Right Back Where He Started, Songco Has Contract Purchased By DodgersST. PAUL, MN January 11, 2016
RIGHT BACK WHERE HE STARTED, SONGCO HAS CONTRACT PURCHASED BY DODGERS
ST. PAUL, MN (January 11, 2016) –St. Paul Saints catcher Vinny DiFazio was named American Association Player of the Year in 2015, but first baseman Angelo Songco wasn’t far behind. The power hitting left-hander, who sits fifth all-time on the Saints home run list, put up eye-popping numbers last season and his former organization took notice. Songco had his contract purchased by the team that drafted him in the fourth round in 2009, the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming the 112th different Saints player (118 total contracts, with six players having their contract purchased two different times) to have his contract purchased by a Major League organization.
The 27-year-old Songco had a season for the ages in 2015. He hit .339 with 17 homers and a franchise record tying 82 RBI. In 96 games he scored 64 runs, roped a team tying high 26 doubles, six triples, a .415 on base percentage and a .580 slugging percentage. Those numbers earned him the Post-Season All-Star nod at first base. Songco led the league in total bases (214) and extra-base hits (49), was second in slugging percentage, tied for third in homers, fourth in hits and fifth in average.
He became just the 16th player in Saints history to homer in three straight games, and the first to homer in back-to-back playoff games, when he hit a long ball on September 4 vs. the Gary SouthShore Railcats and then in the first two games of the playoffs at the Sioux City Explorers. In the playoffs Songco went 5-16 with two homers and drove in six of the seven Saints runs.
“This is a great day for Angelo, he deserves this opportunity,” said Saints Manager George Tsamis. “He was excellent for us all season long. He plays hard and was clutch. He was a big run producer all year and you have to love his hustle.”
Songco’s name appears in the Saints career record book for home runs (5th with 33), RBI (7th with 148) and extra base hits (9th with 90).
The 2015 season was highlighted by a number of accomplishments on the field for Songco. He was named the Pointstreak American Association Player of the Week for the week of July 27-August 2 and he hit safely in 11 straight from August 9-20. He also set a career high by doubling in six straight games from June 26-July 2.
Songco was a fourth round pick of the Dodgers out of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in 2009. He progressed through the Dodgers organization and turned heads at nearly every level. At his first professional stop in the Rookie League at Ogden he hit .306 with nine homers and 29 RBI in just 36 games before being promoted to Single-A Great Lakes.
The following season, in 2010, the accolades started pouring in for Songco who was selected as a Midwest League All-Star. In a full season with Great Lakes he hit .274 with 15 homers and 74 RBI in 135 games. Among his 15 home runs was a grand slam on May 26.
The big breakout season for Songco came in 2011 at High-A Rancho Cucamonga where he earned a California League All-Star appearance, a post-season All-Star nod and was an MiLB.com Organizational All-Star. The numbers were astounding as he hit .313 with 29 home runs and 114 RBI in 131 games. In 534 at bats he scored 110 runs, mashed 48 doubles, had four triples, a .367 on base percentage and a whopping .581 slugging percentage. He finished first in the California League in total bases (310), extra base hits (81) and doubles, second in home runs and RBI, third in hits (167), slugging percentage, runs scored and home runs/at bat ratio (1/18.41), fifth in at bats and seventh in batting average. On May 25 he hit for the cycle, completing the feat with a triple in an 11-run ninth inning. He hit his second grand slam in as many years on September 3.
Songco missed more than half the year in 2012 after fracturing his leg and having a rod placed in the leg.
In 2013 Songco spent the season between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga. Between the two stops he hit .257 with 11 home runs and 65 RBI in 117 games. In 381 at bats he scored 45 runs, ripped 20 doubles, six triples, had a .341 on base percentage and a .491 slugging percentage.
Songco is the fourth Saints player to have his contract purchased by a Major League organization from the 2015 season. Rookie of the Year, reliever Mike Zouzalik had his contract purchased by the Baltimore Orioles. Two players who were signed in the pre-season, but never played for the Saints, right-handed pitcher Chris Smith and left-handed pitcher Cody Wheeler, had their contracts purchased by the New York Yankees and Orioles, respectively.
The Saints have had a total of 118 contracts sold, 112 total players including six who had their contract sold twice. Of the 118 contracts sold eight were sold to international teams and a total of 21 have made it to the ultimate level of baseball following their time with the Saints (Julio DePaula, who played for the Saints in 2011, made it to the Major Leagues in 2014, never pitched in a game, but does not show up on the list below because his contract wasn’t purchased directly from the Saints).
The Saints begin the 2016 season on Thursday, May 19 at CHS Field vs. the Gary SouthShore Railcats at 7:05 p.m.