Around the League

Atlantic League Player Signings for March 17, 2022

BARNSTORMERS INK BIG LEAGUE VETERAN RZEPCZYNSKI

Lefty Brings Ten Years of MLB Experience to “The Barn”

Lancaster, PA --- The Lancaster Barnstormers have signed 10-year Major League veteran and World Series champion Marc Rzepczynski (zepp-CHIN-skee) to a contract for the 2022 season, it was announced today by manager Ross Peeples.

He becomes the 17th player on the 2022 Lancaster roster and second to have spent time at the Major League level.

Rzepczynski, 36, signed with Toronto as the Blue Jays’ fifth round pick in the 2007 draft. He began his career as a starter, making his Major League debut with a quality start at Tampa Bay on July 7, 2009. In his 11 starts for the Blue Jays that season, seven were quality starts with only two resulting in wins. He was 2-4 with a 3.67 ERA.

The left-hander would start again for Toronto in 2010, going 4-4 with a 4.95 ERA before settling into the setup relief role for which he is best known the following year, pitching in 43 games for the Jays before being dealt to St. Louis in an eight-player trade on July 27, 2011 and entering 28 more contests.

He got into 70 or more contests in a season three more times in his career.

The Californian has pitched for seven different Major League teams, including two stints with Cleveland, over his 10 big league seasons, appearing in 506 games. He has compiled a 14-27 record with a 3.89 ERA. Rzepczynski has also been a part of four big league post-seasons, winning a World Series ring with the Cardinals in 2011. He has made 21 post-season appearances, covering 12.2 innings with 16 strikeouts. Five of those appearances came in the 2011 NLCS when he picked up his lone post-season win against the Milwaukee Brewers. He worked four more games in the World Series win over the Texas Rangers.

Rzepczynski last pitched in the Majors on July 9, 2018 for the Indians. He spent the 2019 season with Arizona’s Class AAA affiliate in Reno, going 2-4 in 45 relief appearances. Prior to

the shutdown of minor league baseball in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he had signed to make his return to Toronto. The southpaw did not pitch in 2021.

“Marc is a veteran lefty that will be big for our bullpen and our clubhouse,” said Peeples. “With the experience that he has, he will be in some high pressure situations. His presence will also be a benefit to helping some of the young pitchers we have.”

The Barnstormers open their 2022 season at Gastonia on Thursday, April 21. They will return home eight days later to take on the York Revolution at 6:30 to begin the Clipper Magazine Stadium portion of the schedule.

About the Lancaster Barnstormers

The Lancaster Barnstormers are headed into their 18th year in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Home games are played at Ballpark Digest’s two-time Best Ballpark in MLB Partner League Baseball - Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit www.lancasterbarnstormers.com for more information.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

With teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.

 

SOUTHPAW RELIVER BRADY FEIGL SIGNED BY DUCKS

Long Island welcomes former Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers prospect

(Central Islip, N.Y., March 17, 2022) – The Long Island Ducks today announced the signing of left-handed pitcher Brady Feigl. He begins his first season with the Ducks and seventh in professional baseball.

“Brady has posted strong numbers at each level of his pro career,” said Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “He is a valuable addition to our bullpen, and we are happy to welcome him to Long Island.”

Feigl most recently pitched in the Texas Rangers organization. He spent the majority of the 2019 season with Triple-A Nashville in the Pacific Coast League, going 2-0 with a 3.43 ERA and 24 strikeouts to just three walks over 21 innings of work. The 31-year-old split time in 2018 between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock in the Rangers system, compiling a 6-1 record with a minuscule 1.53 ERA, four saves, 37 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58.2 innings over 42 games.

The Maryland native began his professional career in the Atlanta Braves organization in 2014. He combined to make 38 appearances at the Single-A level, going 5-5 with a 3.02 ERA, one save, 60 strikeouts and 13 walks in 65.2 innings over 38 appearances. The following season, the southpaw began the year in Triple-A with the Gwinnett Braves. Prior to playing professionally, he pitched for Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. Feigl was originally signed by the Braves as an amateur free agent in November of 2013.

