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Wingnuts Add Former Major Leaguer Jimenez

February 20, 2018 - American Association (AA) - Wichita Wingnuts News Release

WICHITA, Kans. - The Wichita Wingnuts added a significant piece to the middle of their order on Tuesday, signing veteran slugger Luis Jimenez.

Jimenez's resume features 17 professional seasons, split primarily between minor league and international competition. The 35-year old is a career .290 hitter over more than 1,600 games, notching 252 home runs and 1,059 RBI. Jimenez reached the major leagues for seven games with the Seattle Mariners in 2012, recording one hit in 17 at-bats.

"I'm really looking forward to penciling in Luis's name in our lineup every day," Wingnuts manager Brent Clevlen said. "Having his presence in the batting order and in the clubhouse is going to benefit everyone on this team."

Jimenez began his career as a 19-year old in the Oakland Athletics organization, playing 24 games with the Athletics Arizona League affiliate. The Bobare, Venezuela, native had stints with five different organizations over the next seven seasons, spending time in the minors with the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, and Washington Nationals. Along the way, the left-handed hitter established himself as a potent bat, hitting .328 with 22 home runs for Double-A Bowie in 2007 and .330 with Triple-A Columbus the following year.

Beginning with the 2006 season, Jimenez would take his talents each winter to the Venezuelan League, where he became one of the circuit's most fearsome sluggers. Over eight seasons with the Cardenales de Lara, the powerful first baseman hit a combined .305 with 57 home runs and 244 RBI. Those numbers caught the attention of the Seattle Mariners, who signed Jimenez to a minor-league contract in 2011. After tearing up Triple-A Tacoma to the tune of a .310 average and 20 homers, Jimenez earned his call-up to the Mariners. He recorded his lone big league hit on September 7, 2012, in the fourth inning against Oakland starter A.J. Griffin.

2013 represented Jimenez's last season playing in the United States, as he posted a solid .285 average with 18 home runs for the Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. Since then, Jimenez has continued to gain international experience, playing in Korea and Mexico during the 2014 and 2015 campaigns, respectively. Jimenez also spent a year in Japan with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in 2009, blasting five home runs in 39 games and helping them to a league championship.

Most recently, Jimenez has returned to his native Venezuela, spending the last two seasons with the Caribes de Anzoategui. In 83 combined games, "El Gigante de Bobare" has hit .282 with 19 round-trippers and 51 RBI, helping the Caribes to a Venezuelan title while being crowned the Robert Peréz Most Valuable Player of the championship series.

Jimenez's signing brings the number of Wingnuts players under contract for the 2018 season up to ten. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which opens 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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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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