March 4, 2013 - American Association (AA) - Gary SouthShore Railcats
GARY, Ind. - The RailCats and their all-time home run leader went separate ways in 2012, as Cristian Guerrero played for the Sioux Falls Pheasants in the American Association. After a year apart, the RailCats will bring Guerrero back to Northwest Indiana for a fifth season, RailCats skipper Greg Tagert announced Monday.
"I'm thrilled to have Cristian back in a RailCats uniform," Tagert said. "I know he's excited and he's been such a tremendous contributor to our success over the years. I have already heard from some of his teammates and they are ecstatic about it."
Guerrero, 32, is the RailCats all-time leader with 58 home runs and also holds the single-season record of 19, set in 2010. The Bani, Dominican Republic native is also the career leader in slugging percentage (.483) and OPS (.842), and is tied for third-all time in RBI (256).
Last season, Guerrero batted .249/.318/.444 and 59 RBI for the Pheasants while leading the team and ranking 11th in the league with 15 home runs. He also tormented his former team, batting .295 with six homers and 10 RBI in 13 games against the RailCats. Guerrero last played for the RailCats in 2011, batting .294/.362/.456 with a team-high 12 home runs and 82 RBI.
Guerrero, the cousin of former Major League start Vladimir Guerrero, is best known for hitting home runs in five consecutive at-bats on the same day during a doubleheader on July 9, 2010 at the Rockford RiverHawks. He became just the second professional baseball player ever to accomplish that feat and earned national recognition.
The veteran is entering the 15th season of a playing career that began at the age of 17 after being signed by the Milwaukee Brewers. Guerrero also played in the Angels, Mariners and Nationals organizations, reaching Triple-A. He has played in 1,280 games and has over 5,000 plate appearances to go along with 1,252 hits and 166 home runs. Guerrero enters the 2013 season with a .272 career batting average and a .443 slugging percentage.
The RailCats also announced several other moves. Right-handed pitcher Dexter Carter and catcher Kyle Day were placed on irrevocable waivers, as both are retiring from baseball. They 'Cats also signed right-handed pitcher Michael Oros, who was the first pick in the Texas Winter League draft. Oros made his professional debut in 2012 and was 2-3 with a 6.03 ERA with the White Sands Pupfish in the Pecos League.
RailCats Opening Day will be on Thursday, May 16 against the Lincoln Saltdogs at U. S. Steel Yard.