Birds sign all-star Mendez at hot corner
SIOUX FALLS – The Sioux Falls Canaries added a veteran bat and glove to their lineup on Friday by signing third baseman Carlos Mendez.
Mendez, 27, comes off one of the most successful seasons of his nine-year pro career, earning league all-star honors in 2013 with the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League. He hit .337 with 20 doubles, four home runs and 50 RBI in 91 games, good for third in the league in batting and first in total hits (128).
“We’re excited to have Carlos come play with us,” Canaries manager Steve Shirley said. “His bat will be a good presence in our lineup, and he brings experience and leadership.”
The native Venezuelan also was the top fielding third baseman in the Frontier League, committing just six errors in 219 chances (.973).
The Cincinnati Reds signed Mendez as an undrafted free agent at 18 years old. He played seven seasons in the Reds system, including 50 games at the Double-A level, before joining Southern Illinois in 2012. In more than 700 career professional games, Mendez has hit .285 with 21 home runs and 328 RBI.
The Canaries also announced on Friday the recent signings of a pair of rookies, infielder Ty Forney and outfielder Dan Treccia.
Forney is a true rookie from New Mexico State University, where he hit .356 in his final season with one home run and 27 RBI, along with six stolen bases. He also competed in the summer collegiate Northwoods League, where he was a two-time All-Star star in 2011 and 2012. Forney previously played at Yavapai College (Ariz.) after attending high school in Mesquite, Texas.
Treccia, 26, is also a true rookie seeking a roster spot with the Canaries in spring training. He played collegiately at North Park University (Chicago) and Benedictine University (Ill.). Last year he hit .264 with eight home runs and 35 RBI in the Intercounty Baseball League in Ontario, Canada.
The Sioux Falls Canaries home opener is Thursday, May 15, at Sioux Falls Stadium against the Sioux City Explorers. The Canaries’ 2014 campaign follows their highest attended season ever. It will be their 22nd season and ninth as members of the independent American Association. For more information about business partnerships or season tickets , call the Canaries at (605) 336-6060.