Birds pick up potential "instant fan favorite" Alexander
Sioux Falls Canaries fans saw Troy Alexander blast some tape measure home runs out of the Birdcage the last couple seasons as St. Paint Saint.
Now, they'll get to roar for him when he does it in a Birds jersey.
Just two days after the Saints announced they had accepted Major League Baseball's invitation to become the Minnesota Twins' new Triple-A affiliate effective immediately, Sioux Falls signed Alexander off waivers on Friday.
Canaries manager Mike Meyer said Alexander was the first Saint he called when he knew St. Paul players were likely not coming back in 2021.
"I'm extremely excited to have Troy in our lineup for the 2021 season," Meyer said. "We had a chance to see him up close a lot at the Birdcage this summer and I think he will become an instant fan favorite."
At 6'4 and 215 pounds, the 23-year-old Alexander becomes the second towering slugger to sign with the Birds in the last month, joining 6'5, 240 lb. Nate Etheridge to potentially pack plenty of punch in the hitter-friendly Birdcage.
"He's a big kid with serious power and he can run," Meyer said. "I'm expecting him to play a major role in the middle of our lineup."
Alexander played in a combined 47 games over the last two seasons with the Saints, including 30 games in the shortened 2020 season, when he drove in 17 runs while batting .260 and clubbing six home runs. That's one home run every five games and an RBI every other game.
St. Paul is Alexander's only professional stop. After his college career ended in late May, 2019, Alexander went undrafted and the Saints signed him on July 14, 2019, after they traded Burt Reynolds to the Canaries.
The Houston, Texas, native, led his Arkansas-Little Rock college team with seven home runs and 40 RBI in 2018, then finished second on the Trojans with 12 homers and 13 doubles and scored 39 runs in 2019, posting 12 multi-hit games and homering in his last college game, making the Sun Belt Conference All-Tournament Team.
In his three seasons of combined Div. I college and American Association play, Alexander has posted solid averages of .335 on-base percentage (OBP), .459 slugging percentage (SLG) and .794 on-base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS).
"I am extremely excited to become a Bird and thankful to call the Birdcage my home," Alexander said. "I look forward to meeting my new teammates, the coaching staff, and the fans. I can't wait to contribute in any way the team needs me to and help us win."
The American Association is planning on a back-to-normal May start to its 2021 season, with a full 100-game schedule.