Slugger Ziegler Chooses Winnipeg

January 28, 2015 - American Association (AA) - Winnipeg Goldeyes News Release

Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced today the signing of 2013 American Association Player of the Year and infielder C.J. Ziegler to a contract for the 2015 season.

Ziegler, 29, was the American Association's Player of the Year and Baseball America's Independent Player of the Year in 2013 while playing for the Wichita Wingnuts. He played last season with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League, hitting .276 with 17 home runs and 79 RBI in 132 games.

"C.J. is a big addition to our club," Forney said. "With Casey Haerther signing with the Orioles, it put us in the market for a first baseman and obviously we're always looking for a big middle-of-the-order presence. C.J.'s been a big run producer throughout his career and I really admire the way he goes about his business. He's a true professional and I can't wait to see him in that Goldeyes uniform driving in some big runs for us."

Ziegler played in all 100 games with the Wingnuts in 2013. He led the league with 30 home runs, 99 RBI, and 245 total bases, while hitting .318. He also finished third in the AA with 32 doubles and fourth in runs with 81. In addition to his player of the year accolades, Ziegler was the American Association's All-Star First Baseman and Pointstreak Batter of the Week twice during the season.

"The season he put together two years ago with Wichita was arguably one of the best seasons ever in independent baseball history," Forney said. "Hopefully he can repeat a little bit of that magic he had two years ago and help lead us to a championship."

Prior to joining Wichita for the 2012 season, Ziegler suited up in the North American League with Lake County and Calgary. He was named the league's all-star first baseman after batting .335 with 24 home runs and 79 RBI in 80 games. His first season in independent baseball was in the Frontier League with Traverse City in 2010.

Following his college career at the University of Arizona, Ziegler was drafted in the 16 th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft by the San Francisco Giants. He played two seasons in their system at Rookie and three Class A levels.

The Goldeyes now have nine players signed for the 2015 season, including six pitchers and three position players.

Season tickets and 9-Game Mini Packs for the 2015 season are now on sale. Fans can visit or call 982-BASE (2273) for more information.

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