CHECK-IN & WALK-UP REGISTRATION AT 8:00 AM TUESDAY

Check-in for pre-registered players along with walk-up registraiton for the annual Frontier League Tryout Camp and Draft will begin at 8:00 AM on Tuesday at Joliet Route 66 Stadium.

The 27th annual Frontier League Tryout Camp and Draft will be held on Tuesday, April 23 and Wednesday, April 24 at Joliet Route 66 Stadium, home of the defending champion Joliet Slammers

All 10 Frontier League teams will be represented at the workouts, and scouts from multiple Major League Baseball teams also attend.  Representatives from other independent league participate as well.  Advance registration is available at frontierleaguetryouts.eventbrite.com while walk-up registration will begin at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, April 23.

The workouts officially begin at 9:00 AM on April 23 and will feature a 60-yard dash, fielding and throwing drills for infielders, outfielders, and catchers, and batting practice for position players while pitchers will throw 15-20 pitch bullpens.  Following the first day, the field managers will post a list of players invited back for inter-squad games on April 24.  At the conclusion of the games, action will break for 30 minutes as clubs and prepare for the draft.

An average of 35 players each season have been drafted and signed to spring training contracts over the past eight years.  Each year, at least one tryout camp participant has appeared in the Frontier League’s All-Star Game. Several draftees have gone on to be signed by Major League Baseball organizations, with four draftees having ascended to the Major Leagues (Chris Jakubauskas, Seattle; Josh Smoker, New York Mets; Chris Smith, Toronto; and Robert Stock, San Diego).

13 tryout attendees have been signed by MLB clubs during the season over the past six years.

“We are excited to bring our Tryout Camp to the Chicagoland area for the first time in 13 years,” commented Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee.  “The recent upgrades to Joliet Route 66 Stadium, highlighted by the new turf playing surface, make Joliet a great facility for our workouts.”

The Frontier League is entering its 27th season in 2019 and features ten teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to the Great Lakes.  The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues. Over 100 players have signed with MLB clubs since the start of the 2015 season, and 36 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues, 10 seeing MLB action in 2018.

Joliet Route 66 Stadium is located in downtown Joliet, hear the intersection of I-80 and I-55.  For more information, please visit www.frontierleague.com or contact the Frontier League offices at 618.215.4134 or office@frontierleague.com.

IMPORTANT: As per the manufacturer’s warranty for the artificial playing surface at Joliet Route 66 Stadium, all players trying out must wear turf shoes or molded cleats. No metal cleats will be allowed. This policy is the same that is in effect for all events at Joliet Route 66 Stadium. Players attempting to enter Joliet Route 66 Stadium with metal cleats will be immediately disqualified from the workouts.  In addition, there is a strict NO SEED policy at the stadium, and all tryout hopefuls, and fans watching, are not permitted to bring seeds into the facility.

Otters Sign Outfielders Erby, Becerra and Meggs

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters have signed outfielders Justin Erby, Wuilmer Becerra, and Jack Meggs for the 2019 season.

Erby is from Virginia Beach, Va. and joins the Otters after spending 2018 with the Westside Woolly Mammoths of the United Shore Professional Baseball League.

“Justin was signed out of the Allentown, Pa. tryout and had a good showing,” said Otters manager Andy McCauley. “He had been on our radar at last year’s camp.”

“I’m excited and anxious to be coming to Evansville, looking forward to being on the ball club and being an asset to help us win,” said Erby.

With the Woolly Mammoths, Erby hit .196 in 16 games and 46 at-bats. Erby scored seven runs and had five RBIs.

“We are hoping Justin can come in and compete for a starting job,” said McCauley.

“I keep approach at the plate simple, hitting the ball hard and controlling only what I can control,” said Erby.

“I am ready to show my overall tools as an athlete, and coming from a small, private school, I want to prove that great baseball players come from everywhere,” said Erby.

The outfielder played collegiately at Virginia Wesleyan, hitting .316 with 114 runs, 38 extra-base hits, 71 RBIs, and 38 stolen bases in his career.

Becerra, who resides in Orlando, Fla., joins the Otters after tenures with the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets organizations. Becerra has seen some time in the Gulf Coast League, Appalachian League, South Atlantic League, and Florida State League.

“Becerra was brought to my attention by Casey Delgado who pitched in the league and played with Wuilmer with the Mets organization,” said McCauley.

Most recently in 2018, Becerra split time with the St. Lucie Mets and Columbia FireFlies in the Mets organization. Combined, he batted .259 with 15 RBIs, 14 runs, and seven stolen bases in 59 games.

“Becerra is an experienced bat that should hit in the middle of our lineup,” said McCauley.

Meggs, a Summamish, Wa. native, joins the Otters after a stint with the Oakland Athletics organization. He spent time with the Vermont Lake Monsters in 2017 and the Beloit Snappers in 2018.

“Meggs came highly recommended by a number of scouts and coaches,” said McCauley.

