Joliet, IL —The Joliet Slammers presented by ATI Physical Therapy are less than a month away from opening day and the 2017 roster continues to take shape. Juan Silva and Edwin Gomez, two prospects from Yabucoa, Puerto Rico headline the latest additions to the team.
Both outfielders Silva and Gomez went to the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy for high school. Notable alumni of the academy include Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa. Silva was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 26th round of the 2014 MLB June Amateur Draft and Gomez was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 4th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft.
“Silva has eight years of experience in the minor leagues and has played up to Triple-A,” Manager Jeff Isom said. “He has hit for high average and can steal bases. He is a very disciplined hitter who possesses a career .371 on base percentage. He will be in the middle of our lineup.”
“Gomez can play all over the field.” Isom added. He possesses a lot of experience. This will be his ninth season of professional baseball. We feel like he is just coming into his own as a hitter. Gomez gives us a lot of flexibly with the way he can play multiple positions.”
Newly-acquired catcher Spencer Navin is also entering his first season with the Slammers. He spent his 2016 campaign with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League. He was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft from Vanderbilt University. Navin helped lead the Commodores to the College World Series in 2012 and 2013.
“He is a very good defensive catcher that we will have catch the majority of our games.” Isom said. “He has a strong arm and receives the ball well.”
Other additions include the return of outfield Jimmy Heck and infielder Melvin Rodriguez.Heck hit .313 in seven regular season games last year and he’s hoping his numbers from the end of last season can span the course of a full Frontier League season in 2017.
Rodriguez returns for his second season with the Slammers. In 2016, he hit 6 home runs and had 32 RBIs.
Returning pitchers include Kevin McNorton and Kevin Simmons.McNorton is returning for his fourth season with the Slammers. He finished his 2016 season with a 2-1 record and an ERA of 2.82 in 22.1 innings pitched.
Simmons is entering his second season with the Joliet Slammers. He finished 2016 with a 1-2 record and a 4.90 ERA.
The Slammers open the 2017 season on the road Friday, May 12 for their series against the Lake Erie Crushers. Opening day at Slammers Stadium is set for Tuesday, May 16. Opening day is a $2 Tuesday and tickets are $2. Indidivual game tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at the Slammers Box Office at 1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive, Joliet or by visiting jolietslammers.com/tickets.
About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers presented by ATI Physical Therapy play at the Slammers Stadium downtown Joliet, Illinois, and are members of the professional, independent Frontier League. The Frontier League is a 12-team league entering its 25th season of play in 2017. 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!