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Tuatara add three minor league players

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Auckland Tuatara have continued their recruitment drive for the 2019-20 Australian Baseball League season by signing three minor league prospects out of the United States.

Third baseman Jared Walker of the Los Angeles Dodgers, first baseman Jeremy Vasquez of the New York Mets and utility Ryan Costello of the Minnesota Twins have signed contracts with the Auckland franchise and will join the team for their second season of competition.

Walker is a 23-year-old slugger with big potential who is currently playing for the Dodgers’ AA affiliate Tulsa Drillers team. He has smacked 13 home runs this season and is a career .240 hitter.

Vasquez, a 23-year-old American, is a career .274 minor league hitter that is currently playing with the Mets’ AA affiliate Binghamton Rumble Ponies. He has hit .273 this season and has more hits than any player within the Mets organisation in 2019 while splitting time between AA and high A.

Costello, also 23, can play either first base or outfield. He too split time between AA and advanced A within the Twins organisation in 2019 and hit 15 home runs with a batting average of .223. Costello lifted both his batting average and his power numbers when he made the jump up a level however.

"I am thrilled to announce these signings," Tuatara manager Steve Mintz said. "All three guys will give us the ability to get runs with one swing of the bat.

"Costello will be huge because he can play all over the field - first base, third base as well as left field and right field. He is a lefty bat and will grind out at bats for us while providing some pop.

"Vasquez can player first base as well as left and right field. He is another quality left hand bat that will bring quality at bats as well as a little pop.

"Walker is a third baseball but can play second and first as well which gives us some options to move others around and give guys rest. He is a left-handed bat with some real power that will drive in runs."

The three sluggers join a roster that includes returning players Max Brown (outfield), Luke Hansen (infield), Jimmy Boyce (pitcher), Kyle Glogoski (pitcher), Brandon Marklund (pitcher), Jared Koenig (pitcher) and Josh Collmenter (pitcher).

The Tuatara continue to work with the Texas Rangers about what contingent of players they will send down to Auckland over summer and are talking with a number of ex-Major League players as well.

More announcements are expected in the coming days.

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