“I’m very excited to come to Evansville, and I want to thank the coaching staff and the rest of the Otters organization for bringing me in and giving me this opportunity,” said Meggs. “I can’t wait to get on the field and get going.”

With the Snappers, Meggs batted .261 with six home runs, 35 RBIs, 22 doubles, 40 runs, and 31 walks.

“His pro numbers are outstanding, and he should figure as a top of the order guy for us,” said McCauley.

“I try to keep my offense approach simple because the more you overthink at the plate, the more stress you create,” said Meggs. “I just try to be relaxed and easy-minded when I’m getting ready to hit.”

“I’m just going to go out there and control what I can control, which is playing hard and trying to help the team compete and win baseball games. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Meggs was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 10th round of the 2017 MLB June Draft out of the University of Washington.

The Otters will open the 25th season celebration against the Southern Illinois Miners on May 10 at Bosse Field.

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.

*****

Let me know if you have any questions, thanks!

Go Otters!

 

Otters’ Girl Scout Night Scheduled for June 15 at Bosse Field

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters will once again welcome local girl scouts for a night at the ballpark, hosting Girl Scout Night Saturday, June 15 at Bosse Field.

Local girl scout troops are invited to enjoy a fun-filled evening at historic Bosse Field as part of the Otters’ 25th anniversary season. Girl Scouts can catch the Otters against the Schaumburg Boomers June 15 at 6:35 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for youth and $8 for adults. Registration for Girl Scout Night include a general admission ticket to the game and hot dog, chips and water for each person registered.

Registration form can be found online at evansvilleotters.com/promotions.

“This June, we are getting ready to love the outdoors even more! Girl Scouts is hosting the #gsoutdoors challenge to inspire people to get outdoors and explore in new ways!” said Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana Director of Program Development Kara Messersmith. “And Girl Scout Night at the Otters is great way of achieving just that!”

Following the game, scouts can enjoy a team meet-and-greet, participate in a baseball clinic with players, and camp out overnight in the outfield at Bosse Field with breakfast provided the next morning.

“Girl Scouts Night at the Otters is a time for the scouts to challenge themselves and experience a unique camp out on the field after the game,” said Messersmith.

Scouts will also receive a commemorative Scout Night patch.

The payment and registration deadline for Girl Scout Night is Wednesday, June 12.

For more information and registration, contact Elspeth Urbina at 812-435-8686 or via email at eurbina@evansvilleotters.com.

The Otters will open the 25th season celebration against the Southern Illinois Miners on May 10 at Bosse Field.

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.

WEBSITE LINK: https://www.evansvilleotters.com/news-home?nID=22

Let me know if you have any questions, thanks!

Go Otters!

 

Imposing Starter Carries Experience to Wild Things

WASHINGTON, Pa. (Apr. 16)-The Wild Things announced today the signing of RHP Spencer Moran for the 2019 season.

The 6’6 right handed pitcher was selected in the 11th round out of Mountain View High School in 2012 by the Tampa Bay Rays. Coming out of high school Moran was rated the fourth best player in the state of Arizona and committed to play collegiately at the University of Utah. After 4 seasons with the Rays’ affiliates, Moran transitioned to the Chicago White Sox where he made starts at both Great Falls and Kannapolis.

Professionally Moran has made 39 career starts and holds a 15-9 record. In his 254.2 innings thrown he has struck out 194 batters and sports an impressive 3.57 ERA. Last season with the White Sox Spencer set career highs at the age of 22 in a multitude of categories including starts (13), innings pitched (66) and strikeouts (56).

“We were in an interesting spot this year losing some of the top arms in our rotation. Spencer was recommended our way and we are happy he chose Washington over others,” said General Manager Tony Buccilli. “I was really impressed by the self awareness Spencer carries about his pitching and mentality on the mound. He clearly has the tools, makeup and size that affiliated clubs covet in starters. We believe there’s still a lot of upside to Spencer’s development by lengthening his outings and putting more responsibility on his plate,” Buccilli stated.

The East Division Champions return to the field as they open the season Thursday, May 9 at River City, with the home opener slated for Friday, May 17 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. In 2018, the team won its first East Division Championship since 2007 and came within two runs of winning the first Frontier League title in franchise history. 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.

MINERS ADD FOUR ARMS

Marion, IL (April 12, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have signed four more pitchers for the upcoming season, with right-handers Chase Adkins, Andrew Bernstein and Gabe Gentner joining left-hander Jared Skolnicki as new additions to the roster.

Adkins pitched last season for the rookie affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels in the Arizona League, and posted a 2.22 ERA, 27 strikeouts, seven walks and just 16 hits allowed in 24 1/3 innings. Before that, the 5’11” righty was the Friday night starter in his senior year at the University of Georgia, going 5-0 with a 4.30 ERA, 65 strikeouts and 29 walks in a team-best 81 2/3 innings. Included in his 16 starts was a three-start stretch against nationally-ranked opponents Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Ole Miss during which he put up an ERA of 1.56. In addition to two seasons as a starter with the Bulldogs in the SEC, the Powder Springs, Georgia native played one year at Chattahoochee Valley Community College and one year at Coastal Carolina University.

