Long Island adds pair of former Giants draft picks
(Central Islip, N.Y., April 3, 2017) – The three-time Atlantic League champion Long Island Ducks today announced the signings of right-handed pitcher David Aardsma and catcher Alex Burg. Both players begin their first season with the Ducks, while Aardsma enters his 15th in professional baseball and Burg starts his eighth.
“Both players are eager to join the club for the upcoming season,” said Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “David’s extensive big league experience and Alex’s steady presence behind the plate will be valuable assets to our roster.”
Aardsma spent nine seasons in the Major Leagues and appeared in 331 games during that span. He compiled a record of 16-18 with a 4.27 ERA, 69 saves and 340 strikeouts in 337 innings of work. The righty’s best season came in 2009 with the Seattle Mariners when he ranked fourth in the American League in saves (38) and seventh in appearances (73). He also posted a miniscule 2.52 ERA and 80 strikeouts over 71 and one-third innings. The Denver native appeared in 43 games for the New York Mets during the 2013 season and also pitched in a game for the New York Yankees in 2012.
The 35-year-old last pitched in “The Show” during the 2015 campaign, making 33 appearances for the Atlanta Braves. That year, he also combined for a 2.41 ERA with the Gwinnett Braves (AAA, Braves) and Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA, Dodgers). Aardsma was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2003 amateur draft and made his Major League debut the following season on April 6. He threw two scoreless innings of relief at Minute Maid Park in Houston, earning the win in a 7-5 triumph over the Astros. Prior to his professional career, Aardsma led the Rice University Owls to the 2003 NCAA National Championship, earning two wins and a save during the College World Series.
Burg joins the Flock after spending the past two seasons in the Texas Rangers organization. He was named a California League Mid-Season All-Star in 2015 after totaling a .302 batting average, 15 home runs, 43 RBI and 14 doubles in 57 games. For his efforts, he earned promotions to both Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. The 29-year-old finished the season with career-highs in home runs (22), RBI (65), runs (71), hits (111) and games played (112).
The Washington native combined to play 79 games with Frisco and Round Rock in 2016 and launched seven homers while adding 38 RBI, 25 runs and 19 doubles. In addition to the Rangers, he has spent time in the Miami Marlins and Giants organizations. The backstop clubbed 14 home runs with Single-A San Jose in 2011 and added 10 more the following season with the club. Defensively, he threw out at least 40 percent of runners trying to steal in three consecutive seasons between 2010 and 2012. Burg was originally drafted by the Giants in the 24th round of the 2009 amateur draft.
The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit www.liducks.com.
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, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.