November 22, 2017 - American Association (AA) - Winnipeg Goldeyes
WINNIPEG, MB - The Winnipeg Goldeyes announced their first player signings for the 2018 season on Wednesday, adding catcher Jesse Baker, outfielder Jonathan Moroney, and right-handed pitcher Cody Strayer.
All three players are classified as rookies in the American Association.
Baker hit .253 with eight home runs and 35 RBI in 92 games for the Salina Stockade last season. The Sebring, Florida native played 44 games behind the plate, while also seeing time at first base and the outfield. In 2016, Baker was an all-star for the Pecos League champion Tucson Saguaros. The 25-year-old Baker hit .392 (ranked 12th in the Pecos League) with nine homers and 49 RBI in 54 contests. On August 11th of that year, Baker scored Tucson's championship-clinching run on a ninth-inning wild pitch that capped off a four-run rally over the Trinidad Triggers.
Baker played college baseball at Edward Waters College (Jacksonville, Florida) where he became the first All-American in program history during his senior season in 2015. The 6-foot, 195-pound catcher hit .430 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI in just 51 games for the Tigers, while throwing out 46 percent of opposing base stealers (25-for-54). Baker also spent two years at Daytona State College (Daytona Beach, Florida) from 2012-13. A right-handed hitter and fielder, Baker started his professional career in 2015, appearing in two games for the Frontier League's Normal Cornbelters before signing with Tucson the following summer.
Moroney finished last season in Salina as a teammate of Baker. The Houston, Texas native hit .294 in 50 games for the Stockade with one home run and 16 RBI. Moroney batted .313 with runners in scoring position, and chipped in six assists in 38 games played in the outfield. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Moroney began the year with the Pecos League's Alpine Cowboys, hitting .449 with 17 doubles, 12 home runs, and 53 RBI in just 32 games. At the conclusion of the season, the 53 RBI still ranked 12th in the Pecos League, despite Moroney playing in just over half of Alpine's total games (62).
Moroney is entering his second year of professional baseball. A right-handed hitter and fielder, Moroney played four collegiate seasons at Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas) from 2013-16. Moroney hit a combined .277 during his college career, including a .319 average as a senior. In both his junior and senior seasons, Moroney-who will be 24 on Opening Night-helped the Aggies to an NCAA Super Regional, as well as a top-10 national ranking.
Strayer also ended his 2017 season with the Stockade, posting a 1-2 record and a 4.96 ERA over 12 relief appearances. The Columbus, Ohio native struck out nine batters in 16.1 innings pitched. Strayer played the majority of 2017 with Trinidad where he was 4-3 with three saves and a 3.58 ERA in 50.1 frames. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-hander finished sixth in the Pecos League in ERA, and tied for 12th in strikeouts (65) despite pitching almost exclusively in relief (three starts, 30 relief appearances). Strayer worked a scoreless inning in the Pecos League All-Star Game, while helping the Triggers reach the playoffs.
Strayer pitched three seasons at Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, Ohio) from 2013-15. Strayer-who turns 25 on Opening Night-compiled a 4.22 ERA in 217.1 collegiate innings. Both figures rank in the top-10 in Shawnee State's career records.
The Goldeyes have three players under contract for the 2018 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins Sunday, May 6th.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes celebrate their 25th season in 2018, and begin action on May 18th against the Cleburne Railroaders on the road. The Goldeyes' 2018 home opener is Friday, May 25th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park. For information on season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings, call the Goldeyes' office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes' official website at www.goldeyes.com