Bernstein comes to Southern Illinois after one year with the rookie affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays in the Gulf Coast League, going 4-0 in 2018 with a 1.08 ERA in 16 2/3 innings. He pitched his final two years in college at California Baptist University, where he went 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA in 11 games (9 starts), striking out 45 and walking just 14 in 45 2/3 innings as a senior in 2018. The 6’1” hurler from Claremont, California also pitched two years at California Polytechnic Institute.

Gentner hails from Eastvale, California, and pitched the last two seasons in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, going 2-2 in 16 appearances with 27 strikeouts in 21 innings at Short-season Single-A State College in 2018. He also posted a 2.04 ERA in 15 games in 2017 for the Rookie-level GCL Cardinals, striking out 19 and walking just three in 17 2/3 innings. The right-hander finished his collegiate career at Cal State- Los Angeles, where he amassed 16 saves in two years, striking out 37 in 29 innings over 21 appearances as a senior in 2017.

Skolnicki, a 6’2” left-hander from Pittsburgh, is coming off an outstanding season with the Grand Junction Rockies, the rookie affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, in 2018. In 21 games, Skolnicki went 4-1 with a 2.78 ERA, 26 strikeouts and only three walks in 32 1/3 innings. He also pitched five years at Kent State University in Ohio, including a redshirt year in 2016, and posted a 5-1 record and a 3.19 ERA in 15 games (12 starts) as a redshirt senior, fanning 57 and walking 17 in 67 2/3 innings in 2018.

“All four of these pitchers fit the mold that has led to success for many of our pitchers in the past,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “All of them are coming off excellent seasons last year with their affiliated teams. They are all strike-throwers, and all have swing-and-miss ability as well. Chase will compete for a spot in our rotation with his background as a Friday night starter in the SEC followed by his affiliated success. Andrew, Gabe and Jared could all have important roles in our bullpen this season.”

Be sure to follow the Miners online at southernillinoisminers.com and on social media as they prepare for the 2019 season!

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 Sign Almonte, Zurowski, Phillips; Acquire Welch

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters have signed left-handed pitchers Abraham Almonte, Dan Zurowski and catcher Dakota Phillips and acquired right-handed pitcher Jake Welch from the Windy City Thunderbolts of the Frontier League.

Almonte joins the Otters after spending two years in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Almonte is from Danbury, Conn. and was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 26th round of the 2017 MLB June Draft.

“Abraham is a dominant, power left-handed pitcher that should solidify the back end of the bullpen,” said Otters manager Andy McCauley.

“I’m really excited to go out there to pitch and show what I got,” said Almonte. “I’m going to put everything I have into it and really work to put myself in positions to succeed and compete.”
Almonte spent 2017 with the Missoula Osprey of the Pioneer League, going 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA in 19 appearances and striking out 31 batters with 11 saves.

In 2018, Almonte pitched for the Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League. With the Cougars, Almonte appeared in 39 games and recorded a 4.07 ERA with three saves. He struck out 62 in 59.2 innings pitched.

“What made the decision to come to Evansville easy is I knew people already there,” said Almonte. “I roomed and played with Tyler Vail when we were both with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, so I felt comfortable going to the Otters with that connection already in place.”

Dan Zurowski, a Pottstown, Pa. native, joins the Otters following a collegiate career at Misericordia University.

“Dan was signed out of our Allentown workout on March 30 and came recommended by trusted college scouts in the Philadelphia and Allentown area,” said McCauley.

“I’m extremely excited about getting this opportunity with Evansville,” said Zurowski. “I can’t wait to head out there and meet the team to begin a great first season with the Otters.”

In his senior season in 2018, Zurowski struck out 16 batters in 11 appearances and posted a 1.42 ERA.

“He is long, lanky left-handed pitcher who will be tough on left-handed hitters,” said McCauley.

“I throw from a sidearm angle, so my approach is to use location and movement on my pitches to keep the hitters off balance,” said Zurowski.

Phillips is from Nacogdoches, Texas and joins the Otters after spending 2018 with the New York Bucks of the independent Empire Professional Baseball League. With the Bucks, Phillips batted .250 in 12 games with a home run and six RBIs.

“Dakota was signed out of our Evansville tryout camp in March,” said McCauley. “Bobby Segal (Otters hitting coach) recognized attributes that we are looking for to come in and compete for a starting job.”

“I’m thankful for this opportunity and prove others wrong that have overlooked me at the professional level,” said Phillips. “I have found success at every level that I’ve played at, and I’m ready to come to Evansville and prove myself at the professional level and compete for a starting role.”

Phillips played collegiately at Tennessee Wesleyan for his senior season. With Tennessee Wesleyan, Phillips hit .353 with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs. Phillips also had 17 doubles, 38 runs, and 29 walks.

“Phillips was on our radar last year but being able to see him first hand is what got him signed,” said McCauley.

