Goldeyes Re-Sign Lachance, Add Kurokawa
WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed infielder Kevin Lachance and right-handed pitcher Jordan Kurokawa on Monday.
After winning a roster spot out of spring training, Lachance hit .372 for the Goldeyes in 13 games, which included a seven-game hitting streak to open the season. The Clifton, Virginia native posted a .509 on-base percentage while serving on defence at first base, second base, and shortstop. On June 1st, Lachance had his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks where he saw time with four different affiliates through the remainder of the summer. Lachance drove in 16 runs in 33 combined games in the Diamondbacks’ system, and walked in 15 percent of his plate appearances. The 25-year-old reached the Triple-A level for the first time in his career with the Pacific Coast League’s Reno Aces, and helped two different clubs win their respective league championship (the High-A California League’s Visalia Rawhide and the Short Season-A Northwest League’s Hillsboro Hops).
“I’m pleased to add both Kevin and Jordan to our team,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “Kevin is a valuable piece to our club as a super-utility player. You can possibly see him playing as many as six or seven positions for us in 2020.”
Lachance is entering his fourth season of professional baseball and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 10th round in 2016 out of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Baltimore, Maryland). The 6-foot-3, 185-pound infielder hit a combined .301 for the Retrievers from 2013-16, and set a program record with 82 stolen bases. Lachance has a .254 batting average and a .369 on-base percentage (14 percent walk rate) in 133 career games played. A right-handed batter and fielder, Lachance has seen action at all four infield positions as a professional, as well as centre and left field. In 108 career games on the infield, Lachance owns a .984 fielding percentage.
Kurokawa (pronounced kur-oh-KAH-wah) was 2-5 with a 5.12 ERA in 12 starts and four relief appearances last season for the Can-Am League’s Ottawa Champions. The Honolulu, Hawaii native struck out 38 batters in 65.0 innings, and allowed three or fewer earned runs in 10 of his 12 starts. Over his final nine starts, Kurokawa pitched to a 3.86 ERA.
Kurokawa was voted an all-star back-to-back seasons in 2017 with the Frontier League’s Lake Erie Crushers and in 2018 with Ottawa. During his 2017 campaign, Kurokawa finished second in the Frontier League with a 2.53 ERA, and allowed just three home runs over 117.1 innings pitched. Kurokawa was then voted the Can-Am League’s Pitcher of the Year in 2018, leading the circuit in wins (12) and ERA (2.21), and ranking fourth in strikeouts (90). Now 27 years of age, Kurokawa has also been adept at controlling the opposition’s running game. Over the past three seasons, opposing base stealers have been thrown out 38 percent of the time (18-for-47) with Kurokawa on the mound.
“Jordan is a starting pitcher that I’ve been after the last few years,” Forney said. “He is coming off an injury-riddled season, and is working hard this winter to return to his 2018 and 2019 form.”
Kurokawa heads into his fifth season of professional baseball, and is 22-17 lifetime with a 3.04 ERA in 66 games, 48 of them as a starting pitcher. In 320.0 career innings pitched, Kurokawa has walked just six percent of opposing batters (2.4 walks per nine innings) and yielded only 16 total home runs (0.5 home runs per nine innings). The 6-foot-4, 200-pound right-hander has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 40 of his 48 career starts. Kurokawa was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 28th round in 2016 out of the University of Hawaii at Hilo (Hilo, Hawaii) where he pitched to a 2.91 ERA for the Vulcans from 2013-16.
Both Lachance (LS-1) and Kurokawa (LS-2) are classified below the LS-4 tier for added roster flexibility.
The Goldeyes now have 15 players under contract for the 2020 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 7th.
2020 Winnipeg Goldeyes Signings
RHP Victor Capellan
IF Wes Darvill
OF Willy Garcia
RHP Garrett Harris
RHP Kevin Hilton
C Dustin Houle
LHP Justin Kamplain
RHP Jordan Kurokawa
IF Kevin Lachance
LHP Mitchell Lambson
1B Kyle Martin
LHP Kevin McGovern
OF Jonathan Moroney
IF Darren Seferina
RHP Andrew Vernon
The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2020 season on May 19th on the road against the Cleburne Railroaders. The Goldeyes’ 2020 home opener is on Tuesday, May 26th versus the St. Paul Saints.
For information on 2020 season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group tickets, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com
By Steve Schuster, Winnipeg Goldeyes