Chase Simpson Re-Signs with Cleburne
CLEBURNE, Tex. (Jan. 27, 2020) – The Cleburne Railroaders announced Monday the re-signing of infielder Chase Simpson.
Simpson delivered a record-breaking 2019 season, establishing new franchise marks for single-season home runs and RBI. He finished the year with a .272/.390/.536 slash line, blasting 20 home runs and leading the American Association with 93 RBI. The Dallas native ranked second in the league in both walks (72) and doubles (32), becoming only the third player in American Association history to notch at least 20 homers, 30 doubles, and 70 walks (Trent Lockwood – Fort Worth, 2011/Brandon Sing – Sioux Falls, 2010). Simpson’s 195 total bases finished fifth in the American Association.
Simpson’s 2019 season produced a top ten league ranking in several sabermetric categories, including Wins Above Replacement (4.7, 2nd), Weighted Runs Above Average (23.3, 4th) and Weighted On-Base Average (.391, 8th).
A Mid-Season and Postseason All-Star selection, Simpson authored several memorable moments. He connected for a pair of grand slams, first against the Texas AirHogs on June 28 and then against the St. Paul Saints on July 24. Both were go-ahead homers in Cleburne wins, and interestingly both came against reliever Ryan Smith, who started the year with Texas before joining St. Paul. Simpson also came inches shy of the Railroaders first-ever three homer game against Sioux Falls on August 18, finishing 4-for-5 with two homers and another drive off the top of the left field fence.
Simpson had a productive and well-traveled 2018 season, splitting it between Cleburne, the Lincoln Saltdogs, and the Wichita Wingnuts. In 99 total games, Simpson hit .273 with 22 doubles, 13 home runs and 47 RBI. The switch-hitter led the American Association with 75 walks, 13 more than the next closest player, finishing the year with a .401 on-base percentage.
The 27-year old began the year with Lincoln and got off to a blistering start, hitting .413 through the first two weeks of the season. On July 6, he was traded to Cleburne in exchange for right-handed pitcher Cortland Cox, ultimately playing in 26 games with the Railroaders. Simpson hit .284 with two home runs while donning the orange and navy, walking 24 times to 23 strikeouts.
Wichita acquired Simpson from Cleburne on August 1 in exchange for outfielder Hunter Clanin and a player to be named later, which would turn out to be Simpson himself. Simpson was involved in several interesting plays in his 32 games with the Wingnuts, starting on August 4 against the Gary SouthShore RailCats when he hit for the cycle. Then on August 8 against the Sioux City Explorers, he applied the finishing tag on a 4-6-3-5 triple play, before wrapping up his busy month on August 21 with a walk-off home run against the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
Simpson played collegiately for Weatherford College and the University of Oklahoma before finishing his career with Wichita State University in 2014, hitting .258 with 14 doubles, six home runs and 41 RBI as a junior. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 14th round of the MLB Draft, and spent parts of four seasons in the Pirates minor league system. Simpson reached Double-A Altoona in 2017, but was released and joined the independent ranks with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League.
The signing of Simpson gives the Railroaders five players under contract for the 2020 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during Spring Training, which begins May 7.
INF Alay Lago
C John Nester
C Blake Grant-Parks
RHP Jesus Sanchez
INF Chase Simpson
For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.
By Denning Gerig, Cleburne Railroaders