“When I step into the batter’s box, my mindset is to put runs on the board,” said Phillips. “In my career, I’ve been successful hitting for power and average, and I look to carry that over into this season with the Otters.”

“Behind the plate, I look to bring my knowledge of the game and take on a leadership role, getting to know and work hard with the pitching staff.”

“I’m excited to experience the atmosphere in Evansville that I’ve heard so much about and look forward to the opportunity to bringing a championship back to Evansville.”

Welch was acquired by the Otters in a trade with the Windy City Thunderbolts. With Windy City, Welch went 7-6 in 2018 and recorded a 3.76 ERA in 18 starts with 78 strikeouts in 105.1 innings pitched.

“Jake had impressive numbers for Windy City last year, and his character came highly recommended from numerous people,” said McCauley.

“The trade to Evansville has me anxious yet exciting and looking forward to being with some old teammates like Randy (Wynne) and Hunter (Wood),” said Welch. “We dominated to a championship in the United Shore League in 2017.”

Before pitching for the Thunderbolts, Welch spent two years in the United Shore League with the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers, going 6-4 with a 2.90 ERA and three saves overall.

“I’m trying to perform at my highest level to give this team and myself an opportunity to advance to the next chapter,” said Welch.

“He is close friends with a few of our players and should compete for a starting job,” said McCauley.

In 2017, he finished fourth in the league in wins (5) and ERA (2.82) and fifth in strikeouts (76).

“On the mound, I’ve always kept a good composure but also come out with a bulldog mentality, and my mound presence speaks for itself from the first moment I step across the lines,” said Welch.

“I play with a ton energy, fast pace and shut down capability. When I step on that bump, I have one job to do, and then my focus and competitive nature take over.”

Welch attended Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio and is from Spencerport, N.Y.

The Otters will open the 25th season celebration against the Southern Illinois Miners on May 10 at Bosse Field.

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 EvansvilleOtters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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

JOHN STERLING TO HEADLINE ALL-STAR LUNCHEON

(Rockland County, NY) – The Rockland Boulders announced today that legendary New York Yankees broadcaster John Sterling will be the featured guest speaker for the All-Star Game Luncheon on Tuesday, July 9, at the New York Country Club in Spring Valley. The event will run from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm to kick off the All-Star Celebration, with the Home Run Derby to follow later that night. The following evening, July 10, the Boulders will serve as hosts for the first-ever All-Star Game between the Can-Am and Frontier Leagues at Palisades Credit Union Park.

Sterling, a member of the New York Sportscasters’ Hall of Fame, is best known for his three decades as the radio voice of the Yankees. He has also won two Emmy Awards for his work as host of YES Network’s Yankeeography series. His ties to New York sports date back to the early 1970s, when he served as play-by-play announcer for both the Nets and the Islanders.

Stars from both leagues will also be in attendance as the luncheon marks the official start of the All-Star festivities. The Home Run Derby, featuring players from both leagues, will take place at 7:30 pm Tuesday. That leads up to Wednesday’s showcase, with some of the best minor league talent in the country taking the field for this historic match-up.

Admission for the luncheon is $60 per ticket ($50 for Season Ticket Members) and a table of 10 is $500, with proceeds going to the non-profit Boulders Community Fund. Tickets for the Luncheon, Home Run Derby, and All-Star Game are on sale now and can be purchased at the Palisades Credit Union box office or online at www.rocklandboulders.com/allstarsummer2019.

The Boulders open their All-Star Summer against the defending Can-Am champ Sussex County Miners on Thursday, May 16, 2019. Individual game tickets are now on sale; for more information, please visit our box office, call 845-364-0009 or slide to rocklandboulders.com.

2019 Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Hey Grizzlies Fans!

Summer is right around the corner and so is the Annual Easter Egg Hunt!!

This is a friendly reminder to mark your calender for Saturday, April 20th and join us at GCS Credit Union Ballpark for some EGGcellent fun! Admission to the event is FREE. Registration will begin at 9:00 A.M. with the egg hunt kicking off around 9:30 A.M. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled hunt.

Expect the Easter Bunny, Izzy the Grizzlie, Lizzy the Polar Bear, and many more interactive activities!

There will also be an EXCLUSIVE GOLDEN EGG featuring a special prize during each group’s hunt!

The Grizzlies invite ALL families in the local area to this event! We HOP to see you all there! Please note that participants CAN hunt in an older age group, but CANNOT join a younger group. Listed below are the egg hunt age groups:

1-2 year olds (1 parent per child)
3-4 year olds (1 parent per child)
5-6 year olds
7-8 year olds
9-10 year olds
11-12 year olds

**ALL season ticket holders (mini-plan, half-season and full-season) are encouraged to pick up their season tickets at this time as well.

Standout From San Jose Adds to Things’ INF

WASHINGTON, Pa. (Apr. 11)-The Wild Things announced today the signing of INF Wander Franco for the 2019 season.

Franco is entering his 8th season of professional baseball after being signed by the Kansas City Royals in 2012 out of Bani, Dominican Republic. During the 2017 off-season he was selected in the Rule 5 Draft by the San Francisco Giants. Wander played the 2018 season for the San Jose Giants and was selected as a Mid-Season All-Star in the California League.

