WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes re-signed third baseman Wes Darvill on Thursday morning.
Darvill hit .262 for the Goldeyes last year with two home runs and 41 RBI in 96 games played. The Richmond, British Columbia native added 51 runs scored, 16 doubles, six triples, and was a perfect 18-for-18 in stolen base attempts. Darvill also posted a .345 on-base percentage, drawing 41 walks against just 47 strikeouts. The 25-year-old ranked third among American Association third basemen with a .958 fielding percentage, while leading the league with 260 total chances at the position.
“I’m thrilled to have Wes Darvill back,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney . “Wes is a great defender that helps make the pitchers’ jobs a little easier. I expect that Wes will have an even better season than he had in 2016!”
Darvill frequently rose to the occasion in critical games and situations, hitting a combined .333 with 19 runs scored and 16 RBI in 31 contests against the division rival Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and St. Paul Saints. A left-handed hitter and right-handed fielder, Darvill also hit .308 during the regular season with runners in scoring position. In the playoffs, Darvill batted .270, including a 7-for-17 (.412) performance against the Saints in the American Association Division Series. Darvill then contributed to winning efforts in Games Four and Five of the Championship Series against Wichita, driving in a run both nights. 2016 marked the fifth time in the last six years in which Darvill has helped a team reach the postseason.
Darvill was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs as a fifth-round pick in 2009 out of Brookswood Secondary School in Langley, British Columbia. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Darvill is heading into his ninth season of professional baseball, which includes parts of two years at the Double-A level. Darvill has averaged 71 runs scored, 23 doubles, 56 RBI, 20 stolen bases, and 60 walks per 162 games played in his career. Darvill owns a lifetime .942 fielding percentage at third base while also appearing in more than 150 games each at second base and shortstop.
Darvill is the first player officially signed to a contract for the 2017 season. American Association teams may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 6th.
In a separate move, the Goldeyes have traded the rights to right-handed pitcher Winston Abreu to the Cleburne Railroaders in exchange for future considerations. Abreu made six appearances late in the regular season after the Goldeyes acquired the former Major Leaguer from the Joplin Blasters. Abreu then appeared in five playoff games, notching four saves, and recording the final out of the Championship Series on September 19th. Abreu’s option was exercised on October 26th.
Notes: Darvill is currently serving as a coach for the University of Fraser Valley in Abbottsford, British Columbia…the University’s baseball program is in its inaugural year…Darvill was a member of the 2009 Canadian Junior National Team…Darvill recorded the 500th hit of his professional career on July 22nd at Kansas City…Darvill’s six triples in 2016 ranked tied for third in the American Association…Darvill’s 18 steals are the most in Goldeyes’ history for a player with a perfect stolen base percentage, and rank third all-time in American Association history…the previous Goldeyes’ record belonged to Wes Chamberlain who was 11-for-11 in stolen bases in 2000…Brandon Carter (25-for-25, Grand Prairie, 2009) and Charles Carter (21-for-21, Fort Worth, 2007) hold the top two spots on the league’s single-season list
The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2017 season May 18th on the road against the expansion Cleburne Railroaders. The Goldeyes’ 2017 home opener is scheduled for Monday, May 29th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park. 2017 season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group tickets 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