Atlantic League transactions June 18 – 24
A total of 15 players and six teams were involved in transactions this past week. Three players were picked up by major league teams and assigned to affiliated ball. Eight players signed deals with Atlantic League clubs, two were released and one was traded. Another signed with a Mexican League club.
BRIDGEPORT: Signed C Norberto Susini, OF Norm Hutchins and RHP Chris Hayes; Released OF Peter Barrows and P Tobi Stoner
Hutchins, 36, joins the Bluefish for his second year in the Park City, sixth in the Atlantic League, and 18th of professional baseball. Originally drafted by the California Angels in the second round (40th overall) of the 1994 amateur draft, Hutchins reached as high as the Class AAA level with the Angels before being traded to the Colorado Rockies organization in 2000. Hutchins comes to Bridgeport after playing in 15 games for the Rockland Boulders (independent Can-Am League), where he hit just .164 with four RBIs and four runs scored. That was a dropoff from his 2011 numbers with Rockland, when he hit .295 with seven homers and 37 RBIs in 62 games.
Susini is a 23-year-old catcher who the Seattle Mariners signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011 out of Odessa College. In 17 games in short-season rookie ball that year, Susini hit .261 with one RBI. He comes to Bridgeport after playing in 10 games earlier this season for the Newark Bears (independent Can-Am League), where he hit .185 with with two RBIs.
Hayes joins the Bluefish for his third year in the Atlantic League and eighth of professional baseball. Last season, the righthander started five games for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and posted a 1-2 record with a 4.07 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 24.1 innings pitched.
The Bluefish had brought in Barrows, 24, back in late May to fill a roster spot in the outfield after the outfielders Joey Gathright and Collin DeLome earned big league contracts. The University of Bridgeport product is in just his second year as a pro. Last season, he split time between American Association clubs Kansas City and Wichita, batting a combined .288 with three homers, 20 RBIs and 24 runs scored in 42 games. In 12 games for Bridgeport this season, Barrows hit .286 with two RBIs and no runs scored.
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: RHP Jon Meloan picked up by New York Yankees; Ducks signed OF Colin Roberson
The Yankees assigned Meloan, 27, to Class AA Trenton Thunder of the Eastern League. While with the Ducks, the former Major Leaguer compiled a perfect 4-0 record with a team-best 0.99 ERA and 11 saves, good for second in the Atlantic League. TheKansas native struck out 36 batters while walking only eight and allowed just three earned runs in 27 and one-third innings pitched. Meloan becomes the fifth Duck to be signed by a Major League organization this year (Mitch Canham, Cardinals; Mike Rivera, Red Sox; Ryan Garko, Rays; Lew Ford, Orioles).
Roberson comes to the Ducks just a couple weeks removed from being released by the Camden Riversharks. The 28-year-old came back to the Atlantic League for the fourth consecutive season in Camden. A former Florida Marlins prospect and York Revolution outfielder, Roberson had spent the last two years with the Bridgeport Bluefish. He had a .162 average in 24 games for the ‘Sharks.
LANCASTER: RHP Jason Urquidez picked up by Boston Red Sox
Urquidez, 29, came to the Atlantic League for te first time in his now seven-year career after playing at Class AAA Reno (Diamondbacks) the entire 2010 and 2011 seasons. The California native was originally drafted by the D’Backs in the 17th round of the 2005 draft after playing college ball at Arizona State University, where he was a teammate of current Boston Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia. In 15 appearances for Lancaster, the right-hander posted a 2-0 record and 2.30 ERA. He struck out 14 and walked eight in 15.2 innings of work. The Red Sox have assigned Urquidez to Class AA Portland. He is the third Barnstormers’ player to earn an affiliated contract so far this season.
SOUTHERN MARYLAND: Traded OF David Espinosa to the Lincoln Salt Dogs (American Association for future considerations; Signed INF Kevin Rios
Southern Maryland had acquired the rights to switch-hitter Espinosa, 30, on Feb. 6 in a trade with the Grand Prairie Air Hogs (American Association) for a player to be named before May 1. A former first round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds, Espinosa batted .324 in 100 games for Grand Prairie last season before the Blue Crabs acquired him in mid-September. He went on to bat a collective .333 in seven regular season games and four playoff games for Southern Maryland, going 15-for-45 at the plate with 10 RBIs. He hit .225 with a homer and 12 RBIs in 42 games for the Crabs this season.
Rios, 30, is a former New York Mets’ prospect who has spent the last five seasons playing independent ball. Originally drafted by the Mets in the 26th round in 2003, Rios reached Class AA Binghamton in 2006, where he batted just .223 with a homer and 20 RBIs in 53 games. Last year with the Lincoln Salt Dogs (American Association), Rios hit just .156 in 36 games. He is a career .269 hitter on the indy circuit.
SUGAR LAND: Signed INF Luis Figueroa
Now in his 16th pro season, Figueroa makes his debut in independent ball. The utility infielder had cups of coffee in the big leagues with three different clubs in 2001 (Pirates, four games), 2006 (Blue Jays, eight games) and 2007 (Giants, six games). In all, he has a career .125 batting average in 18 big league games. He has spent each of the last two seasons playing at the Class AAA level for four separate organizations. In 110 games played last year between Nashville (Brewers) and Buffalo (Mets), Figueroa batted a combined .294 with a homer, 30 RBIs and 55 runs scored.
YORK: RHP Shawn Hill picked up by Toronto Blue Jays; 1B Chris Nowak picked up by Mexico City (Mexican League); Revolution signed LHP Matt Chico and LHP Wade Korpi
Hill did not allow a run in his five starts, setting a club record 27.2 consecutive innings scoreless streak (snapped Corey Thurman’s previous 24-inning mark set over four starts back in June 2008). The former major leaguer becomes the third York pitcher to have their contracts purchased by major league clubs this season, joining lefty reliever Ian Thomas (Braves) and lefty starter Ryan Feierabend (Reds).
Nowak’s departure is somewhat of a surprise considering what he had been through playing in the Mexican League earlier this year. Nonetheless, the Mexican League loves sluggers, and Nowak fits the mold. Although his average was .274 at the time he left York, Nowak was batting +.300 in the last month of games. He leaves York with 10 homers (top five in league) and 33 RBIs in 53 games.
Chico, 29, has totaled 43 games (40 startes) in the majors with Washington, going 7-15 with a 4.95 ERA from 2007 through 2010. He comes to York after being released by the New Jersey Jackals (independent Can-Am League), where he posted an 0-4 record and 9.39 in five starts.
Korpi, 26, comes to York after pitching for the Miami Marlins’ Class AA Jackson club, where he posted a 5.32 ERA in 17 appearances. The University of Notre Dame product is in just his fifth pro season. The Marlins drafted him in the 20th round in 2008 and he quickly made it to Class AAA New Orleans in 2010 for one appearance. He had the best year of his career last season, when he posted a 2.05 ERA at High Class A Jupiter and 2.25 ERA in 12 appearances at Jacksonville.