The infielder has posted a .275 career batting average and has hit 30 homeruns as a pro. During his All-Star season with the Giants he smashed 39 doubles and drove in 65 runs while hitting .277 in 124 games played. Beyond his extra base hit prowess, Franco brings his experience defensively at the hot corner where he had made 379 career starts. The Franco family has been quite successful on the diamond in the states. His cousins are MLB veterans (Willy and Erick Aybar), his brother Wander Alexander Franco has put together a solid career with the Astros and his youngest brother Wander Samuel Franco plays for the Rays is ranked the 13th best prospect in Major League Baseball.

“Wander was heavily sought after by about a dozen teams. We are very excited to add such a talented player to our roster,” said General Manager Tony Buccilli. “He should be a simple plug and play at third base and one of the marquee bats in our lineup. History shows his game is built around extra base hits and being relied on to drive in runs. Hopefully this signing elevates our lineup to the ‘dangerous’ level we aim for annually,” Buccilli stated.

The East Division Champions return to the field as they open the season Thursday, May 9 at River City, with the home opener slated for Friday, May 17 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. In 2018, the team won its first East Division Championship since 2007 and came within two runs of winning the first Frontier League title in franchise history. 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.

Evansville Gives Extensions to Hensley, McGuff and Nicely; Exercise Vail’s Option

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters have signed pitchers Ty Hensley, Patrick McGuff and Austin Nicely to contract extensions and exercise option on pitcher Tyler Vail for the 2019 season.

Hensley comes back to the Otters after bouncing back from injury in the second half of the 2018 season.

“We are excited to see Ty this spring,” said Otters manager Andy McCauley. “He worked extremely hard this offseason and had a lot of interest.”

“I am really excited to be coming back to a comfortable and familiar situation,” said Hensley. “I’m ready to go compete and have fun with the group of guys we have coming in.”

A highlight from the 2018 season for Hensley came in an August home start against the Florence Freedom.

Hensley and relief pitcher Matt Chavarria threw a combined no-hitter against the Freedom, the third no-hit bid in Otters’ history.

Hensley went the first five innings, walking four and striking out seven before handing the ball off to Chavarria for the two-inning save.

Overall, Hensley went 2-0 with a 5.28 ERA, striking out 31 batters in 30.2 innings pitched with the Otters in 2018.

“There is no doubt he is very capable of doing good things for us this season, and we are hoping to get him to a good start this season,” said McCauley.

“Being my first season competing in such a long time, working back to 100% health, I had to get used to the adrenaline and shake off the rust,” said Hensley.

“I’ve made a few changes in my delivery by slowing it down, simplifying it a bit, and making adjustments pitch to pitch will be key for me this season.”

Hensley resides in North Port, Fla. and has spent time with the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays organizations.

He was drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2012 draft. In his time with the Yankees organization, Hensley had a 2.95 ERA in 16 games played with 54 strikeouts.

McGuff returns to the Otters after a stint in affiliated baseball with the Cincinnati Reds organization in the second half of 2018.

“Patrick was a dominant starter for us last year and will certainly be at the top of our rotation,” said McCauley.

“It feels great coming back to Evansville and the atmosphere it provides,” said McGuff. “The coaching staff is second to none, and without them, I’m not sure I would have continued my baseball career. They’re great to work with.”

McGuff started 2018 in the Evansville Otters’ starting rotation, posting a 3-1 record and a 1.55 ERA in five starts. McGuff struck out 26 batters in 29.0 innings pitched for the Otters.

McGuff was signed by the Reds in July of 2018, and was assigned to the Dayton Dragons, the Reds’ Single-A affiliate.

With the Dragons, the right-hander was 2-5 with a 4.09 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 10 starts and 50.2 innings pitched.

“He is a fierce competitor on the mound and should have another opportunity with an affiliated team,” said McCauley.

“I really enjoyed my time in the Reds organization,” said McGuff. “I met great people and learned more about myself and the game every day. I got even more emphasis on what consistency is needed day in and day out to be a successful baseball player at the professional level.”

“Being from Cincinnati and being able to be a part of my hometown organization was truly a blessing.”

A Cincinnati, Ohio native, McGuff was drafted in the 36th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins from Morehead State University.

Nicely proved to be a durable starting pitcher from the left-handed side in 2018, finishing first on the team with 20 starts and second on the team with 114.2 innings pitched.

“Austin did a great job for us last year and will be looking to improve on that stellar year,” said McCauley.

“I’m really excited to be back in Evansville with all the guys we have coming back,” said Nicely. “The coaching staff is one of the best I’ve been around and really enjoy playing for them.”

Nicely went 8-5 with a 4.24 ERA and 85 strikeouts last season, tossing one complete as well.

In game three of the FLDS against the Washington Wild Things, Nicely worked out of the bullpen in long relief, going four innings scoreless and allowing only one hit while striking out four.

