WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced today the signing of infielders Casey Haerther and Garrett Rau and outfielder Nick Liles to contracts for the 2013 season.
Haerther, 25, is a former fifth round pick by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2009 MLB amateur draft and has played all four of his professional seasons in their system. At Double-A Arkansas of the Texas League last year, the product of West Hills, Calif. hit .271 with 10 home runs and 56 RBI in 124 games.
“He had four really solid years in the Angels organization,” Forney said. “He's a big bat, middle of the lineup type of hitter. He produces a lot of extra-base hits and drives in a lot of runs. He'll play a lot at first base, third base and DH. We have some big expectations for Casey. We're hoping he can fill a void and be a presence in the middle of our order.”
Liles, 25, was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the seventh round of the 2009 MLB amateur draft and played in their organization for four seasons. A product of Laurinburg, N.C., Liles batted .259 with 20 RBI in 90 games with Double-A Richmond of the Eastern League last season. He had a three-game stint with Triple-A Fresno of the Pacific Coast League in 2011 where he hit .417 with an RBI and in 2010 he stole 29 bases with Single-A Augusta of the South Atlantic League.
“He has the ability to play all over the field,” Forney said. “He was a shortstop in college and played mostly outfield with the Giants organization. He's a guy that can hit the ball to all parts of the field and create a lot of havoc with his legs. We have some big plans for him hitting at the top of our order.”
Rau, 24, comes to Winnipeg after playing his first season as a position player with the Amarillo Sox a year ago. A former pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization, Rau played 89 games for Amarillo last summer and saw action at every infield position, except catcher. He hit .268 with three home runs and 33 RBI and tossed three scoreless innings on the mound.
“He was a jack-of-all-trades in Amarillo last year,” Forney said. “He'll be a utility type player with us, moving all around the field.” The Goldeyes now have 19 players signed for the 2013 season, including 11 pitchers and eight position players.