WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed catchers Kevin Garcia and Gavin Stupienski on Friday.

Linwood Ferguson Captive Photons

Garcia played in 62 games last year between two levels of the Minnesota Twins’ organization.  The El Centro, California native hit a combined .248 with 24 runs scored and 17 RBI, while walking (20) nearly as many times as he struck out (24).  Defensively, Garcia ranked second in the High-A Florida State League with a 36 percent caught stealing rate.  Midway through the season, the 25-year-old Garcia earned his first career promotion to Double-A, appearing in four games for the Southern League’s Chattanooga Lookouts.

Garcia is entering his fifth season of professional baseball, and is a career .250 hitter with 65 runs scored, 19 doubles, two home runs, 54 RBI, and 52 walks in 185 games played.  A switch-hitter and right-handed defender, Garcia has thrown out 33 percent of opposing base stealers as a professional.  In 2016, Garcia ranked tied for fifth in the Low-A Midwest League with a 31 percent caught stealing rate.  Garcia was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 30th round in 2014 out of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California where he played two seasons for the Lions.  Prior to Loyola Marymount, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound Garcia played two seasons at San Diego City College (San Diego, California) where he earned All-Pacific Coast Conference honours as s sophomore in 2012.

Photo Credit:MiLB.com

Stupienski (pronounced stuh-PEN-skee) hit a combined .354 for two Arizona Diamondbacks’ affiliates last season.  A native of Princeton, New Jersey, Stupienski had 14 runs scored, nine doubles, three home runs, and 18 RBI in 21 combined games with the Rookie Pioneer League’s Missoula Osprey and the Short Season-A Northwest League’s Hillsboro Hops.  Stupienski collected multiple base hits in 11 of 21 contests.

A left-handed hitter and right-handed defender, Stupienski was originally selected by the Diamondbacks in the 12th round in 2016 out of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Wilmington, North Carolina).  Stupienski batted a combined .339 for the Seahawks from 2014-16 with 20 home runs and 103 RBI in 133 collegiate games.  In two seasons of professional baseball, the 24-year-old backstop owns a .307 batting average and a .365 on-base percentage in 47 games.  Following his sophomore season at UNC Wilmington, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Stupienski received a summer wood bat opportunity in the prestigious Cape Cod League where he batted .351 for the Wareham Gateman.

“I’m pleased to add both of these young catchers to our club,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney.  “I’m excited to see both of them perform.”

The Goldeyes now have 20 players under contract for the 2018 season.  American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 6th.

2018 Winnipeg Goldeyes Signings
CF Reggie Abercrombie
1B/DH David Bergin
RHP Edwin Carl
RHP Victor Capellan
LHP Zack Dodson
2B Jordan Ebert
C Kevin Garcia
RHP Zach Hartman
LHP Kenny Mathews
LHP Kevin McGovern
RHP Cameron McVey
OF Jonathan Moroney
RHP Marshall Pautsch
1B/OF Reynaldo Rodriguez
RHP Charle Rosario
IF Jose Sermo
SS Andrew Sohn
RHP Cody Strayer
C Gavin Stupienski
RHP Jordan Wellander