“Austin is a composed left-handed pitcher that challenges hitters and commands the strike zone,” said McCauley.

“He did a great job keeping us in the playoff game last year, shutting down Washington.”

“Last season was a work in progress, trying to get better each outing,” said Nicely. “I’ve been working to sharpen up all my pitches.”

“I hope to build off the finish of last year and help us to get back to playoff baseball at Bosse Field.”

The southpaw was drafted in the 10th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft from Spotswood High School in Penn Laird, Va. by the Houston Astros and pitched in the Astros organization from 2013 to 2016 before joining the Otters last year.

Vail, the Easton, Pa. native, comes back to the Otters for what will be his fourth season overall with the franchise.

Vail was with the Otters from 2015 to 2016 before signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, and then returned to Evansville in 2018.

“Tyler is a character player that works extremely hard,” said McCauley. “He is receptive and capable of throwing in every role and situation.”

“It feels great coming back to Evansville, and I love playing in of the fans at Bosse Field,” said Vail. “It’s a great environment for baseball and pitching for the coaching staff is great because they hold you accountable.”

The right-hander went 3-4 with a 5.33 ERA in 14 starts in 2018. Vail moved to the bullpen toward the end of 2018, making four appearances with two saves. Overall, Vail also struck out 88 in 79.1 innings pitched.

“Tyler has started for us most of his time in Evansville, but with his success closing at the end of the season last year, he will be tabbed as our closer this year,” said McCauley.

“One thing I took away from the mound last year was remain positive, and never get too high when things are going well and never too low when things are going bad,” said Vail.

“I’ve worked on becoming a batter all-around pitcher, and even though I’ve been playing pro baseball for 10 years, there is always room for improvement.”

Vail was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 5th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft from Notre Dame High School in Easton, Pennsylvania.

“I am very pleased to have returning experienced pitchers in Hensley, McGuff, Nicely and Vail,” said McCauley. “Not only do they each have extensive affiliated experience but also Frontier League experience. They understand what we are working toward in the Otters organization.”

The Otters will open the 25th season celebration against the Southern Illinois Miners on May 10 at Bosse Field.

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.

WEBSITE LINK: https://www.evansvilleotters.com/news-home?nID=19

Miners Sign Brett Siddall, Andy Cosgrove, Steven Kraft

Marion, IL (April 11, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have signed outfielder Brett Siddall, catcher Andy Cosgrove, and utility player Steven Kraft for the upcoming 2019 season

Siddall comes to Marion from the Oakland Athletics organization, where he hit .208 with 15 doubles, eight home runs and 50 RBIs in 118 games split between Double-A Midland (74 contests) and class A-Advanced Stockton in 2018, his fourth season with the A’s. He was teammates with fellow Miners signee Chris Iriart the previous three years with Oakland, and in 2017 was named an MiLB.com Organizational All-Star as well as a California League Postseason All-Star in the outfield. Siddall batted an even .300 with 23 doubles, 21 home runs, 68 RBIs, 132 total hits and 78 runs scored in 117 games with Stockton that season.

The Windsor, Ontario native, who is the son of former major league catcher and current Toronto Blue Jays TV analyst Joe Siddall, was selected in the 13th round of the 2015 MLB Draft after a three-year career at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, where he was a 2015 Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American and MAAC Player of the Year, batting .353 with 24 doubles, 12 homers and 63 RBIs in 62 games as a junior.

“Brett brings a legitimate power bat to the middle of our lineup,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “He has had strong success in the A’s organization, and we’re thrilled he chose the Miners to continue his career.”

Cosgrove joins the black and gold after a pair of seasons in the Minnesota Twins organization, batting .262 with 12 RBIs in 19 games in rookie ball with the Elizabethton Twins in 2018. The Kirkland, Washington native was a 17th-round selection by the Twins out of North Carolina State University, where he batted .284 as a junior with 11 doubles, four homers and 12 RBIs in 19 games with the Wolfpack.

“Andy brings another strong catcher onto our roster,” Pinto added. “He comes from a strong college program, from which we have great reports, and had two solid years with the Twins. He had a number of options, and we are excited he chose to join us.”

Kraft comes to Southern Illinois by way of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, where he hit .321 with nine doubles, a pair of homers and 29 RBIs in 31 games for the Pirates’ rookie affiliate in the Gulf Coast League. The utility man from Gainesville, Virginia played four years collegiately at Western Kentucky University, and hit .382 with 13 doubles and 33 RBIs in 44 games as a senior for the Hilltoppers in 2018 to earn Second Team All-Conference USA honors. Defensively, he saw action at four different positions with the Pirates.

“Steven comes to us after I got strong recommendations on him from the Pirates organization,” Pinto said. “He hit successfully in college and continued that success in professional baseball. He brings positional flexibility, and is a high-on-base-percentage guy. We are glad to add him to our roster this spring.”

Be sure to follow the Miners online at southernillinoisminers.com and on social media as they prepare for the 2019 season!

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.

