T-Bones Re-Sign Three Pitchers; Add KC-Area Infielder

January 28, 2015 - American Association (AA) - Kansas City Monarchs News Release

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The Kansas City T-Bones have announced the re-signing of pitchers Kyle DeVore, Jared Messer and Joe Van Meter, and the signing of infielder Jake Blackwood to contracts for the 2015 season.

DeVore, a 6-foot-3 and 220-pound right-hander from Sacramento, Calif., went 5-6 with a 3.90 ERA, 43 strikeouts and 20 walks in 92 1/3 innings for Kansas City in 2014. The Texas Rangers selected DeVore in the 27th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Sacramento City College.

Messer is a 6-foot and 180-pound right-hander from Massillon, Ohio. As a rookie in 2014 for the T-Bones, Messer went 5-3 with a 4.87 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 15 walks in 68 1/3 innings. After the Washington Nationals picked Messer in the 38th round of the 2012 June Amateur Draft, he didn't sign, opting to finish his collegiate career at Malone University in Canton, Ohio.

Van Meter spent most of the 2014 season with Frederick, the high-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. He joined the T-Bones during the last month of the season. Van Meter, who's a 6-foot-2 and 195-pound right-hander, went 2-1 with a 6.03 ERA in seven appearances (six starts) for Kansas City. Texas selected Van Meter in the 21st round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Virginia Commonwealth. He spent three-plus seasons in the Rangers organization, reaching double-A in 2012 and '13. He's pitched in double-A for Tampa Bay, also, in 2013. In five professional seasons, Van Meter is 17-27 with a 4.15 ERA, 304 strikeouts and 127 walks.

Additionally, the T-Bones signed Blackwood, a 29-year-old Kansas City native whose rights the T-Bones acquired in November in a trade with Winnipeg. Blackwood batted .321 with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs for the Goldeyes in 2014. He was one of the top players for the T-Bones during 2009-10, when the club still played in the Northern League. During those two seasons, Blackwood batted .315 with 210 hits, 124 RBIs and 114 runs scored in 162 games. He was the Northern League MVP in 2010 after leading the league in home runs (31) and RBIs (86), and finishing third with a .331 batting average. The then-Florida Marlins selected Blackwood in the 16th round of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Maple Woods Community College. He is a career .268 hitter with 92 homers, 488 RBIs and 424 runs in 899 games.

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