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Wingnuts Steady Shortstop Vargas Re-Ups for 2018

January 25, 2018 - American Association (AA) - Wichita Wingnuts News Release

WICHITA, Kans. (January 24, 2018) - A linchpin of the Wichita Wingnuts defense up the middle will be back in 2018, as the team announced Wednesday that shortstop Leo Vargas will return for his fourth season in the Air Capital.

Playing in all 99 regular season games last season, Vargas set career highs in numerous offensive categories. His four home runs and 46 RBI were both personal-bests, along with 23 walks that helped the Wingnuts pace the league in free passes by a wide margin. For the year, Vargas hit .242, adding 11 doubles and three triples among his 86 hits.

The playoffs represented a breakout for the 26-year old, as Vargas recorded a hit in all eight postseason contests and finished with an impressive .438 average (14-for-32). On three different occasions Vargas notched a trio of hits, including twice in the Championship Series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

The Homestead, Fla., native joined the Wingnuts midway through the 2015 campaign, spending time at both middle infield positions over the final 56 games after starting his professional career with the Lincoln Saltdogs. 2016 offered Vargas a chance to grab the full-time starting shortstop role, during which he posted a .250 average and 19 doubles. Defensively, he paired with second baseman Christian Stringer to form one of Independent baseball's most lethal double play combinations, turning 121 twin-killings over the past two seasons.

A former Nichols State Colonel, Vargas was an Honorable Mention All-Southland selection as a senior, hitting .299 before being scooped up by the Saltdogs for six games in 2014.

Vargas is the third player to sign with the Wingnuts for the upcoming season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which opens on May 6.

2018 Wingnuts Signings

C John Nester

INF Abel Nieves

INF Leo Vargas

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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