Saints Sign Six Time All-Star, First Baseman Brady ShoemakerST. PAUL, MN February 6, 2017
How does a team replace one of the best power hitters in the organizations history? Go out and find another power bat that has multiple All-Star accolades on his resume. The St. Paul Saints signed first baseman Brady Shoemaker to fill the void left by Angelo Songco, who signed to play in Mexico. The Saints also pulled off a three-team trade with the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Gary SouthShore Railcats. The Saints sent first baseman David Bergin to the Goldeyes, the Goldeyes sent LHP Ethan Carnes to the Railcats and the Saints received cash from the Goldeyes and the reversionary rights to infielder/outfielder Jose Sermo.
The 29-year-old right-handed Shoemaker is a three-time mid-season All-Star and three-time Post-Season All-Star during his seven year career. He hit double-digit home runs during his first five seasons and reached Triple-A in both 2015 and 2016. Last year he began the season with the Miami Marlins organization and started the season at Double-A Jacksonville. After 43 games he was promoted to Triple-A New Orleans on May 23. The Chicago White Sox, whom Shoemaker began his career with, acquired him on June 30 and placed him at Double-A Birmingham. Between the three teams last season Shoemaker hit .222 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 99 games.
Shoemaker’s career got off to a blazing start after being selected in the 19th round of the First-Year Player Draft in 2009 by the Chicago White Sox out of Indiana State University. Beginning his professional career at the Rookie level in Bristol he tore up the Appalachian League hitting .351 with nine home runs and driving in 34 in 57 games. In 205 at bats he scored 38 runs, roped 21 doubles, had a .426 on base percentage, .585 slugging percentage and an otherworldly 1.011 OPS. His season was highlighted by a career high, and tops in the league, 28-game hitting streak from June 23-July 27. He also had the longest road hitting streak of anyone in the league, hitting in 17 straight from June 29-August 7. Shoemaker finished first in the league in on base percentage, doubles and extra base hits (30), second in slugging, third in batting average and total bases (120) and fourth in HR/AB ratio (1/22.78). He was selected as an Appalachian League Post-Season All-Star and a TOPPS Short-Season/Rookie All-Star. His incredible season got him a taste of Triple-A, playing the final week with the Charlotte Knights.
After a solid season at Single-A Kannapolis in 2010 where he hit .293 with 12 homers and 55 RBI in 96 games, Shoemaker began 2011 at Kannapolis and put the organization on notice that he deserved a promotion. In 99 games with the Intimidators Shoemaker hit .319 with 11 home runs and 65 RBI. In 373 at bats he scored 68 runs, crushed 28 doubles, two triples, had a .391 on base percentage, a .467 slugging percentage and an .892 OPS. His season was highlighted by reaching base safely in 16 consecutive road games, second longest in the South Atlantic League, from June 24-end of the season. He also reached base safely in 20 consecutive home games from April 16-May 23 and reaching base safely in 24 consecutive road games from June 1-end of the season. He finished second in the league in batting average and fifth in on base percentage. He was selected as both a Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star and an MiLB Organization All-Star. Shoemaker was called up to High-A Winston Salem on July 27 where He hit .273 with 12 RBI in 19 games.
In 2012 Shoemaker equaled the triple All-Star bid with another Mid-Season, Post-Season and MiLB Organization All-Star honor after an incredible first half of the season at High-A Winston-Salem. He hit .331 with 13 home runs and 59 RBI in just 78 games. In 284 at bats he scored 61 runs, hammered 23 doubles, a .422 on base percentage, .549 slugging percentage and an equally impressive .971 OPS. He was twice named Hitter of the Week. The stellar first half earned him a call up to Double-A Birmingham where he hit .254 with four home runs and 26 RBI in 56 games.
Shoemaker missed the entire 2013 season after having surgery for a torn labrum and was claimed by the Miami Marlins in the Rule 5 Draft on December 12. He didn’t miss a beat after joining the Marlins organization and was once again selected to a mid-season All-Star Game in 2014 with Double-A Jacksonville. For the season he hit .274 with 12 homers and 71 RBI in 123 games. In 413 at bats he scored 65 runs, slugged 26 doubles, two triples, with a .374 on base percentage and .433 slugging percentage. He helped guide the Suns to a Southern League title. He finished fourth in the league in walks (67) and reached base safely in 23 consecutive games from August 7-end of the season.
Shoemaker was promoted the following season and spent the entire 2015 at Triple-A New Orleans where he hit .284 with nine home runs and 50 RBI.
In the three-way trade the Saints send first baseman David Bergin, who they received in a trade with the Sioux Falls Canaries on August 22, 2016 for two players to be named later that turned out to be outfielder Willie Argo and catcher Aaron Gretz, to the Winnipeg Goldeyes. The Goldeyes send cash to the Saints and LHP Ethan Carnes to the Gary SouthShore Railcats. The Saints get the reversionary rights to infield/outfielder Jose Sermo. Sermo is currently in the Boston Red Sox organization.
The 25-year-old Sermo was signed by the Railcats on July 16, 2015 after beginning the season with the Frontier Greys in the Independent Frontier League. In 49 games with the Railcats Sermo hit .290 with a home run and 26 RBI. Last year he began the season with the Railcats and hit .311 with five home runs and 24 RBI in 29 games before having his contract purchased by the Red Sox. Sermo played 59 games at High-A Salem and hit .292 with a career high eight home runs and 35 RBI. In 212 at bats he scored 38 runs, smacked a career high 17 doubles, two triples, swiped 10 bases, had a .343 on base percentage and a .505 slugging percentage for a .848 OPS.
Sermo was selected in the 35th round of the First-Year Player Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012 out of Bethany (KS) College. In 2012, and a part of 2013, he hit .301 with five homers and 36 RBI in 58 games for the Rookie Arizona League Brewers. He played 35 games at Single-A Wisconsin in 2013 and hit .179 with two home runs and 18 RBI.
During his final season with the Brewers in 2014 Sermo hit .221 with two homers and 10 RBI in 37 games for the High-A Brevard County Manatees. He also spent two games at Double-A Huntsville.
The Saints currently have five players signed this off-season. Along with Shoemaker, the Saints also have outfielder Tim Colwell, third baseman Nate Hanson and pitchers John Straka and Eric Veglahn.