“I am excited and thankful for this opportunity to play for the Ducks,” said Feigl. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about the coaches, the team and especially, the fans. I am ready to get back out on the field with a great group of guys and compete for the championship.”

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball. Over 8 million fans have enjoyed the Ducks brand of affordable, fun entertainment at Fairfield Properties Ballpark since inception in 2000. For further information, visit LIDucks.com or call 631-940-DUCK (3825).

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League is the first Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. The ALPB has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing 44 million fans to its family friendly ballparks over its 24-year history. For more information, please visit AtlanticLeague.com.

 

BARNSTORMERS BRING BACK MERCEDES

Right-Hander Wesley Rodriguez Signs Also

Lancaster, PA --- Second baseman Melvin Mercedes has been signed to a 2022 contract with the Lancaster Barnstormers, it was announced today by manager Ross Peeples.

Lancaster has also signed right-handed pitcher Wesley Rodriguez, a former Arizona Diamondbacks farmhand.

Mercedes, 30, will spend his third season in Lancaster. Over his first two, he has batted a combined .285 in 122 games with 21 doubles and 20 stolen bases. He has hit four home runs, including one during the 2021 season opener at Gastonia. Mercedes committed only five errors at second base in 2021 for a .980 fielding percentage.

Both seasons have been hampered due to injuries. In 2019, the Bronx, NY native broke an ankle sliding into second base on a steal attempt at Southern Maryland during the eighth game of the campaign. Last year, after batting .362 in his first 38 games, the switch hitter sustained a broken hand on a pitch against the Blue Crabs on July 18. He returned on September 10.

Prior to coming to Lancaster, Mercedes spent seven seasons in the Oakland system and reached Class AAA in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He played all nine positions in one game with Stockton, September 3, 2016.

“Melvin has been here for a few years and brings the energy to our team,” said Peeples. “He loves to play the game, and it’s fun watching him go out there every day.”

Rodriguez, 25, like Mercedes, hails from the Bronx and was in fact, recommended by the Lancaster second baseman. The 12th round pick for Arizona in 2015 made only eight appearances through the 2017 season before going 4-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 24 relief appearances with Class A-Hillsboro in 2018. His 2019 was even better, posting a 5-1 record and 2.01 ERA over 35 games with Class A Kane County.

Last season, Rodriguez was 2-4 with a 3.44 ERA with Hillsboro (A+) and Amarillo (AA).

Over his career, he has struck out 166 batters in 158 innings while allowing only 125 hits and 72 walks. His ERA in the minor league ranks stands at 2.68 entering this season.

“Wesley has a live arm that he is trying to bring back to where it was before,” said Peeples. “He can fit in several roles out of the bullpen. His career numbers are really good.”

The two signings give the Barnstormers 16 players under contract for the upcoming season which opens at Gastonia on Thursday, April 21. Lancaster will open the gates on the 2022 season at Clipper Magazine Stadium on Friday, August 29 with a game against the York Revolution.

About the Lancaster Barnstormers

The Lancaster Barnstormers are headed into their 18th year in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Home games are played at Ballpark Digest’s two-time Best Ballpark in MLB Partner League Baseball - Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit www.lancasterbarnstormers.com for more information.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

With teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.

 

Rockers Return Six from 2021 Club
Pair of catchers and outfielders join pitcher, infielder

 

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers today announced that six veteran players from the 2021 club have signed contracts to return to High Point this season. The six include catchers Logan Moore and Mike Gulino, outfielders Jay Gonzalez and Quincy Latimore, infielder J.R. DiSarcina and pitcher Cooper Casad.

 

The six returning veterans give the Rockers a total of 11 players under contract thus far for the 2022 campaign which will open on April 21 at Truist Point against the Kentucky Wild Health Genomes. .  They join pitcher Junior Rincon, infielders Michael Martinez and Diego Goris, first baseman Zander Wiel and infielder/outfielder Ben Aklinski.

 

 

Moore and Gulino are both catchers and will provide the Rockers with a solid backstop corps. Gonzalez and Latimore are eachj outfielders while DiSarcina is a versatile infielder and Casad was one of the mainstays of High Point’s starting rotation in 2021.

