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Missoula Osprey 1st roster additions include D-2 player of the year

Posted at 5:00 PM, Jun 11, 2018

(Editor’s note: press release from Missoula Osprey)

MISSOULA – – In partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Missoula Osprey announced Monday the partial release of their roster, headlined by Zack Shannon, an NCAA Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist and five returning players from a year ago. This year’s returns are pitchers Edgar Martinez, Wilfry Cruz, Yeison Santana and Melvin Ovalles. Brandon Leyton is the lone position player returning from last season’s team. The team is slated to have 13 additional free agent signings on the roster as well.

A Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist this year out of Delta State, Zack Shannon clubbed a Delta State record 31 home runs and drove home a school record 93 runs. He totaled 193 bases on the season, ranking second in team history for a single season. At one point, Shannon clubbed a home run in eight straight games. In his two-year Delta State career, he finished with a .420 batting average, 26 doubles, 50 home runs, 181 RBI, and 359 total bases. Playing his first two years at Wabash Valley Community College in Mount Carmel, Illinois, Shannon established himself as an offensive powerhouse with seven home runs and a .392 average before transferring to Delta State. Shannon finished 2018 and 2017 as the NCBWA and D2CCA National Player of the Year. He also was named ABCA, NCBWA, and D2CCA All-American first-team this past spring. Shannon is the only player in the history of the Golden Spikes Award Semifinalists to be from the NCAA DII ranks.

Joining the Osprey for the second consecutive season is infielder Brandon Leyton. The Leon Nicaragua native batted .280 a season ago, with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 52 games. One of the most consistent bats in the O’s lineup, Leyton laced 10 doubles and four triples. The 19-year-old spend the first seven games of the season with the Arizona Dominican Summer League roster, but worked his way to Missoula and produced for the Osprey. His .756 OPS last year was the best mark of his professional baseball career.

Back for his second season with the Osprey, Edgar Martinez is now in his third season in the Diamondbacks system. The right-hander pitched in eight games with seven starts, owning a 4.76 ERA in 39.2 innings. The now 20-year-old went 3-3 with 27 strikeouts while walking just eight batters. Splitting time in the AZL, Martinez finished the entire 2017 season with a 3-5 record and a 4.19 ERA. In 66.2 innings, Martinez struck out 40 batters while issuing a mere 14 walks. The Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico native had four appearances last season where he did not issue a run, spanning over 10 innings.

Wilfry Cruz appeared in two games for Missoula at the end of the 2017 season, coming out of the bullpen for four innings of work. The right-hander held a 4.50 ERA and earned a save. Cruz spent the majority of the season in the AZL, working as both a starter and a reliever. The 20-year-old posted nine starts and five games of relief. In 56.1 innings, Cruz struck out 52 batters and walked 32 men. Holding a 4.95 ERA, the Bani, Dominican Republic product earned a save and held opponents to a .257 batting average.

Already in his fifth year of affiliated baseball with the Diamondbacks organization, Yeison Santana enters 2018 with a 10-12-career record with a 4.01 ERA. The right-handed reliever has compiled 202 innings with 216 strikeouts compared to 53 walks. He started his career as a 16-year-old in the DSL in 2014, making his way to Missoula last season for the first time. In 18 relief appearances, Santana owned a 1-2 record, spanning over
32 innings in which he racked up 30 strikeouts with only eight walks. Santana hails from Villa Jaragua, Dominican Republic.

Also entering his fifth season in affiliated baseball, Melvin Ovalles returns to Missoula after spending two games with the team last year. Ovalles, from Moca, Dominican Republic, holds a career record of 5-6 with a 3.53 ERA in 120 innings. His career started in 2014 as a 16-year-old in the DSL. Ovalles boasts 90 strikeouts in his career.

Free Agent Signings – Pitchers

After spending the first year of his Minor League career in the DSL and AZL, Mailon Arroyo receives the call up to the Osprey. The right-handed pitcher pitched in 24 games combined in 2017, earning a 3-5 record with a 4.01 ERA. In 33.2 innings, Arroyo piled up 41 strikeouts with just 14 walks. In the DSL, Arroyo converted nine saves on 13 attempts, and added two more saves when he was promoted to the AZL. Opponents were able to hit just .230 off the Salcedo, Dominican Republic product.

A graduate of Northwood University, Tyler Jadron joins the Diamondbacks organization for his first season in the minors. Hailing from Negaunee, Michigan and graduating from UW-Parkside, Jandron posted a 9-3 record with an ERA of 2.44 in his senior season. In 81 innings, the lefty struck out 92 batters while issuing 34 walks for a K/9 rate of 10.22. In 2017, Jandron amassed a 12-1 mark with a career-best 2.37 ERA in 14 starts and one relief appearance. In 91 innings, he punched out 102 batters and tossed five complete games. In his career, Jandron has nine complete games and a 21-4 record in 28 appearances. His strikeout per nine innings for his career stands at 10.15, and an ERA of 2.41.

