The Joliet Slammers, presented by ATI Physical Therapy, announced Monday that slugger David Christensen has signed a contract extension with the team.
“Dave is one of those players you don't see in this league very often,” manager Mike Breyman said. “He is unbelievably talented and his physical tools are off the charts.”
Christensen hit a combined 14 home runs between London & Joliet in 2012. The 14 home runs were more than his two previous seasons in affiliated ball combined. 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 First-Year Player Draft out of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He spent six years in the Colorado organization, advancing as far as High-A.
The Slammers also announced they’ve signed former University of Alabama-Huntsville shortstop Grant DeBruin. DeBruin was named second-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2012. He finished his senior year with a .374 batting average, .610 slugging percentage, 50 RBI, 16 doubles and eight home runs. DeBruin started every game he played and led the Chargers in every offensive category except runs scored.
“We are very excited to have Grant as part of the Slammers,” Breyman said. “With his ability he showed in college to hit at a high level and his defensive ability, we will look for Grant to compete at third, short and first base."
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 Single-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 and a perfect 5-0 record.
“I am looking for Jason to come in here and compete for the closer role right off the bat,” Breyman said. “After talking with West a few times I can tell his confidence level is high and that is what you need as a closer.”
Other moves the Slammers have made recently include signing Eric McGee and RHP 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 home runs and 23 driven in with Newark. McGee is a graduate of Emmanuel College and hails from Georgia. He can catch, play the outfield and play first base as well.
Barsotti was a very effective arm out of the bullpen 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 originally signed by the Slammers on July 13, 2012. He recorded a Wesleyan University school record 233 career strike outs in 233.1 innings pitched. He exceeded the previous career record for strikeouts at Wesleyan by 49 while pitching 56 less innings than the previous record holder.
Goodro enters his fourth season of professional 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, Nebraska native hit a solid .290 in 100 at-bats to finish up 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 baseball, spending time in the Arizona and Toronto organizations. Williams has stolen 12 bases in 61 career games in affiliated baseball and has only been caught twice.
Mendoza was teammates with the Slammers’ Jacob Sanchez in 2011 and 2012 at Iowa Wesleyan. HE capped a two year career with Iowa Wesleyan by being named a 2nd Team NAIA All-American and the Midwest Collegiate Conference Player of the Year, batting .335 with eight home runs and 45 runs batted in. He led the MCC in four categories, pacing the league in doubles (21), home runs, runs scored (47) and total bases (108). He also was second in the conference in both RBI and slugging percentage (.593) and tied for fifth in hits (61).
To purchase full season tickets, loaded ticket packages and group outings, stop by the Slammers Box Office during regular business hours (Monday-Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.) or call (815) 722-2287.
For more information about full season tickets go here.
For more information about the Slammers new loaded ticket packages go here.
For more information about group outings go here.
To download and print the team’s 2013 schedule with game times go here.