American Association Daily provides insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition, the Cleburne Railroaders add outfielder Levi Scott, which should really add some pop to the team’s lineup for 2018.
Cleburne Railroaders Add Levi Scott
As mentioned in previous articles about the team, the Cleburne Railroaders suffered through a tough 2017 American Association season, primarily because of a lack of hitting. The team had a solid season, going 47-53, but they were far off the playoff chase because the team simply did not provide enough offense to support their pitching staff.
This has become the priority for new manager Shelby Ford, and he added another piece on Friday that should make this team a lot more potent offensively in 2018. Outfielder Levi Scott was released by the Texas AirHogs, but he did not remain on the market for long, signed by Cleburne which should give this team a group of outfielders that could score a combined total of 200-plus runs while driving in over 200.
Climbing Aboard the Railroaders Express
Levi Scott joins Cleburne with a solid set of credentials. After being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, he spent two seasons in the organization. In 2016, Scott hit .253 in rookie ball with 5 homers and 28 RBI.
Last season, the outfielder joined the AirHogs, where he hit .300 in 95 games. Scott hit 7 homers and drove in 49 RBI, while hitting 26 doubles.
As a reference, if Scott would have been with the Railroaders last season, he would have led the team in home runs, and been second in RBI. His doubles total would have led the team and he would have been third in runs scored (38). Clearly, the signing is a big one.
Making a Solid Trio
Levi Scott will be joining Matt Helms, who was acquired from Ottawa (Can-Am League), and holdover K.C. Huth. Helms is coming off arguably the best season of his career. In 2017, the outfielder hit .290 with 7 homers and 35 RBI. He also scored 60 runs and stole 8 bases.
Huth proved to be one of the best finds by Gabe Suarez. He hit .236 in 93 games, but was one of the best defensive center fielders in the American Association. The outfielder hit .276 in 2016, and that is the more likely average the team should see in 2018.
Helms and Scott could easily become the No. 2 and 3 hitters in this lineup. If the team is able to get a quality leadoff batter, and a big bat in the No. 4 hole, it may be a season to remember in Cleburne this year.
American Association Daily Notes
The Sioux City Explorers claimed OF Joe Jackson off waivers. Jackson spent four years in the Texas Rangers organization before joining the Kansas City T-Bones last season. In 2017, the outfielder hit .264 with 6 HR and 22 RBI in 45 games…The Lincoln Saltdogs signed OF John Schultz. Schultz had been released by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on March 20, but it did not take him long to find a new home. The outfielder has been in the Frontier League the last five seasons. Last year, he hit .317 in 88 games for Evansville…The T-Bones announced that RHP Frank Duncan had his contract purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Also, LHP Cody Dickson and IF/OF Cal Towey were signed. Dickson has been with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization the first five seasons of his professional career. Last year, he split time between AA-Altoona and AAA-Indianapolis, where he was a combined 6-7 with a 5.23 ERA. Towey was with the Miami Marlins organization last season. The utility player split time between AA-Jacksonville and AAA-New Orleans. He hit .222 overall in 102 games.
By Robert Pannier
Member of the IBWAA