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Blue Crabs Add Four to Pitching Staff

Blue Crabs add two starters and two relievers

(Waldorf, Md., April 6, 2017) – The Blue Crabs have announced the signing of four pitchers to the 2017 10th anniversary roster. Right-hander Justin De Fratus and lefty Zack Dodson have been added to the starting rotation, while righties Austin Fleet and Jesse Beal will help solidify the Blue Crabs bullpen.

Justin De Fratus made his MLB debut in 2011 with the Philadelphia Phillies, where he spent parts of five seasons coming out of their bullpen. He was drafted in the 11th round by the Phillies in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft. In 191 major league games, De Fratus struck out 170 batters in 194 innings of work. He comes to Southern Maryland from the San Diego Padres, where he received a non-roster invite for Spring Training.

Zack Dodson joins the Blue Crabs after spending the 2016 season with the Laredo Lemurs of the American Association, where he went 2-1 with a 1.27 ERA in six games. The southpaw was drafted in 2009 by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth round of the MLB Amateur Draft. Dodson spent seven seasons in the Pirates organization, before joining Caribes de Anzoategui of the Venezuelan Winter League for the end of 2015. He began 2016 in the Mexican Pacific Winter League with Mayos de Navojoa, before finishing with Laredo.

Reliever Austin Fleet joins Southern Maryland after starting 2016 in the San Francisco Giants organization and finishing with the Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan Winter League. Fleet was drafted by the Giants in the 16th round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft out of Coastal Carolina University. He spent seven seasons in the Giants organization, spending four seasons in AAA with the team. In his minor-league career, Fleet appeared in 188 games, finishing with a 3.71 career ERA in 543.2 innings pitched.

Right-hander Jesse Beal was drafted in the 14th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Beal spent six seasons in the Orioles organization, appearing in 127 games. He joins the Blue Crabs after spending the 2016 season with the Sussex County Miners of the Canadian-American Association, where he finished 2-0 with a 2.59 ERA.

“We’re excited to be closing in on finalizing the roster for this 10th Anniversary Season,” said Manager John Harris. “I’m expecting De Fratus and Dodson to solidify our starting rotation for this season, while Fleet and Beal provide more experienced arms out of the bullpen.”

The team opens up the 2017 season on April 20th in Waldorf versus the Long Island Ducks. The team kicks off its 10th Anniversary season with Crustacean Celebration presented by Elite Beatz on April 8th. To save your seat at the ballpark for the upcoming season and other team news, visit or call 301-638-9788.

About the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs

The Blue Crabs play 140 regular season games in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs. The Blue Crabs play at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland with affordable family fun. The franchise will open its tenth anniversary season on Thursday April 20, 2017. Please call 301-638-9788 or visit for more information and to reserve your seat at the ballpark today!

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.

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