Photo Credit: Daytona Tortugas
WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed right-handed pitcher Cory Thompson and catcher Zack Costello on Thursday.
A converted shortstop, Thompson last pitched in 2019 at two levels in the Cincinnati Reds’ organization. The Chicago, Illinois native was a combined 7-1 with a 3.34 ERA in 45 relief appearances for the High-A Florida State League’s Daytona Tortugas and the Double-A Southern League’s Chattanooga Lookouts. Thompson logged 59.1 combined innings, striking out 52 and walking just 18. With the exception of the Triple-A level, Thompson’s 45 appearances tied for 16th among all remaining pitchers in the affiliated minor leagues. The 26-year-old did not allow an earned run in 31 of his 45 outings, and pitched more than one inning in 18 of them.
“Cory is a very intriguing prospect,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “He did very well on the mound after being converted to pitching full time.”
Thompson enters his eighth overall season of professional baseball, and his fourth as a pitcher. He was originally drafted by the Reds in the fifth round in 2013 out of Mauldin High School in Mauldin, South Carolina. One the mound, Thompson has a career 16-8 record with six saves and a 3.35 ERA in 112 appearances, all of them in relief. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound right-hander has averaged 8.3 strikeouts and just 2.7 walks per nine innings as a professional. Thompson was voted a Low-A Midwest League All-Star as a pitcher in 2018 while playing for the Dayton Dragons.
In 121 career games at shortstop, Thompson averaged 4.70 plays per game (the 2020 American Association average was 3.83), and produced a .266 batting average as a professional rookie in 2013. Baseball America rated Thompson as having the best infield arm in the Reds’ farm system in 2014.
Costello appeared in 18 games last season as a true rookie for the Skylands Cardinals of the All-American Baseball Challenge, a pop-up independent league comprised of Frontier League clubs. The Leesburg, Virginia native scored four runs with two doubles, five RBI, and five walks. Defensively, the 23-year-old was 8-for-32 (20 percent) in throwing out opposing base stealers, which ranked above the AABC’s league average.
“Zack is a solid catch-and-throw receiver out of Mount St. Mary’s,” said Forney. “He is hungry for a chance to compete for the backup catching job.”
Costello—who bats and throws right-handed—played two seasons of college baseball at Frederick Community College (Frederick, Maryland) before transferring to Mount St. Mary’s University (Emmitsburg, Maryland) for his junior and senior campaigns. The 6-foot, 190-pound Costello batted .346 with five home runs and 30 RBI as a senior in 2019, while cutting down 42 percent (21-for-29) of opposing base stealers.
Additionally, the Goldeyes have traded outfielder Willy Garcia to the Frontier League’s Schaumburg Boomers in exchange for a player to be named later. Garcia played for the Goldeyes in 2019 where he batted .310 with 17 home runs, and ranked seventh in the American Association with 73 RBI. Garcia reached the Major Leagues in 2017, appearing in 44 games for the Chicago White Sox.
The Goldeyes now have 25 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
IF Dakota Conners
C Zack Costello
RHP Ryan Dull
LHP Ken Frosch
OF Jay Gonzalez
RHP Joey Gonzalez
RHP John Gorman
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 Raul Navarro
IF Alexis Pantoja
C Alfonso Reda
RHP Eduard Reyes
OF Liam Scafariello
RHP Cory Thompson
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