 

Casad went 7-4 in 2021 and led the Rockers pitching staff with a 4.73 ERA while being named the Atlantic League Pitcher of the Month in July. Moore was High Point’s starting catcher prior to having his contract was purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies in June but he returned to the club later in the season. Gulino was signed to fill Moore’s vacancy and proved to be a solid defensive catcher. Latimore is an original Rocker, having been with the club since its on-field inception in April 2019. The Rockers traded for Gonzalez in August 2021 and he helped solidify the outfield through the remainder of the 2021 campaign. DiSarcina was a professional rookie last year and developed into a quality utility infielder over the course of the season.

Cooper Casad

Casad returns for his second year as a Rocker after leading the team in ERA and finishing second in wins in 2021. Casad, 25, was 7-4 last season with a 4.73 ERA.  He made 19 starts and was named the Atlantic League Pitcher of the Month in July after going 4-0 with a 2.89 ERA that month.

Jamie Keefe on Casad:

“Cooper came into last year wanting to make the team as a starter and he did just that. He came in at the back end of the rotation at the start of the year and wound up being one of the top arms on the team. He had a great first year with us and I think he learned a lot. I’ve been able to watch him all winter (in Florida) as he gets ready for this season. He is really throwing the ball well right now and I look forward to getting him back in a Rockers uniform.”

J.R. DiSarcina

DiSarcina joined the Rockers at the start of training camp after completing his collegiate career at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Throughout the year, he proved to be a versatile middle infielder who saw action at both second base and shortstop while filling in on occasion at third base.  DiSarcina hit .257 on the year with five home runs and 57 RBI. He became a starter after Michael Russell suffered a broken jaw on July 28.

Jamie Keefe on DiSarcina:

“J.R. was a bit green when he got here last year but his eyes were wide open. He didn’t know the competition would be as good as it was. He proved us correct by going out there each and every day and competing the way he did. To come in as a true rookie from a Division III (UMass-Dartmouth) school and go out there and hit .257 with five homers and 28 RBI, and get the job done defensively, was a credit to him. He was just fantastic as a utility guy for us. Any time he was called on offensively, he was able to get the job done. I’m excited to see what he can bring to us this year.”

Jay Gonzalez

The Rockers acquired Gonzalez in a trade from Winnipeg of the American Association on August 6. The lefthanded-hitting outfielder batted .267 over the final 46 games of the season while hitting two home runs and driving in 12. He had a season-best four hits on Aug. 22 in an 8-5 win over Lexington. He tied for the team lead with three sacrifices and stole seven bases.

Jamie Keefe on Gonzalez:

“Jay didn’t get a chance to play every day with us last year until towards the end of the year. Players put up good numbers when they get a chance to play every day and Jay did just that. I think the world of him, he can play center field and left field as well as anybody.  He runs really well, and he is one of the best teammates you will ever have. Whenever he was called on, he was ready to play and he produced. You can’t replace a guy like Jay.”

Mike Gulino

Gulino signed with the Rockers on June 22, 2021 and hit .229 in 40 games with two home runs and 17 RBI. A solid defensive catcher, Gulino made his Atlantic League debut last season after playing parts of three seasons in the Frontier League and the American Association. The 2021 season was a comeback year for Gulino who missed the 2020 campaign while rehabbing from a traumatic injury suffered in a baseline collision in 2019.

Jamie Keefe on Gulino:

“Michael did everything and more of what we asked him to do last year.  He continually got better throughout the year and learned a lot from Logan (Moore) when he came back late in the year.  Michael knows he’s going to catch a couple times a week and anytime there is a doubleheader, he’s going to catch one of those games as well.  He’s going to get some playing time and he’s going to get leaned on quite a bit. He had some big hits for us last year and he just kept getting better every time he went out on the field.”

Quincy Latimore

Latimore is an original Rocker, having started in left field on the franchise’s Opening Night on April 26, 2019. He hit .264 in 111 games in his first season with 21 home runs and 72 RBI. In 2021, Latimore signed with an Italian professional team and did not return to the Rockers until August 27. He hit .297 with six home runs and 21 RBI over the final 39 games of the year. Over the course of his 14-year professional career, Latimore has hit 225 home runs and driven in 957 runs.

