Saints To Put Oaks On The Mound, Sign Infielder, OutfielderST. PAUL, MN April 10, 2015
SAINTS TO PUT OAKS ON THE MOUND, SIGN INFIELDER, OUTFIELDER
ST. PAUL, MN (April 10, 2015) – With less than six weeks until the St. Paul Saints open CHS Field, manager George Tsamis is working his phone feverishly to round out the roster. He spread the wealth with his most recent signings inking right-handed pitcher Alan Oaks, infielder Michael Antonio and re-signing rookie outfielder Mitch Elliott.
The 28-year-old Oaks began his 2014 season in the Independent Frontier League and pitched well enough that he had his contract purchased by the San Diego Padres organization. With the Normal CornBelters Oaks went 0-3 with a 3.18 ERA and 10 saves in 25 relief appearances. In 28.1 innings pitched he walked 12 and struck out 30 while opponents hit a miniscule .204 against him. He was selected to the Frontier League All-Star game. Shortly after his appearance in the All-Star Game Oaks had his contract purchased by the Padres and spent the remainder of the season where in nine games he had a 7.84 ERA at Lake Elsinore in the California League.
Oaks was originally selected in the 50th round of the First Year Player Draft by the Detroit Tigers in 2006 out of Divine Child (MI) High School, but did not sign. He elected to go to the University of Michigan and had one of the biggest moments in school history, not on the mound, but at the plate. Oaks hit a pinch-hit solo blast in the 10th inning of a Regional Championship Game off of David Price and #3 ranked Vanderbilt that led to a 4-3 Michigan victory.
Oaks was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft by the Florida Marlins out of the University of Michigan. He was 1-2 with a 1.71 ERA in seven games (four starts).
In 2011 Oaks appeared in just four games before missing the remainder of the season with an injury. He was 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA in four starts at Single-A in the South Atlantic League.
After struggling in 2012 the Marlins released Oaks and he was signed by the CornBelters and had the best season of his career. In 2013 Oaks went 2-4 with a 1.99 ERA and 14 saves in 34 relief appearances. In 49.2 innings pitched he walked just 19 and struck out a whopping 49 while opponents hit an anemic .174 against him.
The 23-year-old Antonio split last season between Single-A Lexington and High-A Wilmington with the Kansas City Royals organization. Between the two stops he hit .265 with nine homers and 55 RBI in 100 games. In 339 at bats he scored 51 runs, crushed 24 doubles, two triples, had a .316 on base percentage and .428 slugging percentage.
Antonio was a third round draft pick in the First Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Royals in 2010 out of George Washington (NY) High School. He played 40 games in the Arizona Rookie League and hit .264 with one home run and 12 RBI as an 18-year-old.
In his first full season in professional baseball in 2011 Antonio hit .268 with a career high 11 homers and 42 RBI in 63 games between Rookie Level Burlington and Rookie Level Idaho Falls. He finished third in the Appalachian League in fewest total plate appearances/strikeouts with one strikeout every 9.24 plate appearances. In his career he has an impressive mark of one strikeout per every 6.6 plate appearances.
The 24-year-old Elliott was signed by the Saints last season on August 22 and was tremendous in 10 games with the club. He hit .300 with nine RBI. In 40 at bats he scored six runs, had two doubles, a .364 on base percentage and a .350 slugging percentage. His short sting was highlighted by a four RBI performance on August 27 vs. Winnipeg. He also collected his first professional hit in his first professional at bat.
Elliott made 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 have signed 12 players during the off-season, seven position players and five pitchers.
The Saints will open CHS Field on Thursday evening May 21 at 7:05 p.m. against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
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