February 19, 2013 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Lancaster Barnstormers
Reigning Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year Dwayne Pollok will be back with the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2013, it was announced today by manager Butch Hobson.
In addition, catcher Francisco Hernandez is headed to Clipper Magazine Stadium for a second consecutive campaign.
Pollok, 32, played an integral role for the record-setting Barnstormers in 2012. After beginning the season in the bullpen, he moved into the starting rotation in June. After bolting out to a 7-0 start, the right-hander posted a 14-4 overall mark and set a Barnstormers franchise record with a league-leading 2.30 ERA. In 145 innings on the mound, he allowed merely 29 walks and only eight home runs while striking out 113.
He was one of a quartet of Barnstormers hurlers that each won 13 or more games, the first such foursome in Atlantic League history.
Success continued for the San Antonio, TX native during the winter. Pollok was named the Pitcher of the Year in the Venezuelan Winter League for the second straight time. While pitching for Las Aguilas de Zulia, the right-hander won seven of nine decisions while ranking among league leaders with a 2.36 ERA.
Pollok was the 27th round draft choice of the Chicago White Sox in 2003, coming out of Texas A & M. He saved 38 games for Class A Winston-Salem in 2004 and went on to pitch at the Class AAA level for both the White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"We're ecstatic to have Dwayne back," said Hobson. "He's going to be our #1 guy. I am looking forward to having him out there every fifth day."
Hernandez, 27, appeared in 66 games for the Barnstormers' Freedom Division championship team in 2012, batting .258 with six homers and driving in 29 runs. He hit .354 with four homers and 21 RBI in 21 games played from July 19 thru September 3.
The switch hitter from the Dominican Republic finished in the top five in batting in his first two professional seasons, playing for Bristol in 2004 and Great Falls in 2005. He remained with the White Sox organization through 2008. After playing in the Dominican Winter League, Hernandez returned to the United States with the Rio Grande Valley White Wings in 2011 before joining the Barnstormers last year.
"Everybody loves Francisco," said Hobson. "He's a solid defensive catcher and can swing the bat. You've got to have Francisco on your team."
Lancaster currently has three players under contract for the 2013 season.
The Lancaster Barnstormers are entering their ninth season as a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Home games are played at Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit LancasterBarnstormers.com for more information.