an earned run. In only one of those did he allow an unearned run.

The start to his pro career came off a collegiate career pitching for the Indiana Hoosiers, where he was 7-3 in three seasons with a 3.70 ERA in 68 games, all from the pen. In 92.1 innings, he punched out 99 and allowed 76 hits.

Sabol said the layoff has allowed him to focus on some different aspects of training and other things.

“I have been really focusing on my diet and getting stronger. I feel like in the past I have been in good shape but lacked strength,” said Sabol. “Over the last year, I have really been trying to hit the gym hard and move some weight. I am excited to hopefully see that transfer to the mound during the 2021 season.”

He said he hopes for a bounce back from a team standpoint in 2021.

“As many people know, 2019 was a little bit of a let down especially after we had so much success in 2018,” said Sabol. “I anticipate a much different 2021 season and I see the Wild Things as a serious playoff team. Our goal will be to reach the Frontier League Championship Series, as we did in 2018, but this time win it.”

Sabol and the rest of the Wild Things will report in May to get ready for the 2021 campaign.

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON WILD THINGS

The Washington Wild Things are a professional baseball team in the Frontier League, partner league of Major League Baseball, that plays in Washington, PA. Since their inception in 2002, the Wild Things have won six 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 platforms and website, washingtonwildthings.com. For other inquiries, call the front office at 724-250-9555.

TITANS ADD FORMER TORONTO FARMHAND

The Ottawa Titans Baseball Club announced today the signing of right-handed pitcher Justin Watts for the 2021 season.

Watts, 27, last played in 2019 when he appeared in 11 games, tossing 14 innings with an ERA of 3.21, and striking out 18 with the Midwest League’s Lansing Lugnuts. The Bryan, Ohio native was selected in the 37th round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. He brings much-needed depth to the Titans bullpen which already has righty’s Mateos Kekatos and Cody Mincey.

“Justin brings a lot of depth to our back end bullpen this season,” said Titans Manager Steve Brook. “He’s had success with the Blue Jays lower-level affiliates and I’m excited to see what he can do with this opportunity in the Frontier League. I know he’s very excited to get to Ottawa and prove that he deserves to pitch at a high level.”

A graduate of the University of Northern Kentucky (Highland Heights, Kentucky), Watts will enter his fourth full season of professional baseball. He is a lifetime 7-4, with a 3.04 ERA across 83 innings pitched in 49 career minor league games reaching as high as class-A. The 27-year-old has experience playing in Canada, as he suited up for the Vancouver Canadians in 2018 going 5-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 36.2 innings.

Watts played alongside current major leaguers like Alejandro Kirk, Nate Pearson, and Dany Jimenez during his time in the Blue Jays organization.

The Ottawa Titans are scheduled to hit the field in late Spring of 2021 playing in the Frontier League, a partner league of Major League Baseball.

BOOMERS ADD INFIELDER ANGELO GUMBS

The Schaumburg Boomers have announced the signing of infielder Angelo Gumbs for the 2021 season..

Gumbs, 28, is a native of Torrance, California where he was a standout at Torrance High School. The New York Yankees drafted him in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He spent six seasons (2010-2015) in the Yankees minor league system. In total Gumbs appeared in 369 games producing 318 hits, with 68 doubles and 150 RBIs for the Yankees affiliates.

“We are very excited to have Angelo joining us. He is a talented individual that should be a big producer for us,” said manager Jamie Bennett. “Aside from his talent he has always had a reputation for playing hard and bringing energy to the ball club every day. His experience will be a big plus for this team”

The Cincinnati Reds signed the infielder in 2016 where he would spend the next two seasons. He had a strong season with the Single-A Daytona Tortugas, hitting .298 with 11 homeruns and 55 RBIs in 98 games. In 376 at-bats he scored 54 runs, hit 18 doubles, achieved a .342 on base percentage, and a .460 slugging percentage for a .803 OPS. Gumbs was promoted to the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos in 2017 and played in 54 games, hitting .231, with 34 hits. Pensacola was named the Southern League Co-Champions after the championship series was canceled due to the threat of Hurricane Irma.

Gumbs spent the 2018 season playing for the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association. In his only season of independent baseball he hit .276, with four homers, and 21 RBIs in 241 plate appearances.

“Signing a player with Angelo’s experience makes the club better in multiple ways. Not only is he an experienced bat, but he is as good of a clubhouse guy as they come,” said hitting coach Derek Shomon. “He has been in the game since 2010, after being drafted in the 2nd round out of high school. Although he is not a veteran by league classification, he certainly brings a veteran feel. We are very excited to have him for the upcoming season.”

To stay up to date with all things Boomers baseball, follow the Boomers on social media and on www.boomersbaseball.com.

FRONTIER LEAGUE WELCOMES TRI-CITY VALLEYCATS

The Frontier League has unanimously accepted the Tri-City ValleyCats as the league’s 16th member.  The ValleyCats had been members of the New York-Penn League and were an affiliate of the Houston Astros.

