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Blasters Add Four Players

November 2, 2014 - American Association (AA) - Joplin Blasters News Release

The Joplin Blasters have begun the process of building their 2015 roster, with the addition of four players. LHP Anthony Ferrara, INF Omar Luna, LHP Frank Del Valle, and OF Oscar Mesa make up the transactions.

The 25-year old Ferrara was a 7th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals and spent three seasons from 2012 to 2014 with their AA affiliate in Springfield before finding a home at the end of last season with the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League. Over 531 of career innings pitched experience with 412 career strikeouts, make Ferrara an extremely valuable left handed starter.

"We are very fortunate to have made this trade for Anthony Ferrara," said Blasters GM Shawn Suarez. "We hope for him to come in right away and compete for a top spot in our starting rotation."

27-year old infielder Omar Luna is no stranger to professional baseball. The Dominican Republic native has spent 8 seasons in the minor leagues and has reached as high as AAA with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2012 he was named to the AA All-Star team and as a MiLB.com Organizational All-Star for the Rays Montgomery (SOU) affiliate. During that season he batted .315 with 148 hits over 122 games. The extremely versatile Luna has experience at every infield position, as well as, some experience in the outfield and projects to be a big weapon for the Blasters in 2015.

Frank Del Valle is the second left-handed starter the Blasters have acquired thus far in the offseason. The native of La Habana, Cuba is a former Chicago Cubs prospect who spent time with the Cubs big league team in spring training of 2013. That season he had an impressive 64 strikeouts over 51 innings pitched with a 2.29 ERA. He joins the Blasters by way of divisional opponent Wichita Wingnuts.

28-year old OF Oscar Mesa rounds out the Blasters' recent transactions. He joins Del Valle as the second native of Cuba on the Blasters roster. Mesa spent 2014 with the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association and batted an impressive .327 with 5 triples and 18 stolen bases over 73 games played. He possesses electric speed and fits the profile perfectly of a rangy outfielder to patrol the grounds of Joe Becker Stadium.

"We are very happy with the moves we have been able to make so far," said Suarez. "Obviously we are a long way off from finding our 22-man roster for the 2015 season, but this is a strong start and a good base to build from."

The American Association will play as a 13-team league in 2015, with Joplin joining the South Division. The schedule will be a 100-game, full-season format with the three division winners and one wild card team making the playoffs.

Season Tickets are available for purchase and make great Holiday gifts. Single-game tickets for the 2015 season will go on sale at a later date to be determined. Corporate sponsorships are also filling up fast. For more information please call 417-437-6105 or visit our official team website at www.joplinblasters.com.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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