Jacob’s Village Game Scheduled for May 3 Against Miners

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters and Jacob’s Village announced the continuation of a 15-year partnership, highlighted by an Otters’ exhibition game on May 3 at 6:35 p.m. against the Southern Illinois Miners to benefit Jacob’s Village.

“Over the time of this partnership, we have raised $190,000 and hopeful that this year we will hit $200,000,” said Jacob’s Village Development Director Laura Hurt.

“We do this because a generous 100% of the sales goes to support Jacob’s Village, and proceeds from this game will allow Jacob’s Village to continue to live out its mission.”

The mission of Jacob’s Village is to develop a safe, walk-able neighborhood community where people with disabilities and older adults can find meaningful relationships, housing that is affordable and accessible, and activities that encourage active minds and bodies.

As a part of the benefit, the Otters will host a “Diamond Dash” sponsored by Tracy Zeller Jewelry. The dash will give every woman over the age of 18 an opportunity to go onto the field to a player, but only a selected 25 tickets will have the chance during the game to dash for a $1,000 Tracy Zeller Jewelry shopping spree.

There will also be cookies, door prizes, free popcorn (while supplies last), clowns and more.

“We would like to invite all of the Evansville community to come out Friday, May 3, to enjoy exciting Otters’ baseball, the $1,000 Diamond Dash, and to support a great cause. It’s really a fun night,” said Hurt.

“It’s been a wonderful partnership with Jacob’s Village, and it’s giving us an opportunity for a practice game on and off the field for our team,” said Otters Vice President of Sales Joel Padfield.

“We are looking forward to our 25th anniversary season and Jacob’s Village has been a part of 60% of our seasons.”

Tickets for this year’s game may be purchased at all G.D. Ritzy’s locations, Bosse Field and Jacob’s Village beginning Thursday. The Bosse Field box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit their website at www.jacobsvillage.org.

The Otters will open the 25th season celebration against the Southern Illinois Miners on May 10 at Bosse Field.

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.

Milwaukee Reliever Inks Contract with Wild Things

WASHINGTON, Pa. (Apr. 9)-The Wild Things announced today the signing of RHP Roberto Delgado for the 2019 season.

The 6’5 240 pound pitcher joined the Brewers organization after being selected in the 28th round of the 2017 MLB June Draft. Beyond his two professional seasons with the Helena affiliate, Delgado spent this past winter playing for the Gigantes de Carolina in Puerto Rico alongside Washington’s JJ Fernandez.

Delgado led the Oklahoma City University program to a NAIA World Series appearance, behind a 10-2 record and struck out 97 batters in 80 innings of work with a 3.49 ERA. The Texas native made the transition to the bullpen with the Brewers and has made 31 appearances with Helena of the Pioneer League. He has totaled 52 innings and 34 strikeouts professionally, with 2018 being his best season posting a 2.73 ERA.

“Roberto is a worker with the size and stuff teams look for. He is a team focused individual who will give us options.”, said General Manager Tony Buccilli. “I greatly appreciate his eagerness to compete here and I am confident we will get his 100%. We are looking to see him build on his success in Puerto Rico where he was one of the most promising arms”, Buccilli stated.

The East Division Champions return to the field as they open the season Thursday, May 9 at River City, with the home opener slated for Friday, May 17 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. In 2018, the team won its first East Division Championship since 2007 and came within two runs of winning the first Frontier League title in franchise history. 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.

SLAMMERS 2019 TICKETS ON SALE, ACTION PACKED PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE RELEASED

JOLIET, IL —The Champion Slammers are BACK!  An action-packed schedule has everything – from a championship ceremony, to The Sarge, Weiner Wednesdays to Edzo, a Domer named Zorich, a brand new Kid Zone, and MUCH MUCH MORE!  Opening Day is just 31 days away!  Fans can now purchase tickets for their favorite theme nights over the phone at (815) 722-2287 or at jolietslammers.com/tickets

Opening day at Joliet Route 66 Stadium is set for Thursday, May 9.  It will be a celebration of the 2018 Frontier League Championship and will include a championship ring ceremony for the team before the game.  The first 1000 fans will receive a championship photo provided by Brian Mejdrich your local health insurance professional with United Insurance Services representing Blue Cross and Blue Shield of IL.

Returning weekday promotions include $2 Tuesdays ($2 Reserved tickets), presented by Illinicare Health, Thirsty Thursdays, ($2 Bud, Bud Light, $2 beverages from the Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group, and $4 Jim Beam and Ole Smoky drinks) presented by Bud Light, and Fireworks Fridays.  The Slammers will introduce Weiner Wednesday, Signature Saturday, and a revamped Family Sunday.  Weiner Wednesday will feature $1 hot dogs on May 29, June 5, June 12, and August 14.  Signature Saturdays will include an appearance by celebrities on select nights.  Celebrities include Chris Zorich on May 18 for Notre Dame Night, Gary Matthews on June 15, and Eddie Olczyk on August 17 for Cancer Awareness Night.  Pricing and VIP packages will be announced at a later date.  Family Sunday returns in 2019 with more activities for the kids including a FREE bounce house provided by Channahon General Rental, FREE face painting provided by Lollipop Face Painting, AND a BRAND NEW playground system from Rainbow Play Systems!  For a membership of just $25, Kid Club Elite members get a Slammers hat, free entry to select games, and 30 minute early entrance before EVERY game to use the playground.  Post game, full team autographs will also return to Sundays..

