Hectic Trade Deadline Leaves Saints Wheeling And DealingST. PAUL, MN August 23, 2014
HECTIC TRADE DEADLINE LEAVES SAINTS WHEELING AND DEALING
SAINT PAUL, MN (August 23, 2014)—With the trade deadline looming at 11:59 p.m. Friday night, Saints manager George Tsamis worked the phones to the tune of three trades. Pitchers Jeff Shields and Dan Sattler as well as infielder Henry Wrigley are all headed to new teams. Shields will go to the New Jersey Jackals in the Canadian-American Association for three players to be named after the 2014 season. Sattler is headed to the Wichita Wingnuts for the reversionary rights to All-Star closer Matt Nevarez and a player to be named later following the 2014 season and Henry Wrigley is going to the Gary SouthShore Railcats for two players to be named after the 2014 season. The team signed three rookies, pitcher Drew Ghelfi and pitcher Tommy Danczyk and outfielder Mitch Elliott while also re-signing rookie pitcher Andy Johnson to round out the roster.
Shields spent the majority of the season as a starter for the Saints and compiled a 6-8 record with a 4.31 ERA. He struck out 61 while walking 30 and led the American Association with 11 wild pitches in 104.1 innings across 19 appearances with 17 starts.
Sattler spent the season as the team’s closer with 19 saves in 20 chances. He was 3-4 and struck out 56 while walking 30 and allowing opponents to hit .168 in his 40.0 innings.
Wrigley was a staple in the fourth spot of the Saints lineup. He is tied for third in the American Association with 68 RBI and led the Saints with 14 home runs while also batting .298. His .479 slugging percentage was second on the team to Willie Cabrera.
Andy Johnson rejoins the team after making seven appearances and picking up his first professional win earlier this summer. Johnson was 1-0 with a 5.19 ERA in 8.2 innings pitched when he was released because of a concussion on August 1. He first signed with the team on July 3.
The 23-year-old Johnson pitched for the Bradley Braves over the last five years and was 2-5 with a 7.65 ERA in 38 appearances (four starts). In 60.0 innings pitched he walked 42 and struck out 43 while opponents hit .332 against him.
Johnson’s best season was in 2011 when he went 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA in seven games. In 10.0 innings he walked six and struck out eight while opponents hit .231 against him. His season was cut short when he injured his elbow and had Tommy John Surgery which forced him to miss the remainder of 2011 and all of 2012.
In high school Johnson was considered one of the top pitchers in the Midwest as a three-year letter winner for Steinbach at Wayzata High School. He was rated the number two player in the Midwest by Perfect Game Crosschecker. During his senior season Johnson earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors and helped the Trojans win the conference championship.
Tommy Danczyk will make his professional debut with the Saints after finishing his stellar senior season with St. Thomas and being named All-Conference in the MIAC. Danczyk served as the Tommies’ closer and finished tied for first in the MIAC with 10 saves. The right-hander also led the conference with 21 appearances, two of which were starts. He compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.47 ERA, good for third in the conference, in 51.0 innings pitched while striking out 51 batters and only giving up 12 walks.
Drew Ghelfi was a 25th round selection in the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers from the University of Minnesota. The 6’3 right-handed reliever from La Crosse, WI spent this season in the Pioneer League and had an 0-1 record in nine appearances with a 9.00 ERA in 11.0 innings pitched. In his first season, with the Arizona League Brewers, Ghelfi compiled a 2-5 record in 14 appearances, six starts, with a 7.49 ERA across 33.2 innings.
Mitch Elliott makes his way to the Saints via Xavier University. Despite playing in only 23 games for Xavier this year due to a leg injury, Elliot was named the Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player and put on the All-Tournament Team after leading Xavier to its first Big East Tournament title in the school’s first year in the conference. He hit .307 with one home run, 10 RBI and 12 runs scored.
Elliott was named the top prospect in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League after spending the 2013 summer with the Brockton Rox where he finished second in the league with a .358 batting average. He led the team with 33 RBI while also hitting three home runs and scoring 25 times. He was named an All-Star.
The Saints roster stands at the league maximum 23 players: 11 pitchers and 12 position players.