Bears sign Abraham Ayala and Melvin Falu

January 19, 2005 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Newark Bears News Release

NEWARK, NJ, Jan. 18—The Newark Bears of baseball’s independent Atlantic League announced today that the club has signed catcher Abraham Ayala and infielder Melvin Falu to contracts for the 2005 season. Both Ayala and Falu played in the Atlantic League a year ago with the, now defunct, Pennsylvania Road Warriors.

The 24 year-old Ayala is coming off of his best offensive season as a pro, having hit .286 for the Road Warriors in 2004 and having established career-highs in home runs (4), runs-batted-in (28) and doubles (12) while playing in 70 games. Originally a 37th round selection of the Houston Astros out of Miami Dade Community College in 1999, Ayala has also played in the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Devil Rays organizations.

Falu, who is also 24 years old, played in a career-high 107 games for Pennsylvania in 2004, establishing other career-highs in batting average (.266), runs-batted-in (46) and doubles (12). The versatile Falu, who also equaled his single season high in home runs (5), played every position on the field last season except for pitcher. Originally a 28th round selection of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Southern Arkansas in the 2002 draft, Falu was the 5th most difficult batter to strikeout in the New York Penn League in 2003 while playing for the New Jersey Cardinals.

“These are two players that we had our eye on all of last season,” said Bears Senior Vice President and General Manager Dean Rivera. “Both Abraham and Melvin had solid seasons in 2004 and began to reach their potential. We look forward to both of them building on their breakout years this season in Newark.”

The Bears open up the 2005 season with a home contest against the Somerset Patriots on April 27th. For Bears ticket information call (973) 483-6900 or log on to www.NewarkBears.com.

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