Without much publicity, the Sugar Land Skeeters signed right-handed pitcher Omar Bencomo. Bencomo is primarily a starter but has pitched out of the bullpen on occasion. Omar pitched in the Mexican League in 2019 after pitching in affiliated ball dating back to 2007. Bencomo’s age-31 season will be key as he attempts to return to affiliated baseball. In 2019, Bencomo struggled badly between 3 Mexican League teams and 38 innings in the Venezuelan Winter League (6.30 ERA and 1.581 WHIP during this time). A bounce-back year in 2020 could bring Sugar Land a 4th or 5th starter if Bencomo can bring his K-rate back up. Worst case, Bencomo might be a long-reliever or 6th starter.
The Skeeters have signed right-handed starting pitcher Tommy Collier for the 2020 season. Collier has spent the past two seasons in the American Association with the Kansas City T-Bones where he posted a 3.33 ERA with a 1.195 WHIP in 40 outings. Tommy has the arm-strength for a full ALPB season, and if he keeps his walk rate down, he could have number two starter potential for the Skeeters down the road.
Projections: 125 IP, 3.75 ERA, 1.330 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
High-end Projections: 140 IP, 3.35 ERA, 1.160 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 8.5 K/9
Low-end Projections: 116 IP, 3.94 ERA 1.540 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 6.8 K/9
The Skeeters have signed switch-hitting corner-outfielder Chuck Taylor for 2020. Taylor has spent the past eight seasons in the minor leagues, playing in Washington, Seattle, and Arizona’s systems. Last year, between the National’s triple-A Fresno Grizzlies and double-A Harrisburg Senators, Chuck posted a .229/.311/.372 slash line. Taylor projects as a productive starting outfielder for Sugar Land as they look to regain the ALPB Championship crown they lost in 2019.
Sugar Land has signed outfielder Cameron Perkins. Perkins spent 2019 in the Dodgers organization with triple-A Oklahoma City. Perkins has the makings of a player who might have his contract purchased early in 2020, but if he’s still with the Skeeters in mid-April, check back with ALPB Roundup for up-to-date projections.
The Skeeters have signed former Phillies prospect Seth Lancaster. If you’re bothered because Seth Lancaster isn’t being signed by Lancaster, you’re not alone, but we’ll get through this together. Seth has played mostly third base, second base, and shortstop, but did play in the outfield a bit in 2019 with the class-A Lakewood Blue Claws. In 158 plate appearances with the Blue Claws last season, Seth slashed .199/.304/.353, which indicates he could face some growing pains against ALPB pitching. Sugar Land will likely use Seth as a utility player off the bench and may occasionally switch him off the roster as needed.
Projections: 230 PA, 22 Runs Created, 2 HR, .665 OPS, 1.1 WAR (MLB Equiv. Ehire Adrianza)
High-end Projections: 300 PA, 30 Runs Created, 4 HR, .690 OPS, 1.4 WAR
Low-end Projections: 185 PA, 17 Runs Created, 2 HR, .640 OPS, .6 WAR
Sugar Land has signed outfielder Evan Marzilli. Marzilli struggled mightily in 2019 between the triple-A Reno Aces, double-A Jackson Generals, and the American Association‘s Gary SouthShore RailCats, slashing .181/.335/.300 between those three stops. Evan projects as a backup outfielder for the Skeeters with most of his innings coming in centerfield. Marzilli may see more regular time in the lineup if he can regain the form that saw him batting .264 in Reno during the 2017 season.
Projections: 345 PA, 30 Runs Created, 3 HR, .665 OPS, 1.3 WAR (MLB Equiv. Jarrod Dyson)
High-end Projections: 425 PA, 43 Runs Created, 4 HR, .700 OPS, 2.2 WAR
Low-end Projections: 305 PA, 26 Runs Created, 2 HR, .645 OPS, 1.0 WAR
Sugar Land has signed right-handed reliever Andrew Bellatti for the 2020 season. Bellatti was in the Tampa Bay Rays system from 2009 to 2016 before missing both 2017 and 2018 rehabbing from Tommy John. In one inning for Sugar Land in 2019, Bellatti struck out the side before being signed by the Yankees where he struggled between advanced A+ and double-A. Bellatti’s projections will be better defined closer to opening day. For now, expectations should be tempered. However, even in just one inning, Andrew certainly made clear that he has All-Star potential out of an Atlantic League bullpen.
Projections: 48 IP, 4.27 ERA, 1.452 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 10.7 K/9
High-end Projections: 60 IP, 3.07 ERA, 1.194 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 11.9 K/9
Low-end Projections: 77 IP, 6.07 ERA 1.575 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9, 9.3 K/9