Winnipeg Adds Countryman Dustin Houle
WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed catcher Dustin Houle on Thursday.
Houle (pronounced HOOL) played last season in the New York Mets’ organization, appearing in 16 combined games for the Double-A Eastern League’s Binghamton Rumble Ponies and the High-A Florida State League’s St. Lucie Mets. A native of Penticton, British Columbia, Houle was 9-for-45 (.200) with three doubles, a home run, and five RBI. Behind the plate, Houle was 4-for-11 (36 percent) in throwing out opposing base stealers. It marked the fifth time in seven professional seasons Houle finished with a caught stealing rate of 33 percent or higher.
“I’m super excited about the addition of Dustin to the roster,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “His experience in affiliated ball and international play should be a huge help to the pitching staff. He’s getting me pumped up about the upcoming season with his overall excitement for this opportunity in Winnipeg.”
Houle is a member of the Canadian National Team and represented the country in 2019 at both the Pan-Am Games in Lima, Peru and the Premeir12 Olympic Qualifier in Seoul, South Korea. The 26-year-old backstop also suited up for Team Canada during the 2015 Premier12 event, and was previously a member of the Canadian Junior National Team.
Houle was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the eighth round in 2011 out of Brookswood Secondary School in Langley, British Columbia. Houle is a lifetime .232 hitter in 348 professional games, while averaging 49 runs scored, 28 doubles, 58 RBI, and 48 walks per 162 contests. The 6-foot, 205-pound Houle has thrown out 34 percent of opposing base stealers in 298 career games at catcher (the American Association average caught stealing rate from 2017-19 was 20 percent).
A right-handed hitter and fielder, Houle has reached the Double-A level four times and climbed to Triple-A with the Brewers in 2018. From 2017-18, Houle appeared in 24 Major League spring training games for Milwaukee in which he was 8-for-21 (.381). Like current Goldeyes’ infielder Wes Darvill, Houle starred for the prestigious Langley Blaze junior program (members of the British Columbia Premier Baseball League) leading up to his draft selection.
The Goldeyes now have nine 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
C Dustin Houle
LHP Mitchell Lambson
OF Jonathan Moroney
IF Darren Seferina
RHP Andrew Vernon
The Goldeyes announced two additional roster moves on Thursday. Right-handed pitcher Tyler Garkow has been traded to the Texas AirHogs to help complete the August 9th deal in which the Goldeyes acquired right-handed pitcher Kevin Hilton and outfielder Jonathan Moroney in exchange for four players to be named later. Garkow was 4-0 with one save and a 4.91 ERA for the Goldeyes last season in 44.0 innings. Right-handed pitchers Parker French and Mitchell Aker were sent to Texas on September 20th to partially complete the August 9th trade.
The Goldeyes also released outfielder John Price Jr. who hit a combined .221 with three home runs and 20 RBI in 46 games last season between the Goldeyes and the Gary SouthShore RailCats. Winnipeg acquired Price from the RailCats on August 15th in exchange for future considerations.
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
Featured Image Courtesy of Baseball Canada