April 20, 2017 - American Association (AA) - Wichita Wingnuts
WICHITA, Kans. - A day after signing one former major leaguer, the Wichita Wingnuts welcomed a second into the fold, re-signing pitcher Charlie Leesman on Thursday.
Leesman battled through a series of nagging injuries with the Wingnuts last season, making seven starts and finishing 2-2 with a 5.18 ERA. The 6'4 lefty spent all of July and August on the disabled list, but returned to toss a scoreless relief outing in the Championship Series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
The southpaw was originally drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in the 40th round of the 2005 MLB Draft, but elected to attend Xavier University rather than sign. The decision paid off, as three years later Leesman was selected in the 11th round by the Chicago White Sox. Beginning his professional career in 2008 with the White Sox Rookie-level affiliate in Bristol, Virginia, Leesman steadily made his way through the minor-league system, reaching the majors in 2013. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native made his MLB debut in August of that year against the club that originally drafted him, and Leesman did not disappoint, allowing just one run over five innings while fanning eight Twins batters.
Leesman made one start for the White Sox the following season, then signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2015. Injuries limited him to just ten appearances for Triple-A Indianapolis, though Leesman posted a solid 4-1 record to go along with a 3.74 ERA. For his career, the 30-year old has 197 professional outings, with 152 of those coming as a starter.
Leesman is the 21st player to sign with the Wingnuts for the upcoming season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which opens on May 6.