Canaries Bring Back All-Star Shortstop
SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Canaries announced on Tuesday afternoon that the organization has come to terms with All-Star shortstop Blake Schmit for the 2017 American Association season.
Schmit, 24, appeared in 96 games for the Birds last season, batting .319 with 15 doubles, five triples, five homeruns and 29 RBI. The utility infielder set career highs in batting average, RBI, hits (118), doubles (15), stolen bases (20), and on-base percentage (.380) while appearing defensively at third base, second base and shortstop. A right-handed batter, Schmit posted a .326 clip and .904 OPS (.382 OBP/.522 SLG) against left-handed pitching but hit 15 of 25 extra-base hits against righties.
He was the lone representative for the Canaries during the 2016 American Association All-Star Game, and established himself as one of the top players in the league after finishing the season 7th overall in batting average and 10th in total hits.
“Blake is one of the key pieces we wanted to build our 2017 roster around,” said Canaries General Manager Duell Higbe. “He is a premium player at a premium position who excelled in the field and at the plate for us in 2016. We feel that he has yet to reach his full potential, and we’re thrilled to have him back in our clubhouse again this season.”
The Eden Prairie, MN native joined the organization in 2016 after spending parts of two seasons in the Minnesota Twins farm system. In 58 minor league games, he posted a .215 batting average to go along with nine extra-base hits and 23 RBI.
The Sioux Falls Canaries enter their 25th season on May 18th against the Sioux City Explorers at Lewis & Clark Park. The home portion of the 2017 schedule opens up on Saturday, May 20th at the Birdcage. For more information about season tickets and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries ticket office at (605) 336-6060 or visit www.sfcanaries.com.