Tri-City began play at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in the 2002 season.  Joseph L. Bruno Stadium is located on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York.  Over the past five seasons the ValleyCats have averaged over 4,100 fans per game.  They won the New York-Penn League championship in 2010, 2013, and 2018 and hosted the NYPL All-Star Game in both 2008 and 2017.  The Tri-City ValleyCats franchise has been recognized with a variety of awards throughout the baseball industry to go along with personal accolades for key officials, including Rick Murphy (President), Matt Callahan (General Manager), and Michelle Skinner (Assistant General Manager). In 2015, ValleyCats founder, Bill Gladstone, was named King of Baseball in recognition for his longtime dedication and service to baseball.

Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee says, “We are honored and excited to welcome the Tri-City ValleyCats to our League. They enjoy a tremendous reputation in professional baseball for their strong ownership and exemplary management. The ValleyCats also have a great fan base. We are anxious for their fans to see Frontier League baseball. 2021 could not start better for the Frontier League than to have the ValleyCats join our family.”

“We are excited to join the Frontier League and eager to start this new chapter in ValleyCats baseball. We feel that this opportunity is the best fit for our fans, franchise, and facility as we look forward,” said ValleyCats President, Rick Murphy.  “We would also like to thank Commissioner Bill Lee, the entire leadership of the Frontier League, and the fifteen other teams for welcoming us as new members.”

“The Boulders are thrilled with the addition of the ValleyCats to the Frontier League,” commented Shawn Reilly, President of the New York Boulders.  “The Gladstone family runs one of the best organizations in all of minor league baseball. To have them join our League is very exciting and reinforces our league as the premier Major League Baseball Partner League.  We look forward to many years of spirited competition to win the title as the best Frontier League team in New York State.”

Founded for the 1993 season, the Frontier League is the largest and longest running independent professional baseball league.  An official Partner League of Major League Baseball, the Frontier League features 16 clubs stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway.  The Frontier League annually moves the most players into Major League Baseball organizations of any of the independent leagues.

TOM VAETH TO LEAD WILD THINGS IN 2021

The Washington Wild Things have tabbed Tom Vaeth the team’s new field manager and Alex Boshers the new pitching coach. The announcement of the new field staff, which will begin its work this coming season, comes on the heels of the team’s announcement that former manager Gregg Langbehn has retired from professional baseball.

Vaeth, a long-time assistant for the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association, becomes the team’s 10th manager. He’ll be the first new manager since the 2016 season when Langbehn took the reigns of the club.

He has managerial experience in the California Winter League and on an interim basis with the Goldeyes, but this will be his first professional full-time managerial job. Vaeth stepped down from the Winnipeg organization after the 2019 season, following 17 years as an assistant with the team in numerous roles such as player procurement, base coach, hitting coach and bullpen coach. He oversaw numerous American Association All Stars, league leaders and award winners.

“Tom brings a wealth of knowledge from his time in the American Association and carries that demeanor to reach for more,” said president and general manager Tony Buccilli. “I am eager to work with him and his staff to make an immediate impact in 2021. We will continue to bring an exciting brand of baseball that resonates with fans.”

After narrowly missing out on the manager position for the Cleburne Railroaders (American Association) prior to 2019, the Baltimore, Maryland, native returned to the Goldeyes. A last-minute change of mind from Cleburne’s ownership pulled the rug on what would’ve been his first managerial position.

Vaeth was a part of 10 playoff appearances and three championship-winning teams during his tenure in Winnipeg. Now he comes to Washington looking to be the first manager to deliver a championship to the organization and its fans.

“First of all I would like to thank the ownership and front office staff for giving me this opportunity. I am extremely humbled and grateful to join such a class organization,” said Vaeth. “Over the years I have watched the Wild Things organization become a premiere destination in baseball and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of their history and tradition going forward. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the stadium, the area and the wonderful fans… [I] cannot wait for the spring to get things going.”

Vaeth has selected former Goldeyes’ pitcher Alex Boshers as his pitching coach. It will be Boshers’ first coaching job in professional baseball. Boshers played four seasons at Tennessee-Martin in college before embarking on a six-year career in independent ball, most of which was spent in the American Association between Wichita, Winnipeg and Sioux Falls. He also made a stop with Southern Maryland in the Atlantic League.

“I would like to thank Tom Vaeth and the entire Washington Wild Things organization for this exciting opportunity to work for them,” said Boshers. “I have heard nothing but great things about the team, culture and the front office and I am excited for May to get here so we can start preparing to win a championship!”

The new field staff will look to make an impact early on when the team reports in May for the 2021 season. 

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON WILD THINGS

The Washington Wild Things are a professional baseball team in the Frontier League, partner league of Major League Baseball, that plays in Washington, PA. Since their inception in 2002, the Wild Things have won six 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 platforms and website, washingtonwildthings.com. For other inquiries, call the front office at 724-250-9555.

 

California Winter League

 

Frontier League Transactions