Updates on recent signings across Atlantic League

Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Atlantic League, Bridgeport Bluefish, Dan DeGeorge, Eduardo Morlan, Jeremy Hill, Jeremy Owens, Joe Augustine, Jorge Julio, Long Island Ducks, Luis Lopez, Nick Green, Richard Giannotti, Somerset Patriots, Southern Maryland, Travis Minix

Before we get to news on the recent signings across the Atlantic League, here’s an update on the York Revolution ticket sale this Saturday, Feb. 4:

Individual tickets for the Revs’ 2012 season go on-sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. both online and in-person at the Apple Chevrolet ticket office as part of the “Home Runs for Hearts” event presented by the American Heart Association and Lincolnway Flower Shop. Longtime York pitcher Corey Thurman will be on-hand signing autographs from 10 a.m. until noon at the ticket office. Visit www.YorkRevolution.com for more details

Now back to the news…

Outside of York, there has been a flurry of signings across the Atlantic League this week. More recently, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Bridgeport Bluefish, Long Island Ducks and Somerset Patriots have announced signings. And a lot of the usual suspects are returning. Here’s an update on all the recent announcements:

Dan DeGeorge

SOMERSET: Infielder Dan DeGeorge and starting pitcher Joe Augustine were announced on Jan. 30 as the Patriots’ first player signings of the New Year.

DeGeorge, who turns 25 in February, returns for his second campaign with the Patriots. The Princeton University product topped out at Class AA in 2010 as a Cleveland Indians prospect. DeGeorge, who is a right-handed batter, joined Somerset last year after the Indians released him. The New Jersey native went on to finish the year at Somerset by batting .256 with eight doubles and 20 runs scored in 58 games for the Patriots.

Augustine, 27, is a former Kansas City Royals prospect who has spent each of the last three seasons in independent baseball with the Southern Illinois Miners, of independent Frontier League. Last season, the right-hander went 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA in six starts. Augustine owns a career 8-3 record and 3.35 ERA in five minor league seasons.

Luis Lopez

BRIDGEPORT: The Bluefish also announced their first signings of 2012 on Feb. 1. Bridgeport welcomed back relief pitcher Jorge Julio and veteran infielder (and former Revolution player) Luis Lopez.

Lopez, 38, returns for his seventh season in the Atlantic League and 17th of professional baseball. In 121 games with Bridgeport last year, he recorded a .276 batting average with 67 RBI and 59 runs scored in 456 at-bats and also reached a career milestone by collecting his 2,000th career hit.

York was one of five teams Lopez played for in 2007. That year, he batted .276 with a homer and four RBIs in eight games for the Revs. Lopez reached the majors twice in his career, playing in 41 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001 and 11 games for the Montreal Expos in 2004. While he does own a career .228 big league batting average, the Coastal Carolina University product also has a career .299 minor league batting average, including a .288 average in the Atlantic League.

Julio, who turns 33 in March, is a former long-time major leaguer who last played in the Atlantic League with Bridgeport in 2010.  Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates invited Julio to spring training, but he suffered an arm injury early in camp and was forced to sit out the 2011 season.

Over his nine-year big league career, Julio spent time with the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks, Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, and Cleveland Indians. He has accumulated a career 4.43 ERA and recorded 17 wins and 99 saves over 453 big league appearances. He last pitched in the majors in 2009 with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Eduardo Morlan

SOUTHERN MARYLAND: The Blue Crabs brought back four players in announced signings on Feb. 1. Re-signing with the team are pitchers Nick Green and Eduardo Morlan, outfielder Richard Giannotti, and player/coach Jeremy Owens.

Green, 27, had an outstanding 2011 campaign in his first time playing in independent baseball. One of six Blue Crabs players named to the 2012 Liberty Division Atlantic League All-Star team, Green led the Southern Maryland in wins (11-6), had the best ERA of any Blue Crabs’ starter with 10 or more starts (3.96) and set a club record for innings pitched (150). The right-hander is a former prospect of seven different major league organizations, which includes the Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Morlan, who turns 26 in March, also made his first appearance in independent baseball in 2011 by playing for the Blue Crabs after spending part of last season with the Atlanta Braves Class AA affiliate Mississippi. The right-handed reliever finished last season with a 1.96 ERA in 38 apperances (36.2 innings) for Southern Maryland. A former third-round pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2004 draft, Morlan has also spent time in affliates of the Braves, Tampa Bay Rays and Milwaukee Brewers.

Owens is a 35-year-old veteran outfielder and former prospect of the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. He served as the club’s first-ever player/coach in 2010. A Padres’ eighth-round pick of the 1998 draft, Owens last season batted .236 with 13 homers and 48 RBIs in 110 games for Southern Maryland.

Giannotti will enter his fourth season with the Blue Crabs. Despite spending majority of the first half of 2011 on the disabled list, Giannotti returned to the lineup in July and went to bat .276 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 33 games. The University of Miami product is former prospect of the Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals. He previously played in the Can-Am League, helping lead the Pride to a league title in 2007.

With the signings, the Blue Crabs now have eight players under contract for the 2012 season.

Jeremy Hill

LONG ISLAND: The Ducks announced their first player signings on Jan. 31 by inking relief pitchers Jeremy Hill and Travis Minix.

Hill is a veteran relief pitcher who briefly appeared in the big leagues in 2002 and 2003 with the Kansas City Royals. A former prospect of the Royals, New York Mets and Los Angeles, the 34-year-old right-hander last season compiled an 8-2 record and 2.91 ERA in 48 regular season games for Long Island. In the post-season, he helped the Ducks win the Liberty Division Championship Series. Against York in the Atlantic League Championship Series, Hill was credited with allowing two earned runs on three hits in a 9-6 defeat to York in Game 3. He did allow just one hit in one inning of relief in the Revs’ Game 4 6-3 victory to capture the league crown.

Minix is a former Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies prospect who has spent each of the last three seasons entirely in independent ball. The 34-year-old has reached Class AAA four times in his 13-year baseball career. Last season, Minix went 0-1 with a 3.13 ERA in 19 games for the Somerset Patriots.

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