Saints Hit The Trifecta, Sign Infielder, Outfielder and PitcherST. PAUL, MN April 4, 2014
SAINTS HIT THE TRIFECTA, SIGN INFIELDER, OUTFIELDER AND PITCHER
ST. PAUL, MN (April 4, 2014) – With a little more than four weeks before players report the St. Paul Saints roster is starting to fill out. They signed infielder Brandon Wikoff, former Minnesota Twins farmhand, outfielder Evan Bigley and left-handed pitcher Ryan Bollinger.
The 25-year-old Wikoff has had a difficult last couple of seasons, injuring his wrist in 2012 and getting into a car accident during Spring Training in 2013. During those two seasons he played a total of 25 games, but his first three seasons in the Houston Astros organization were extremely promising.
Wikoff was selected in the fifth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Illinois. In his first season he split time between Low-A Tri-City of the New York-Penn League and Single-A Lexington in the South Atlantic League. During that year he hit .280 with 19 RBI in 67 games. In 257 at bats he scored 28 runs, had six doubles, three triples, a .317 on base percentage and a .314 slugging percentage.
After spending all of 2010 at High-A Lancaster in the California League and hitting .257 with 27 RBI in 113 games, Wikoff had a stellar 2011. He spent most of the season at Double-A Corpus Christi in the Texas League and hit .308 with three homers and 26 RBI in 103 games. The three homers are the only of his career. In 331 at bats he scored 40 runs, had six doubles, struck out just 33 times, had an on base percentage of .398 and a .353 slugging percentage. Wikoff was named the Texas League Player of the Week for the week ending May 2.
The 27-year-old Bigley played 80 games last season in the Minnesota Twins organization. He played seven games for the Gulf Coast League Twins, four at High-A Fort Myers, 50 at Double-A New Britain and 19 at Triple-A Rochester. Between the four stops Bigley hit .245 with five homers and 33 RBI. In 298 at bats he scored 37 runs, roped 19 doubles, two triples, had a .311 on base percentage and a .372 slugging percentage.
Bigley was a 10th round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by the Twins out of Dallas Baptist College. In his first season of professional baseball he hit .300 with 14 homers and 47 RBI at Rookie Level Elizabethton in the Appalachian League. His 47 RBI were good enough for third most in the league. Along with a stellar individual season, his team captured the Appalachian League Championship.
In 2009 Bigley hit .307 with two homers and 22 RBI at Low-A Beloit before getting called up to Fort Myers. While there he hit .280 with five homers and 46 RBI.
Bigley had a career high 86 RBI in 127 games in 2012 while splitting time between Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester.
The 23-year-old Bollinger spent last season at Single-A Kannapolis in the Chicago White Sox organization. He had a solid season going 0-1 with a 3.79 ERA and three saves in 29 relief appearances. In 54.0 innings pitched he walked 13 and struck out 52 while opponents hit .269 against him. Over his final eight outings, spanning 15.1 innings pitched, he allowed just two runs (one earned) and finished the month of August with a 0.61 ERA.
In 2012 Bollinger was used primarily as a long reliever with the Great Falls Voyagers (Rookie, Pioneer League) and went 4-3 with a 3.56 ERA. Of his 17 appearances, 16 of them were longer than 1.0 inning and he went 3.0 innings or more in nine of 14 relief appearances.
The 6’6, 220 pound lefty was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies as a first baseman in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Magic City (ND) High School. Bollinger spent one season in the Phillies organization with the Gulf Coast League Phillies before being released.
Bollinger began his pitching career with the Windy City ThunderBolts of the Frontier League in 2010 and did not give up a run in six relief appearances, 5.0 innings pitched. The White Sox then signed him as a free agent on October 7, 2010.
The Saints have signed 21 players during the off-season, 13 pitchers and eight position players. The Saints 2014 season begins on May 15 with a 7:05 p.m. game against the defending American Association Champion Gary SouthShore Railcats.