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Goldeyes Land Triple-A Shortstop, Deal for Exciting Rookie Arms

January 29, 2019 - American Association (AA) - Winnipeg Goldeyes News Release

WINNIPEG, MB - The Winnipeg Goldeyes added three players to their 2019 roster on Tuesday, signing experienced shortstop Adrian Marin, while acquiring rookie right-handed pitchers Devin Raftery and Mitchell Aker in trades.

Marin (pronounced muh-REEN) spent all of 2018 playing in the high minors of the Baltimore Orioles' farm system, including 76 games for the Triple-A International League's Norfolk Tides. The Miami, Florida native also appeared in 27 games for the Double-A Eastern League's Bowie Baysox. Overall, Marin hit .224 with 30 runs scored, 12 doubles, 23 RBI, and 37 walks. Defensively, Marin posted a .982 fielding percentage at shortstop in 62 games (four errors) between the two levels. As a frame of reference, the American Association's top three fielding percentages at shortstop in 2018 were .969, .967, and .967, while the league's single-season record is .976.

"I'm very proud to announce the addition of these three players to our roster," said Goldeyes' manager Rick Forney. "Adrian is a very good infielder that will take over the shortstop position for us. He has a lot of experience, and should be a great fit for us in Winnipeg."

Marin is entering his eighth season of professional baseball, and is a lifetime .246 hitter in 722 games, all of which have been played in the affiliated ranks. The 24-year-old has averaged 66 runs, 28 doubles, 54 RBI, and 19 stolen bases per 162 contests as a professional, and is a career .271 hitter in 717 at bats with runners in scoring position. Marin was drafted by the Orioles in the third round in 2012 out of Gulliver Prep High School (Coral Gables, Florida), and has reached the Double-A level in three different seasons. Baltimore assigned Marin to the prestigious Arizona Fall League in both 2015 and 2016. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound shortstop has a career .966 fielding percentage in 598 games at the position, and has appeared in 28 Major League spring training games for the Orioles.

Raftery was acquired from the Lincoln Saltdogs in exchange for left-handed pitcher Brennan Bernardino and the reversionary rights to right-handed pitcher Cameron McVey. The DeLand, Florida native spent the majority of last year pitching for the Frontier League's Windy City Thunderbolts. Raftery was 0-2 with a 1.22 ERA in one start and 35 relief appearances for Windy City, and ranked tied for fifth in the Frontier League with 15 saves. In 44.1 innings pitched, Raftery allowed just 28 hits (.179 batting average against), 14 walks, and struck out 70 (14.2 strikeouts per nine innings). Raftery did not allow an earned run in 31 of his 35 relief outings, including his final 17 appearances with the Thunderbolts (20.1 total innings). At the conclusion of the Frontier League season, Raftery was loaned to the Atlantic League's Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Raftery did not allow a run and collected 14 more strikeouts in eight and two-thirds innings for Southern Maryland. Raftery was then returned to Windy City and was subsequently traded to Lincoln on October 1st.

"Devin is coming off a very strong season in the Frontier League, and still has rookie status," said Forney. "I'm hoping he can fill a very important, late-inning relief role for us."

Raftery heads into his fourth season of professional baseball, but retains rookie classification in the American Association. Raftery is 7-3 lifetime with 18 saves and a 1.91 ERA in 68 games, 67 of them in relief. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound right-hander has 147 career strikeouts in 99.0 innings for an average of 13.4 strikeouts per nine frames. Raftery signed with the Houston Astros as a non-drafted free agent in 2016 following his senior season at Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, Florida). In two seasons with Houston, Raftery produced a 2.93 ERA in 46.0 innings, and reached the High-A Carolina League in 2017.

Aker was acquired from the Frontier League's Evansville Otters in exchange for left-handed pitcher PJ Browne. The Vienna, Virginia native was 1-5 with a 4.66 ERA in 34 relief appearances, and finished third in the Frontier League with 19 saves. Aker helped Evansville reach the postseason, and was voted to the Frontier League's All-Star Game. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out 33 in 36.2 innings, and did not allow an earned run in 23 of his 34 appearances.

"Mitchell is a very powerful, young pitcher that is starting to come into his own," said Forney. "I saw him two years ago at a Diamondbacks' tryout camp in Arizona, and he was very impressive. I also had the chance to see him throw two weeks ago in northern Virginia at a showcase, and walked away very impressed. His velocity at the recent workout was 94 to 96 miles per hour. Anytime you can add a rookie arm like that to your roster, you need to move on it."

Aker played four seasons of college baseball at the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia) before signing as a non-drafted free agent with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Aker fanned 30 batters in 46.2 innings at four different levels of Arizona's farm system, which included a stop in the Double-A Southern League as a rookie professional. Like Raftery, Aker will be classified as a rookie in the American Association this season.

Bernardino signed with the Goldeyes in August, and was 2-3 with a 3.18 ERA in five starts and one relief appearance. A member of the Goldeyes' 2016 American Association championship team, McVey was 2-0 with a 2.91 in 36 games for the Goldeyes last year before signing with the Mexican League's Algodoneros de Union Laguna in August. Browne signed with the Goldeyes in June as a true rookie, and was 1-0 with a 3.74 ERA in four starts and 12 relief appearances. Browne earned his first career professional win on August 31st versus Fargo-Moorhead.

Marin and Aker have been signed to contracts, bringing the Goldeyes to 13 players signed for the 2019 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2019 Winnipeg Goldeyes Player Signings

CF Reggie Abercrombie

RHP Mitchell Aker

RHP Brandon Bingel

RHP Jack Charleston

RHP Tyler Garkow

OF James Harris

IF Kevin Lachance

LHP Mitchell Lambson

SS Adrian Marin

LHP Kevin McGovern

1B Correlle Prime

RHP Dylan Thompson

C Louis Touron

Notes: Gulliver Prep High School also produced former first-round draft pick David Espinosa, who held the American Association's career hits record until it was broken last July by Reggie Abercrombie...Yhoxian Medina (.969, Fargo-Moorhead), Nate Samson (.967, Sioux City), and Alex Polston (.967, Cleburne) were the top-ranked American Association shortstops by fielding percentage in 2018...Ryan Khoury (.976, Wichita, 2014) holds the league's single-season record for fielding percentage at shortstop...Baseball America ranked Marin on Baltimore's Top-30 Prospects List from 2012-14, including a top-10 ranking in 2012...Marin is a career .309 hitter with the bases loaded (68 AB)...Raftery has held opposing left-handed batters to a .200 average (125 AB) in his career, while holding right-handers to a .192 average (240 AB)...Raftery has pitched more than 1.0 inning in 24 of his 67 career relief appearances...Aker held the opposition to a .220 average with runners in scoring position in 2018 (50 AB)

The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2019 season on May 16th against the Texas AirHogs on the road. The Goldeyes' 2019 home opener is scheduled for Friday, May 24th versus the Kansas City T-Bones. 2019 season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group tickets are on sale now. For more information, call the Goldeyes' office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes' official website at www.goldeyes.com.


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