Pair of Windy City Thunderbolts Join Affiliated Clubs

January 14, 2010 - Frontier League (FL) - Windy City ThunderBolts News Release

It is apparent that the Windy City ThunderBolts are becoming a breeding ground for future Major Leaguers. With the success the team has produced over the last three seasons on the field, Major League Baseball has taken notice. The ThunderBolts are producing Major League players at a rapid pace. The contracts of left handed pitchers Matt Jernstad and Zach Piccola were recently purchased by the Chicago White Sox. With those signings, a total of 8 ball players have been signed by a Major League club from the 2009 roster.

Matt Jernstad was acquired from the Joliet JackHammers during the 2008 season. In his short time with the ThunderBolts in 2008, he pitched 7 strong innings and had an ERA of 1.29. The left hander was a member of the 2008 Frontier League Champion Windy City ThunderBolts. Jernstad, who is a resident of Oswego, IL, produced stellar numbers in 2009. He had a record of 7-4 and an ERA of 2.31 in 78 innings pitched. He struck out 97 batters and only walked 23. Jernstad showed great control of his pitches which made him stand out to the White Sox. When asked about the opportunity, Jernstad said, "Being signed by the White Sox is a great accomplishment. I had such an awesome time in Windy City, the players were all great and the coaches really helped me out."

Zach Piccola was another southpaw signed by the White Sox. Piccola, who hails from Bedford, NH, played two years of affiliated baseball in the Detroit Tigers organization in 2006 and 2007. In 2009, Piccola was acquired late in the year by the ThunderBolts. He pitched in 8 games and faced a total of 40 batters and only allowed 11 to reach base. Piccola had an ERA 3.72 and struck out 13 batters. Both of these left-handed pitchers look to make an impact in the White Sox organization in 2010.

ThunderBolts Field Manager, Mike Kashirsky received the good news this week. Kashirsky said, "Picolla signed with us late last year and in just a short time he showed outstanding stuff. He has a great work ethic and I wish him nothing but the best." Kashirsky continued by saying, "Jerny what can I say, I couldn't be more proud of him. He was so huge for us in '08 and was a key part in many roles in '09. He is the type of player, both on and off the field that makes everybody around him better. He is an outstanding player and person."

Since 2004, the Windy City ThunderBolts have had 19 players sign to a Major League team. Jernstad and Piccola make 2009 a record breaking year for the ThunderBolts by having 8 players acquired by Major League teams. Make your plans to visit Standard Bank Stadium in 2010. There is a good chance you may just see the next Major Leaguer in Crestwood, Illinois.

List of Windy City ThunderBolts signed by Major League organizations since 2004:

2009 - Zach Piccola - Chicago White Sox

2009 - Matt Jernstad - Chicago White Sox

2009 - Robert Perry - Colorado Rockies

2009 - Nick Hall - San Diego Padres

2009 - Shane Zegarac - Texas Rangers

2009 - Brendan Kloess - Chicago White Sox

2009 - Sean Heimpel - San Diego Padres

2009 - Dylan Axelrod - Chicago White Sox

2008 - Phil Hawke - Florida Marlins

2008 - Dan Remenowsky - Chicago White Sox

2008 - Tyler Kelsey - Toronto Blue Jays

2007 - Shawn Phillips - Florida Marlins

2007 - Nick Trzesniak - Texas Rangers

2006 - Charlie Lisk - San Diego Padres

2006 - Anthony Seratelli - Kansas City Royals

2005 - Chris Hayes - Kansas City Royals

2005 - Justin Schuda - Kansas City Royals

2004 - Matt Hines - Minnesota Twins

2004 - Patrick "P-Nut" Williams - Chicago White Sox

The Windy City ThunderBolts open the 2010 season on Thursday, May 20th at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood. For more information, please visit us online at or contact the ThunderBolts at 708-489-BALL or

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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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