Slammers extend David Christensen, sign several others
From Submitted Reports February 19, 2013 3:46PM
Updated: February 19, 2013 5:17PM
The Joliet Slammers have announced that slugger David Christensen has signed a contract extension.
“Dave is one of those players you don’t see in this league very often,” manager Mike Breyman said in a statement. “He is unbelievably talented and his physical tools are off the charts.”
Christensen hit a combined 14 home runs between London and Joliet in 2012. The 14 homers were more than his two previous seasons combined in affiliated ball. It was the second highest home run count of Christensen’s career as he hit 18 home runs for Asheville of the South Atlantic League in 2009. He was signed by the Slammers on July 22, 2012.
Christensen was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the second round of the 2006 draft out of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. He spent six years in the Colorado organization, advancing as far as A-Advanced.
The Slammers also announced they signed former University of Alabama-Huntsville shortstop Grant DeBruin. A second-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2012, he hit .374 as a senior with a .610 slugging percentage, 50 RBI, 16 doubles and eight home runs.
The Slammers also recently added Jason West, a right-hander who brings affiliated baseball experience to the fold. West spent two seasons in the Dodgers’ organization, advancing as high as Class A with the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League in 2012. He has a career 3.11 ERA in affiliated baseball in 53 appearances.
Other moves the Slammers have made include signing Eric McGee and right-hander Mike Barsotti to contract extensions. They also added catcher Tyler Goodro and outfielders Javan Williams and Michael Mendoza.
McGee hit .274 with seven home runs and 19 RBI for Newark of the Can Am League in 2012 before joining the Slammers. In 2011, he hit .276 with 10 homers and 23 RBI with Newark. McGee is a graduate of Emmanuel College and hails from Georgia. He can catch and play the outfield and first base.
Barsotti was effective in relief for Joliet in 2012 even though a couple of rough outings inflated his ERA. He posted a 2-1 record in 19 games and did not allow an earned run in 12 of his appearances. Barsotti was signed by the Slammers on July 13, 2012. He recorded a Wesleyan University school record 233 career strikeouts in 233⅓ innings. He exceeded the previous career record for strikeouts at Wesleyan by 49 while pitching 56 fewer innings than the previous record holder.
Goodro enters his fourth season of pro baseball and first in the Frontier League. He played one season in the United Baseball League and two in the American Association. The University of Cincinnati alum and Omaha, Neb., native hit .290 in 100 at-bats to finish 2012 with the Amarillo Sox.
Williams was a 45th-round draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Contra Costa College in 2010. He hit .284 over two seasons of affiliated ball, spending time in the Arizona and Toronto organizations.
Mendoza was teammates with the Slammers’ Jacob Sanchez in 2011 and ’12 at Iowa Wesleyan. He capped a two-year career with Iowa Wesleyan by being named a second-team NAIA All-American and the Midwest Collegiate Conference Player of the Year, batting .335 with eight home runs and 45 RBI. He led the MCC in four categories: doubles (21), home runs, runs (47) and total bases (108). He also was second in the conference in RBI and slugging percentage (.593) and tied for fifth in hits (61).