The month of May will celebrate Accountants and CPAs on May 14 and Bus Drivers on May 28 in conjunction with $2 Tuesday.  The month also features two educational days beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15 and Thursday, May 16.  Friday, May 17 will be the first fireworks show of the year for Wild Wild West Night.  Notre Dame Night on May 18 will feature special ticket options for Notre Dame alumni.

Rolling into June, the Slammers will hold appreciation nights for teachers (June 4), government employees (June 11), and medical professionals (June 25).  June also brings back fan favorites such as Princess Night on Friday, June 14 and Star Wars Night on Saturday, June 15.  Princess Night includes princess characters provided by Magic, Music and More  and Star Wars Night will feature costume characters throughout the game.  Both games will be followed by a themed fireworks show. The Slammers will play a 1:05 p.m. game on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16. Fans will have the chance to play catch on field following the game.  New in 2019 is Animation Night with a Pixar themed fireworks show.  Fans are encouraged to dress up as their favorite animated cowboy, spaceman, or other friends from Radiator Springs, Monstropolis, and more!  The Slammers first pet day, where fans can bring in their pets on a leash or in a carrier, is June 23.

The Slammers kick-off July with Construction Worker Appreciation Night on the 2nd, and then roll into 3 nights of fireworks July 3-5. Patriotic fireworks are planned for both Wednesday, July 3rd, and Thursday July 4th. July 5th fireworks will be movie themed for Night at the Movies.  Fans are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite movie character.  The Slammers first military night will be held on Saturday, July 6. Tickets are free to active military and veterans.

Superhero Night is planned for Friday, July 19. In addition to superhero characters at the game, the night will honor real life superheroes, including Military, Police, Fire, and EMS. The night will begin with a pre-game charity softball game between the Joliet Police Department and Joliet Fire Department. The night will also feature post-game fireworks. The second Princess Night of the season will be held on Saturday, July 20 with post-game fireworks, followed by a second Pet Day on July 23.

Fans can “Catch Them All” on August 3 at Pokemon Go Night and scouts can sleep over after the game with the purchase of a special scouts package.  August 15 will be a celebration of the men and women who protect our cities, counties, state, and more during Stand Up for Blue Night.  Wizard Night returns on Friday, August 16 with a Harry Potter themed fireworks show and stadium scavenger hunt.  The third and final Pet Day will be on August 18.   The Slammers final regular season home stand features Halloween Night on Friday, August 30, Military Night on Saturday, August 31, and Fan Appreciation Night on Sunday, September 2.

The full promotional schedule can be found at www.jolietslammers.com  Visit facebook.com/jolietslammers to learn more details for each night as they are released.

Group tickets, ticket plans, and individual game tickets are on sale now.  For more information, visit jolietslammers.com or call the Box Office at (815) 722-2287. 

About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers play at Joliet Route 66 Stadium in downtown Joliet, Illinois, and are members of the professional, independent Frontier League.  The Frontier League is entering its 27th season of play in 2019.  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!

— Joliet Slammers

 

 

RANGERS PHYSICAL OF SIGNS WITH WILD THINGS

The Washington Wild Things announced today the signing of outfielder Preston Scott for the 2019 season.

Scott joins the Wild Things after 3 seasons with the Texas Rangers organization. The slugger was selected in the 34th round of the 2016 MLB draft out of Fresno Pacific University. Preston’s father, Tim Scott, enjoyed 7 years in the big leagues as a reliever with 4 clubs (San Diego, Montreal, San Francisco and Colorado).

The Scott son dominated the PacWest in his junior and senior year, smacking 34 doubles and driving in 83 runs while hitting over .340. Professionally he continued the trend of producing extra base hits and finding his way on-base. Nearly a third of his hits as a pro have gone for extra bases, including 41 doubles and 15 homeruns. Beyond his ability to drive in runs (83 RBI), he also stole 21 bases and posted a career OBP of .338.

“We annually strive to have the best outfield in the league. We have created a standard here that we ask our outfielders to uphold”, said General Manager Tony Buccilli. “Being a later round draft pick from a DII school, I think Preston has a natural chip on his shoulder. There is a lot of promise to his game; power, speed, athleticism, competitiveness. The more I do this, the more I value bringing quality personalities into the clubhouse. Preston just fits as a Wild Thing and there’s mutual belief he can be factor bat in our lineup”, Buccilli stated.

The East Division Champions return to the field as they open the season Thursday, May 9 at River City, with the home opener slated for Friday, May 17 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. In 2018, the team won its first East Division Championship since 2007 and came within two runs of winning the first Frontier League title in franchise history. 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.