WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes re-signed centre fielder Reggie Abercrombie on Wednesday.
Abercrombie returns for a fifth season in Winnipeg, and currently holds the American Association career record for both home runs (115) and RBI (474). Abercrombie hit .272 with 72 runs scored, 16 home runs, 82 RBI, and 20 stolen bases for the Goldeyes last year while playing in all 100 regular season games. The 82 RBI were second in the American Association and rank third on the Goldeyes’ single-season list. The Columbus, Georgia native homered twice and drove in 10 more runs in nine postseason games, and is one of only eight players in franchise history to win multiple championships.
Having already broken the American Association’s home run record in 2016, Abercrombie set the league standard for RBI when he drove in two runs on July 27th versus Fargo-Moorhead. They were Abercrombie’s 445th and 446th in the American Association, surpassing former Fort Worth Cats’ slugger John Allen. The following night, the former Major Leaguer collected his 2,000th career base hit as a professional. Abercrombie hit a pair of home runs in Game Two of the American Association Championship Series on September 14th at Wichita to help the Goldeyes even the series at 1-1. In the decisive Game Five at Shaw Park on September 20th, Abercrombie was 2-for-4 with three runs and three RBI.
Abercrombie was originally selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 23rd round in 1999 as a draft-and-follow pick. After spending the spring of 2000 at Florida Gateway College (Lake City, Florida), Abercrombie began his professional career in the Dodgers’ organization later that summer. A right-handed hitter and fielder, Abercrombie reached the Double-A level in 2002 at just 21 years of age. Following a brief stint in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ system, Abercrombie joined the Florida (now Miami) Marlins’ organization in 2005 where he combined for 25 home runs and 26 stolen bases at two levels. Abercrombie then reached the Major Leagues in 2006 where he spent the entire year on the Marlins’ active roster. Abercrombie helped the Marlins to a surprise 78-84 season in which manager Joe Girardi was voted National League Manager of the Year.
Abercrombie returned to the Majors each of the next two years with the Marlins and Houston Astros. Now 37 years old, Abercrombie’s time in the Majors includes home runs off of Roger Clemens and CC Sabathia, as well as base hits against Hall of Famers Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.
Abercrombie first joined the American Association in 2010 where he helped the Sioux Falls Pheasants (now Canaries) to a league-best 63-33 record and a trip to the Championship Series. During the 2010 campaign, Abercrombie belted 22 homers and swiped 34 bases to become the first player in league history to achieve 20-plus home runs and 20-plus steals in the same year. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Abercrombie enjoyed three more productive years for the Sioux Falls’ franchise, while also seeing time in the Mexican League.
Abercrombie signed with the Goldeyes just before spring training in 2014. The Goldeyes won a franchise-record 63 games that year with Abercrombie contributing 19 home runs, 74 RBI, and 23 steals. After starting the 2015 season with the Can-Am League’s Sussex County Miners, Abercrombie was reacquired that July and hit .318 over the second half. In 2016, Abercrombie duplicated the 20/20 feat, homering 20 times with 21 steals, and was voted the inaugural Scott Miller/Brian Rose Man of the Year for his charitable contributions off the field. Abercrombie then helped the Goldeyes to the 2016 American Association championship, highlighted by a two-homer, seven-RBI performance in the winner-take-all Game Five on September 19th at Wichita.
2018 will be Abercrombie’s 19th in professional baseball. In 1,945 career games played (Major Leagues, affiliated minor leagues, Mexican League, and independent minor leagues), Abercrombie is a .277 hitter with 2,040 base hits, 279 home runs, 1,108 RBI, and 492 stolen bases. Remarkably, Abercrombie has hit at least 10 home runs and stolen at least 20 bases in 14 of his 18 professional seasons, with the vast majority of his games being played as a centre fielder.
Additionally, right-handed pitcher Mikey O’Brien cleared waivers and is now a free agent, while left-handed pitcher Mitchell Lambson has signed with the Mexican League’s Pericos de Puebla. O’Brien spent two seasons with the Goldeyes, and was a combined 20-9 with a 4.50 ERA in 44 appearances. Lambson re-signed with Winnipeg on February 12th, and was 7-3 with one save and a 3.98 ERA in 61.0 innings last year.
The Goldeyes now have 16 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
C Jesse Baker
1B/DH David Bergin
RHP Edwin Carl
RHP Victor Capellan
LHP Zack Dodson
2B Jordan Ebert
RHP Zach Hartman
LHP Kenny Mathews
LHP Kevin McGovern
RHP Cameron McVey
OF Jonathan Moroney
RHP Charle Rosario
SS Andrew Sohn
RHP Cody Strayer
RHP Jordan Wellander
Notes: Abercrombie enters the 2018 season third on the Goldeyes’ career home run list (61)…Josh Mazzola (2012-15, 70 home runs) and Terry Lee (1995-97, 65 home runs) rank first and second respectively…Abercrombie is also fourth on the Goldeyes’ career RBI list (261)…Luis Alen (2007, 2010-15, 347 RBI), Harry Berrios (2002-06, 319 RBI), and Mazzola (269 RBI) hold the first three spots…Abercrombie has averaged 100 runs scored, 30 doubles, seven triples, 23 home runs, 92 RBI, and 41 stolen bases per 162 games played during his 18-year professional career…Abercrombie’s seven RBI in Game Five of the 2016 American Association Championship Series are a Goldeyes’ postseason single-game record…over the last two postseasons, Abercrombie is 9-for-23 (.391) with five home runs and 14 RBI in five Championship Series games at Wichita’s Lawrence-Dumont Stadium…Abercrombie is third all-time in American Association history in base hits (711)…David Espinosa (801) ranks first, while Allen (734) ranks second…Abercrombie is also fourth in league history in career games played (583)…Espinosa (679), Allen (600), and Mazzola (594) rank first to third…Abercrombie will become the 11th player (and sixth position player) in Goldeyes’ history to play a fifth season with the club…the other position players are Max Poulin (2001-08), Alen, Brian Duva (1995-00), Fehlandt Lentini (2006-08, 2011, 2013), and Berrios