Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Baseball
WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes added three players to their 2022 roster on Wednesday, signing right-handed pitcher Alex Manasa, outfielder Eric Rivera, and infielder Andrew Martinez.
Manasa split the 2021 season at three levels of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization, reaching Triple-A for the first time in his career. The Farmington, Michigan native combined for 50 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 55.1 innings across 23 relief appearances. Manasa did not issue a walk in 15 of his 23 outings, and walked more than one batter in just two of them. In 2019, the 24-year-old was voted an all-star in the Low-A South Atlantic League after going 9-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 25 starts for the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
“Alex is an innings-eater and an athletic strike-thrower,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “He’s hungry and looking for another opportunity. I’m glad we were a fit for one another, and I’m excited he’s going to come and pitch for us.”
Manasa was drafted by the Pirates in the 11th round in 2017 out of Jackson Community College (Jackson, Michigan), and is entering his fifth season of professional baseball. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-hander is 16-14 lifetime with two saves and a 4.33 ERA in 80 professional appearances, 41 of them as a starting pitcher. Manasa has worked at least five innings in 36 of his 41 career starts. As a freshman at Jackson Community College in 2017, Manasa served as a two-way player, hitting .410 with 56 RBI and 25 stolen bases while pitching to a 1.27 ERA in 21.1 innings.
Rivera hit a combined .257 with a .357 on-base percentage last year in 84 games for two Toronto Blue Jays’ affiliates. The Pembroke Pines, Florida native tallied 43 runs, 18 stolen bases, and 41 walks between the Low-A Southeast’s Dunedin Blue Jays and the High-A West’s Vancouver Canadians. A right-handed batter and defender, Rivera saw action at all three outfield positions, and his nine outfield assists for Vancouver ranked tied for second in the High-A West.
“Eric is a guy that will take his walks, go first-to-third on the basepaths, and steal some bags,” said Forney. “He can play all three outfield positions and provides us with a lot of versatility.”
Rivera heads into his third season of professional baseball, and was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 14th round in 2019 out of Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, Florida). The 6-foot, 185-pound outfielder batted .332 in 62 games for the Owls as a junior in 2019, and helped the program to a 119-61 record over three collegiate campaigns. Rivera has walked nearly as much (71) as he has struck out (78) as a professional, and the 24-year-old already has 17 career outfield assists in just 136 games played.
Martinez played for two Baltimore Orioles’ farm clubs in 2021, appearing in 78 games for the Low-A East’s Delmarva Shorebirds and the High-A East’s Aberdeen IronBirds. The San Francisco, California native posted a .348 on-base percentage with eight home runs and 28 RBI, while seeing time at four positions on defence.
“Andrew is a young, athletic infielder who can play multiple positions,” Forney said. “He has some pop in his bat, and is another guy willing to take some walks. He’s hungry, he wants to play baseball, and I’m glad to bring him in.”
After earning Big West All-Conference honours in 2019 at the University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, California), Martinez was drafted by the Orioles in the 24th round. The 24-year-old has walked in 17 percent of his plate appearances during his first two professional seasons (the 2021 American Association average was 10 percent), while totaling 24 extra-base hits in 106 contests.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes now have 24 players signed to contracts for the 2022 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 30 players during spring training, which begins May 5th.
2022 Winnipeg Goldeyes Player Signings
RHP Freisis Adames
RHP Landen Bourassa
IF Dakota Conners
C Hidekel Gonzalez
OF Logan Hill
IF Kevin Lachance
RHP Josh Lucas
RHP Alex Manasa
IF Andrew Martinez
OF Max Murphy
IF Raul Navarro
RHP Erasmo Pinales
CF Reggie Pruitt
RHP Luis Ramirez
OF Eric Rivera
RHP Zac Ryan
IF Ian Sagdal
LHP Travis Seabrooke
LHP Jaylen Smith
C/OF Deon Stafford
LHP Tasker Strobel
RHP Jhon Vargas
RHP Jose Vasquez
1B David Washington
The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2022 season on Friday, May 13th versus the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Shaw Park. Individual tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday, April 26th.
For information on Winnipeg Goldeyes’ 2022 season tickets, group outings, and 10-game mini packs, visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com
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