WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed first baseman Shawn Pleffner and catcher Conor Sullivan on Monday afternoon.

Photo Credit: MiLB

Pleffner hit .262 with three home runs and 34 RBI in 100 games last year for the Double-A Eastern League’s Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals’ organization).  It marked the second consecutive year in which Pleffner played the entire season at the Double-A level.  In 2015, the Washington, District of Columbia native batted .269 for Harrisburg with three home runs, 47 RBI, and 41 walks in 117 contests.

“I’m very glad to add both Shawn and Conor to the club,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney.  “We were looking for some left-handed bats to balance out the roster.  Shawn has Double-A experience, and will be counted on to drive in runs.  Conor got his feet wet in Joplin last year, and did a fine job defensively.  We’re hoping he can push Alixon (Suarez).”

Pleffner is heading into his sixth year of professional baseball, and is a career .288 hitter with a .362 on-base percentage in 473 games played. A left-handed batter and right-handed defender, Pleffner was originally drafted by the Nationals in the 26th round in 2011 out of the University of Tampa (Tampa, Florida).  In each of his first three seasons as a pro, the 27-year-old Pleffner ranked in the top-10 in his league’s batting race (second in the Short Season-A New York-Penn League in 2012, tied for eighth in the Low-A South Atlantic League in 2013, and third in the High-A Carolina League in 2014).  Although he is a left-handed batter, Pleffner owns a career .324 average against left-handed pitching in 410 at bats.  The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Pleffner has averaged 74 runs scored, 36 doubles, 76 RBI, and 66 walks per 162 games as a professional.

Photo Credit: Ave Maria University

Sullivan was a true rookie in 2016, hitting .226 for the Joplin Blasters in 28 games with one home run and 10 RBI.  A native of Chicago, Illinois, Sullivan added eight runs, four doubles, two triples, and five walks.  The 23-year-old backstop also hit .294 with runners in scoring position, and will retain rookie classification in the American Association for 2017.

Prior to turning pro, Sullivan played four years of college baseball at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida.  A left-handed batter and right-handed thrower, Sullivan hit .256 for the Gyrenes last spring, while capturing the third Sun Conference Gold Glove award of his college career.  During his senior season, Sullivan threw out 59 percent of opposing base stealers, and did not commit an error in 221 total chances behind the plate.  The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Sullivan earned the NAIA’s National Gold Glove award as a sophomore in 2013.

In a separate transaction, the Goldeyes placed outfielder Stefan Sabol on irrevocable waivers for the purpose of granting his release.

The Goldeyes now have 27 players under contract for the 2017 season.  American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 6th.

Notes: Pleffner helped a team reach the playoffs in each of his first three professional seasons, including a championship with the High-A Carolina League’s Potomac Nationals in 2014…Pleffner had two hits and an RBI in Potomac’s title-clinching victory in Game Four of the Carolina League Championship Series on September 10th…Pleffner is a career .305 hitter with runners in scoring position (505 AB) and a .332 hitter with two outs and runners in scoring position (226 AB)…defensively, Pleffner has a career .989 fielding percentage at first base in 397 games…Sullivan was acquired from the United Shore League in exchange for a player to be named later…the United Shore League is an independent league formed in 2016 based out of Utica, Michigan…Sullivan also earned Sun Conference Gold Glove honours as a sophomore in 2013 and as a junior in 2014

2017 Winnipeg Goldeyes Signings
OF Reggie Abercrombie
OF Devan Ahart
LHP Kyle Anderson
1B David Bergin
RHP Victor Capellan
RHP Edwin Carl
RHP Ryan Chaffee
3B Wes Darvill
IF Jordan Ebert
RHP Joel Effertz
RHP Icezack Flemming
2B Casio Grider
RHP Caleb Kellogg
LHP Mitchell Lambson
1B Kellen Marruffo
LHP Kenny Mathews
LHP Kevin McGovern
RHP Cameron McVey
RHP Daniel Minor
RHP Zach Nuding
RHP Mikey O’Brien
1B Shawn Pleffner
OF/1B David Rohm
IF Andrew Sohn
C Alixon Suarez
C Conor Sullivan
RHP Duke von Schamann

The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2017 season on May 18th on the road against the expansion Cleburne Railroaders.  The Goldeyes’ 2017 home opener is Monday, May 29th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park.  Season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings for the 2017 season are on sale now.  For more information, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com

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