Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced the re-signing of outfielder Luis Montanez and the addition of catcher Damaso Espino.
Montanez was among the Atlantic League leaders with his .313 batting average, 39 runs scored, 63 hits, 13 doubles, six home runs, and 41 RBI in 52 games played for the Patriots last season before signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Montanez reported to Double-A Arkansas and finished with a .284 batting average, 23 hits, five doubles, three home runs, and 14 RBI in 22 games played.
Montanez has Major League time with the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs, most recently in 2011. He was Chicago’s first pick, third overall, in the 2000 draft.
In addition to his Major League time, Montanez has six seasons of Triple-A experience for the organizations and the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies.
Montanez has a minor league career .285 average, 1,364 hits, 272 doubles, 48 triples, 105 home runs, and 824 RBI in 1,301 games played.
“Montanez is a very special player. After starting with us in 2013 he was picked up and in my opinion had a great shot to get back to the Major Leagues but was injured. Montanez can play all three outfield positions well and he is a huge presence in our lineup. He has power but also is a tough out that hits for average,” said Brett Jodie, Manager of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club.
Espino has experience in the Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago White Sox organizations.
He has six seasons of Triple-A experience including last season at Albuquerque for the Dodgers, where he hit .333 with 21 hits, five doubles, and six RBI in 19 games played.
In 2012 for Birmingham (Double-A), Espino hit .284 with 65 hits and 23 RBI in 66 games played.
Espino has a minor league career .268 batting average, 912 hits, 132 doubles, 16 home runs, and 427 RBI in 983 games played.
“I am truly excited to get Damaso into camp and watch him work with our pitchers. I have heard great things about him from numerous people both as a player and clubhouse guy. He seems to be exactly what we look for as part of our club. An unselfish guy that is hard working and wants to win. I think Damaso will contribute in a big way to the success of our pitching staff and also be a guy that can handle the bat well and get the job done,” Jodie said.
For information about the Somerset Patriots 2014 Season presented by Ford, beginning at home on Friday, April 25th, stop by the Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit the Patriots on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.