Bring the heat! Canaries add two young arms

Posted: 2/4/2021


Canaries reliever Kolton Ingram. Courtesy Columbus State University.


Jerry Bowman -- the Canaries' Eastway Bowl "K" sign guy -- better be on his toes when newly-signed 24-year-old southern-raised flame throwers Kolton Ingram and Jackson Maynard take the mound in The Birdcage this summer. Both signed deals with the club this week. 

Ingram is expected to provide a coveted left arm out of the bullpen, while Maynard will get a shot at a starting rotation spot. Both have a history of racking up "K's."

"I am excited to be adding these two young pitchers to our staff," Meyer said. "No doubt, they will play major roles for us this summer."

Ingram was a 37th-round selection of the Detroit Tigers in the 2019 MLB Draft. In his first and only season as a pro, he struck out 28 and gave up just 14 runs in 30 innings as a middle reliever for the Tigers' East rookie team of the Gulf Coast League, with a 1-1 record and 4.15 ERA. Like many players in minor league affiliated ball, he did not play in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

Prior to that, the Atlanta area, native was a strikeout machine for four years at Div. II Columbus State in Georgia, fanning an average of 10 batters per nine innings (SO9) over his four years. That mark would have ranked in the Top 10 this past season in Major League Baseball. Ingram posted a 25-11 career college record and 2.76 ERA and earned an ABCA All-America honor his junior season of 2018, when he was 14-3 with a 2.18 ERA and struck out 150 hitters in 136 innings.    

"Kolton Ingram is an electric leftie whose fastball is 92-95 miles per hour with a high spin rate," Meyer said. "Kolton adds a much-needed left-handed presence to our back end of the bullpen. I expect him to be competing for a set-up role this summer."

Maynard was a 21st-round selection of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017 and a 25th-round pick of the Chicago White Sox in 2018. In two seasons at Div. I North Carolina-Greensboro, he posted an astounding SO9 of 11.0, striking out 161 in 136 innings. 

As a reliever in two seasons of rookie league and independent pitching, the Charlotesville, Virg., native went 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 46 innings. He appeared in two early games for the Milwaukee Milkmen in 2020, striking out 10 and giving up just one hit in three innings, but was let go because American Association teams were not required to carry rookies on their roster.

The Canaries eventually faced the Milkmen in the AAPB Finals, and now Sioux Falls will provide the young right-hander an opportunity to re-establish himself.

"Maynard will have a chance to either pitch in our rotation or eat a couple innings at a time in our bullpen," Meyer said. "He can run it up to 92-93 and has a good mix of offspeed stuff and really controls the strike zone."

The Birds have already announced the re-signing of veteran pitchers Grady Wood and Kevin Folman, along with "combo" thrower Robbie Gordon

Stay tuned as the team continues to roll out its roster. 

The American Association schedule will be released next week. For season ticket information, call The Birdcage box office at 605-336-6060.