SAUGET, Illinois - The Gateway Grizzlies added another group of fresh faces to the 2018 roster.
On the mound, Manager Phil Warren signed left handed pitcher Colton Freeman, who had a brief stint with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League last year.
"Colton has followed an interesting path to reach his opportunity with us this spring," says Warren.
Prior to that Freeman was drafted in the 20th round of the 2016 June Amateur Draft by the Chicago Cubs organization and spent the rest of that season with the Cubs' Arizona League team.
"With limited experience on the mound, Colton is somewhat of an unknown in the sense that he doesn't necessarily have the history to back up his potential," Warren explains. "We look forward to seeing if we can help him harness his ability, thus contributing to our pitching staff for 2018."
Three new infielders Trae Santos, Culver Plant, and Marc Dileo, enhance the depth of the Grizzlies' defense.
Santos comes to the Grizzlies from five years in Minor League baseball with the San Diego Padres organization. The Padres signed Santos in June 2013 and assigned him to the Eugene Emeralds (A) short season. His affiliate career also included time with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps (A), and the San Antonio Missions (AA).
"Trae has some experience under his belt and we are looking for him to come in and compete for a spot in the middle of our line-up. He's an accomplished player that, if he's at the top of his game, should make an impact for our offense," says Warren.
Trae Santos link: < http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=643520#/career/R/hitting/2016/ALL >
Shortstop and third baseman Plant joins the Grizzlies after spending last season with in-state Frontier League rivals the Southern Illinois Miners (Marion, IL). He appeared in 32 games for the Miners and batted .218 in 78 at-bats. Plant spent most of his time at shortstop for the Miners while also spending a few games at third base.
Culver Plant link: < https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=plant-000cul >
Rounding out the Grizzlies' new infielder class, Dileo finished his college career in 2017 at Mercyhurst College (Erie, Pa). He saw action in 21 games in 2017 with seven starts as he recorded a perfect fielding percentage for the year. In 2016 Dileo hit .333 (4 of 12) with four RBI and drew four walks. Prior to Mercyhurst he played baseball at Erie County Community College in Buffalo, NY.
"Culver and Dileo will compete for a spot on our infield. Both have excelled at the collegiate level and I know they are chomping at the bit to show what they can do at the professional level given the opportunity," says Warren. "They will certainly raise the level of competition for us on the infield during the spring."
ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I-255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find - affordable, family, fun in the comfortable GCS Credit Union Ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000.
ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 12 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year.