Seasoned Vets Brown and Borkowski Sign for 2018 Season
OTTAWA - Experience and delivery on the field are two things the Ottawa Champions value - and that showed in manager Hal Lanier's two most recent signings.
Both RHP STEVE BORKOWSKI and OF STEVE BROWN inked deals to return to the Champions for the 2018 season last week after both players showcased impressive talent during last year's campaign.
Borkowski, a former farmhand of the Atlanta Braves, enjoyed his second season in a Champions uniform. He joined the team halfway through the 2016 campaign from the Pecos League's Tucson Saguaros and impressed down the stretch. He was a key component in Ottawa's 2016 Can-Am League championship, throwing 14 strikeouts in Game 4 of the league championship. That was a game Ottawa had to win, and did, eventually taking the crown.
"I can't say enough about the job Steve has done for us in the years we have seen him," Lanier said. "He's always thrown quality innings, consistent innings."
"We expect him to be one of the top starters in the rotation this upcoming season."
In 2017, Borkowski had an ERA of 4.39 in 19 starts. He was among the Can-Am league leaders in strikeouts, fanning 117 batters in 123 innings pitched. After signing Brown in the 2017 offseason, the Champions expected him to be an offensive leader - and the Colombian outfielder did not disappoint.
He led the Champions in RBIs during the 2017 season, driving in 62 runs over the course of 97 games. Brown also hit seven home runs, and drew 39 walks. He was one of the team's ironmen, only sitting out games for rest.
"Whenever you can get a veteran back that can produce, you take the opportunity," explained Lanier. "It's very difficult to find that in independent baseball."
Brown is a true professional in the clubhouse and quality teammate rookies look up to, according to Ottawa's skipper. Lanier is excited for both players to return for another campaign, and continues to be ahead of schedule in filling out the remainder of his roster.
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Ottawa Champions RHP Steve Borkowski
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