Sussex County Miners Message: May Update
This has been an incredibly busy month for the Sussex County Miners. The new Can-Am League team has been busy putting together a roster that is going to give them a real shot at competing in the league this season. Manager Steve Shirley has done a great job putting this team together, and there is no way that any team will be taking the Miners for granted this season.
April Fool’s Day proved to be no joke when the Miner began the month by acquiring C Rey Otero and LHP Joe Testa from the Laredo Lemurs of the American Association. Otero had been signed by Laredo just five days earlier, and quickly found himself on the move. Testa split time with three different clubs last season, including Gary and Sioux Falls in the American Association and Camden in the Atlantic League. The lefty was a combined 0-4 with a save, and posted a 3.98 ERA.
On the 6th of April, RHP Tony Amezcua was signed by Sussex County. This will be his sixth season of professional baseball. The first five were in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Last season he split time between Mid-A Dayton and High-A Bakersfield, although most of his season was spent at Dayton. He made 28 total appearances, going 2-2 with a 4.84 ERA. The right-hander has electric stuff, striking out 46 batters in 48.1 innings pitched, but he does need to work on gaining better command of his pitches.
On April 8, the Miners swung a deal with Normal of the Frontier League, bringing RHP Jason Postill to Sussex County for a player to be named later. The right-hander enters his second season pitching professionally, but that included a two year break from 2012-2013. Last season he returned to the diamond, posting a 7-3 record with a 2.61 in 36 appearances for Normal. He also has incredible stuff, but the walk has been a trouble spot for Postill.
April 9 was an incredibly busy day for the club, as INF Devin Thaut was acquired from St. Paul of the American Association, RHPs Andrew Aizenstadt and Ian Kadish were acquired from Laredo, and LHP Jordan Remer was signed to a deal. Thaut enters his third season of professional baseball. Last season with St. Paul he appeared in 72 games, hitting an outstanding .342 with 2 home runs and 33 RBI. He will be an outstanding No. 2 type hitter for this club who gets on base (.419 OBP) and can move runners along with a bunt or via the hit-n-run.
Aizenstadt pitched for Gateway of the Frontier League last season. He was 3-4 in 26 appearances, six of which were starts, with a 6.65 ERA. He also saved a game.
Kadish saw action with four different clubs last season, Lancaster of the Atlantic League, and Amarillo, Lincoln, and Gary of the American Association. Combined he went 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a save. The right-hander was released a little over a week later.
Remer enters his third season of professional baseball after playing two seasons for the Cincinnati Reds rookie league club. He sat out 2013, but returned last year and looked quite solid. In 18 appearances he was o-1 with a 2.37 ERA. The lefty struck out 25 in 19 innings pitched.
One day later the Miners continued to stay active, signing RHP Tyler Wilson, and acquiring OF Chris Valencia and LHP Hector Cedano from Sioux Falls. Wilson was with Trois-Rivieres the last two seasons. Last season he made 11 starts, going 1-4 with a 7.22 ERA.
Valencia split time between Sioux Falls and Camden (Atlantic League) in 2014. He combined to play in 103 games, and swung a hot bat, hitting .309 with 6 home runs and 44 RBI. He also stole 10 bases and scored 45 runs.
Cedano was signed out of college last season by Sioux Falls. He pitched for the Campbell Camels. In his senior season he posted a perfect 8-0 record and was 22-5 in his career. His ERA in his final year was 2.31 ERA.
On April 22 Sussex County signed two right-handers, Matt Sommo and Josh Mueller. Sommo pitched for both Bridgeport and Somerset of the Atlantic League last season. He was 4-1 with a 4.88 ERA combined, pitching in 42 appearances.
Mueller enters his sixth professional season in 2015. He has been a Colorado Rockies prospect his first five years, pitching last season for their Low-A Tri-City club and AA-Tulsa. Combined he was 2-0 with a very impressive 2.74 ERA. He has good stuff, striking out 24 batters in 23 innings pitched, but he can be incredibly wild, walking 20 in that same span.
One day later RHP Matt Branham was signed to a deal. The right-hander has been a San Diego Padres prospect since being drafted in 2010. Last season he began at AA-San Antonio but reached AAA-El Paso. Combined he was 5-5 in 38 appearances, seven of which were starts, with a 4.15 ERA. He has good command of his pitches, walking just 29 in 91 innings pitched while striking out 76.
On April 27, 1B Kenny Bryant was acquired from Rockford of the Frontier League. Bryant had a fine season in the Frontier League last year. He appeared in 95 games, hitting .279 with 5 homers and 51 RBI. He also hit 24 doubles.
By Robert Pannier