Set to take part in his second Minor League season in the Diamondbacks system, Marcos Tineo looks to build upon a 2017 season where he pitched to a 3-2 record and a 3.92 ERA. In 13 starts, the right-hander tossed 59.2 innings and struck out a whopping 61 batters while walking 19. The 21-year-old starter from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic had three outing of six inning pitched with, giving up a combined one run in those three games.

Joining the Osprey for the first time is Pedro Zorrilla, a right-handed pitcher out of El Seibo, Dominican Republic. The 22-year-old spent the first two seasons with the Diamondbacks organization at the DSL. Owning a career ERA of 3.30 is 28 starts. Zorrilla pitched 155 total innings in two seasons, striking out 88 batters and walking a meager 25. Last season, while is record was just 2-8, Zorrilla pitched to a 3.95 ERA in 14
starts, striking out 48 batters in 73 innings.

Free Agent Signings – Infielders

Cesar Garcia is a 20-year-old free agent signing by the Diamondbacks organization in September of 2017, and is set to make his Minor League debut. Garcia is from Boston, Massachusetts.

After spending the final two games in Missoula due to a promotion from the AZL team, utility man Eddie Hernandez finished with a .200 average for the Osprey, including a home run and four RBIs in 10 at-bats. Splitting the 2017 with three teams, Hernandez compiled a .324 in his second minor league season, hitting six home runs and driving in 50. In 69 games, the Caracas, Venezuela native scared 37 runs; hit 12 doubles and eight triples. He ended the season with a modest six game hitting streak, including his two-game stint with
Missoula.

Playing for Lincoln at the AA level in Independent Baseball during the 2017 season, Joe Robbins enters his first year in affiliated ball. The 24-year-old batted to the tune of .302 last year, driving seven home runs and 23 RBIs. Robbins smacked 12 doubles and logged four triples in 169 at-bats. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate owned an on-base percentage of .379 while his OPS floated at the .923 mark.

Free Agent Signings – Outfielders

At 19-year-old, Jesus Marriaga joins the Osprey for the first time. In his first season in the Arizona system in 2016, he hit .299 with the DSL DB and DSL DIA teams. Last season in a promotion to the AZL, Marriaga batted .205 with 15 RBIs. Signed in 2016 out of Cartagena, Colombia, Marriaga finished with nine multi-hit games last season.

Entering his third season in the Dbacks organization is David Sanchez. The 19-year-old begins his first stint in Missoula after spending the past two season in DSL DIA. After a season where he hit .245 in 2016, Sanchez turned his bat around last season, hitting .314 with three home runs and 31 RBIs in 41 games. With only 20 strikeouts in 153 at-bats, Sanchez worked a .365 on-base percentage and scored 27 runs. The Higuey, Dominican Republic native has 60 career RBIs along with 11 doubles and a .275 average.

Luis Cossio enters his second year in the Diamondbacks organization after spending the 2017 season at DSL DIA. As a 20-year-old, the Ensenada, Baja California product hit .266 with a home run and 19 RBIs. In 44 games, Cossio worked 34 walks to own a .411 on-base percentage in his first professional season. In a small sample size, Cossio notched 12 multi-hit games while producing 10 games where he walked two or more times. There were only 10 games last year where Cossio did not record at least one hit or a walk in a single game. Cossio has a knack for reaching base safely against right-handed pitching, holding a .419 on-base percentage last season in such situations.

The Diamondbacks have promoted Jesus Munoz from the AZL after his short stint there last season. He appeared in just four games all of 2017, but played in 60 games during the 2016 campaign at the DSL level as a 17-year-old. Munoz batted .269 with a home run and 16 runs batted in while scoring 26 runs. Out of his 53 hits, he notched 48 singles and totaled 61 bases. Munoz flashed his speed, swiping 12 bases on 18 attempts. The Bani, Dominican Republic native improved his on-base percentage to .330 at season’s end. Munoz compiled 12 multi-hit games during his 2016 season.

Looking to rise back to the top of the Pioneer League, the Missoula Osprey open the 2018 season in Billings, Montana June 15th at 7:05 p.m. The O’s home opener is slated for June 19th vs. Helena at 7:05 p.m. Individual game tickets for all 38 Missoula Osprey regular-season home games are on sale now at the MSO Hub, online at MissoulaOsprey.com, and by calling 406-543-3300.