Wingnuts Acquire Veteran Thomas, Re-Sign Harvey
WICHITA, Kans. - The Wichita Wingnuts made a series of moves to bolster the bats and the bullpen Monday, announcing the acquisition of veteran Tony Thomas and the re-signing of right-handed pitcher Seth Harvey.
Thomas comes to Wichita by way of the Chicago Dogs, completing the January 10 trade that sent right-handed pitcher Josh Goossen-Brown to Chicago. Thomas spent each of the last two seasons with the St. Paul Saints, establishing himself as one of the best power hitters in the American Association and an incredibly versatile defender. In 2016, the New Orleans native hit .296 with 25 doubles, 13 home runs, and 65 RBI, earning a spot on the All-Star team. Thomas followed up that performance this past season by posting a .287 average with a career-best 18 home runs, snagging a second consecutive All-Star nod. He was traded to the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League at the conclusion of the 2017 regular season, then signed by Chicago on March 26, 2018.
Thomas starred at Florida State University from 2005-2007, earning National Player of the Year honors as a junior for the Seminoles when he hit .430 and led the country in runs, doubles, and total bases. He was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the third round of the 2007 MLB Draft, beginning a four-year run in the Cubs system that reached Double-A Tennessee.
After the 2010 season, Thomas was traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for right-handed pitcher Robert Coello. The right-handed hitter climbed to Triple-A Pawtucket for parts of two seasons, before being granted his release from the Red Sox prior to the 2014 campaign. From there Thomas saw time in the minors with Minnesota, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Chicago (AL). His final season in the affiliated ranks came in 2015, before joining the Saints the following year.
Over the course of his 11-year professional career, the 31-year old is a .257 hitter with 124 home runs and 579 RBI. Thomas has spent time at every defensive position except catcher and centerfielder, though the majority of his experience has come at second base and left field.
Harvey returns for his third season in Wichita, having made 61 relief appearances for the Wingnuts over the past two seasons. Last year, the right-hander began the season working as the closer before Ryan Kussmaul took over the role in early August. All told, Harvey finished the campaign 2-4 with a 4.62 ERA and 11 saves over 39.0 innings of work. The former Washington State Cougar struck out 38 to 18 walks, surrendering 39 hits. Harvey put together some of his best work in the postseason, allowing just two hits and a single run in 6.2 innings of work over the course of four relief appearances. His scoreless ninth inning in Game Three of the Division Series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats sent the Wingnuts to their second consecutive Championship Series appearance.
The 30-year old Harvey put together an excellent season in 2016, tossing 21.2 innings while fashioning a 2.08 ERA. He held opponents to a .173 batting average, punching out 26 while allowing just 13 hits. Over eight pro seasons, including five in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, the Long Beach, Calif., native owns an 18-12 record with 42 saves and a 3.52 ERA.
In addition to the acquisition of Thomas and the signing of Harvey, the Wingnuts announced that right-handed pitchers Kevin Hilton and Josh Lang and catcher Brent Dean have been granted their release. Infielder Luis Jimenez has signed with Oaxaca of the Mexican League.
Those transactions leave the number of Wingnuts players under contract for the 2018 season at 26. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which opened on May 6.
Stay up to date on all player signings and transactions by checking on the Wingnuts roster here.
The 11th season of Wingnuts baseball and the club's pursuit of an eighth consecutive division title kicks off with a three-game home series against the Kansas City T-Bones, beginning on Friday, May 18. For information on season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Wingnuts main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com.
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American Association Stories from May 7, 2018
- Lefty Gracesqui Added to T-Bones Roster - Kansas City T-Bones
- Wingnuts Acquire Veteran Thomas, Re-Sign Harvey - Wichita Wingnuts
- Saints Expanding the Fun at CHS Field in 2018 Highlighted by HealthPartners PowerUp Play Zone - St. Paul Saints
- Railroaders Add Righty Tyler Wilson - Cleburne Railroaders
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
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