Canaries Pitcher Fritze Signs With Diamondbacks
PHOTO: RY TUPPER PHOTOGRAPHY
Another Sioux Falls Canaries star has landed a job with an MLB organization. The Arizona Diamondbacks purchased the contract of Canaries right-hander Ryan Fritze, the Birds announced Monday.
The 25-year-old is the second Canary to be picked up by a big-league club this offseason, after outfielder Jordan Smith signed with the Cleveland Indians in January.
"I am very excited for the opportunity the Diamondbacks have given me. I can’t thank the Canaries coaching staff enough," Fritze said. "I had a great time last season with the Canaries and hope they have a great 2019 season, but I'm looking forward to this next chapter."
Fritze had an outstanding season with the Canaries in 2018, leading the team with a 3.06 ERA in 42 relief appearances. His form improved as the year went on; he finished the season with seven straight scoreless appearances, allowing only three hits in 7.1 innings of work.
The Lake Elmo, Minnesota native credits Canaries pitching coach Ben Moore and manager Mike Meyer for helping him find success last year.
"I’ve learned so much from Ben and Mike, especially on how to attack hitters and the mental part of the game," Fritze said.
"Ryan really shored up his consistency at the end of the year," Meyer said. "We could bring him into any situation, and we knew he was going to get the job done."
Fritze signed with the Canaries in 2018 after spending part of the 2017 season with the Gary SouthShore RailCats. Fritze made 19 appearances for the RailCats in 2017, striking out 19 batters in 21.2 innings pitched.
A graduate of Valparaiso University, Fritze made 25 appearances for the Crusaders his senior year in 2016, finishing with a team-high seven saves.
The Sioux Falls Canaries open their 2019 season on May 16 on the road. Their home opener is scheduled for May 31, a Fireworks Night game against the Winnipeg Goldeyes at 7:05pm. For more information on season tickets, suites, group outings, and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries Front Office at (605) 336-6060, or visit the Canaries official website at www.sfcanaries.com.