Jamie Keefe on Latimore:

“The 2019 season was a fantastic year for Quincy. The first half of last year he spent playing in Italy and was excited to come back. He just didn’t have what he felt was his best swing when he came back but that has driven him to go back and put in the work this offseason. He will report to camp in in the best shape of his life and I am looking for big things from Q this year. We’re going to lean on him a lot. He’s coming up on 250 career home runs and 1,000 RBI and I’m glad he’s going to do it in a Rockers uniform. He may be one of those guys who slides into an organization as well and puts some numbers up.”

Logan Moore

Moore was the Rockers’ opening day catcher in 2021 and remained the starter until his contract was purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies on June 20. He returned to the Rockers on Sept. 23 and hit .257 over his final 11 games of the season.  He ended the season with seven RBI in his final four games and homered in two of the last three games of the year. Moore was a standout at New Britain in the Atlantic League before joining the Rockers, earning 2019 ALPB All-Defensive honors at catcher.

Jamie Keefe on Moore:

“We know what Logan can do behind the plate and that is call the best game of any catcher in an MLB Partner league.  It doesn’t get any better than what he can do behind the plate. He has proven himself at the AAA level for six years and we look forward to having him take this staff to where it needs to be. He didn’t have a great year offensively in 2021 but this year, with him in the lineup regularly, we’ll see his offense come back to what it was in 2019.”

 

About High Point Baseball, Inc.

High Point Baseball, AKA The High Point Rockers, will begin their third season in the Atlantic League in 2022 in a state-of-the-art, $36M downtown ballpark, Truist Point. High Point Baseball is part of the fastest growing family sport in America and is committed to providing superior customer service and quality, affordable family entertainment for the Triad of North Carolina. The Rockers have built a fun and competitive atmosphere in both High Point and the Atlantic League while playing in the 2019 Ballpark of the Year.

 

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

With teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.

 

DUCKS RE-SIGN 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES MVP

Third baseman Deibinson Romero returns for third season on Long Island

(Central Islip, N.Y., March 11, 2022) – The Long Island Ducks today announced the signing of infielder Deibinson Romero. The 2019 Atlantic League Championship Series Most Valuable Player begins his third season with the Ducks and 16th in professional baseball.

“Deibinson has had several clutch home runs for us and is a terrific defender,” said Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “We look forward to welcoming him back to Long Island.”

Romero played in 79 games for the Ducks in 2021 after rejoining the team at the end of June. He posted a .252 batting average with 10 home runs, 47 RBIs, 53 runs, 65 hits, 111 hits and 16 doubles. Among his highlights were launching a homer in three consecutive games July 25-28 and clubbing a grand slam on September 12 at Lancaster. The 35-year-old then played in all seven of Long Island’s playoff games, hitting .273 with a homer, three RBIs, six runs and a team-leading seven walks.

The Dominican Republic native first joined the Ducks via trade in 2019 after beginning the season with the New Britain Bees. In 66 games with the Flock, he hit .268 with 11 home runs, 46 RBIs, 33 runs and 15 doubles. Romero led the Atlantic League with 11 RBIs during the playoffs. In the Championship Series, he led all players in RBIs (9), total bases (15) and home runs (2), earning Championship Series Most Valuable Player honors after the Ducks won the league title. The slugger is a two-time Atlantic League All-Star (2018-19) and won the pregame Home Run Derby at the 2018 All-Star Game held on Long Island. Previously, Romero has played in the Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees organizations, reaching Triple-A with all three. He was originally signed by the Twins as a free agent in 2004.

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball. Over 8 million fans have enjoyed the Ducks brand of affordable, fun entertainment at Fairfield Properties Ballpark since inception in 2000. For further information, visit LIDucks.com or call 631-940-DUCK (3825).

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League is the first Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. The ALPB has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing 44 million fans to its family friendly ballparks over its 24-year history. For more information, please visit AtlanticLeague.com.

 

 

 

 

 



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