Photo Credit: Stetson University Athletics
WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed right-handed pitchers Joey Gonzalez and Sam Hellinger on Monday.
Gonzalez last pitched in 2019 where he saw time with two affiliates in the Houston Astros’ organization. The Miami, Florida native had a combined 3.58 ERA in 28 relief appearances for the High-A Carolina League’s Fayetteville Woodpeckers and the Low-A Midwest League’s Quad Cities River Bandits. Gonzalez struck out 56 batters in 60.1 frames, and worked at least two innings in 22 of his 28 outings.
The 24-year-old Gonzalez enters his third season of professional baseball, and was drafted by the Astros in the 28th round in 2018 out of Stetson University (DeLand, Florida). As a rookie professional in 2018, Gonzalez posted a 1.37 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 19.1 innings for the Short Season-A New York-Penn League’s Tri-City ValleyCats and the Astros’ Rookie Gulf Coast League affiliate. During his junior season at Stetson, the 5-foot-11, 174-pound right-hander ranked 15th among NCAA Division-I pitchers with a 2.07 ERA (minimum 70.0 innings), and earned All-Atlantic Sun Conference honours.
“I’m excited about the addition of Joey and Sam,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “I think both of these arms have a chance to be special in the American Association. Joey has a nice, four-pitch mix and threw well with the Astros’ organization. Sam has a power arm at 93 to 96 mph, and seems really hungry to compete at a high level.”
Hellinger also last pitched in 2019, finishing with a 3.57 ERA in 17 relief appearances across three levels of the Texas Rangers’ organization. The Seattle, Washington native had a 32 percent strikeout rate in 35.1 combined innings for the High-A Carolina League’s Down East Wood Ducks, Low-A South Atlantic League’s Hickory Crawdads, and the Short Season-A Northwest League’s Spokane Indians. Hellinger, 26, worked multiple innings in 13 of his 17 appearances, including a season-high four innings on August 27th versus Frederick.
Hellinger played two seasons at the College of San Mateo (San Mateo, California) before transferring to Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Hellinger completed his senior season in 2017 with a 3.79 ERA in 40.1 innings, but went unselected in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. Hellinger then trained at Driveline Baseball in Kent, Washington where he developed more than seven miles per hour of fastball velocity, leading to a free agent contract with the Rangers in May of 2019.
The Goldeyes now have 22 players under contract for the 2021 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 30 players during spring training, which is scheduled to begin May 6th.
2021 Winnipeg Goldeyes Signings
RHP Nate Antone
RHP Ryan Dull
LHP Ken Frosch
OF Jay Gonzalez
RHP Joey Gonzalez
RHP John Gorman
RHP Sam Hellinger
C Lucas Herbert
OF Logan Hill
OF Tyler Hill
RHP Christian James
LHP Jose Jose
IF Kevin Lachance
LHP Mitchell Lambson
RHP Josh Lucas
1B Kyle Martin
OF Max Murphy
IF Alexis Pantoja
C Alfonso Reda
RHP Eduard Reyes
OF Liam Scafariello
RHP Justin Watland
The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2021 season on May 18th on the road against the Sioux Falls Canaries. The Goldeyes’ 2021 home opener is Friday, May 21st against the Chicago Dogs at Shaw Park.
For information on 2021 Goldeyes season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group tickets, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com