Clutch-hitting Coulter coming back to Canaries
Canaries first baseman Clint Coulter. Photo by Erin Bornett.
Another key power-hitting piece from the 2020 American Association Finals run is back with the Sioux Falls Canaries in 2021.
Former MLB first-round draft pick Clint Coulter officially signed for a third season with the Birds and is slated to play first base and bat in the heart of the lineup.
The 27-year-old Coulter joins fellow 2020 Canaries sluggers Jabari Henry and Logan Landon -- plus new mashers Troy Alexander and Nate Etheridge -- as dangerous sticks for opposing pitchers.
The Canaries also made official the signing of right-handed pitcher Charlie Hasty, a promising reliever out of Wayne State College in Nebraska.
“I’m elated to have Clint back for this season,” Canaries manager Mike Meyer said. “Clint has been a staple in the middle of our lineup for the last two years. He is a big-time producer and has had some of the biggest swings for us."
Coulter hit .282 with 29 home runs and 115 RBI in 153 combined games the last two seasons in Canaries yellow and blue. That amounts to an All-Star season in Major League Baseball.
One of his biggest hits was a game-winning, two-out, two-run blast in the ninth-inning at Fargo on Aug. 19, 2020, to give the Birds a major late-season win en route to the Finals.
Bottom of the ninth.— Sioux Falls Canaries (@canaries) August 19, 2020
Down by a run.
Clint Coulter at the plate.
Still reliving last night's big win; highlight presented by Direct Companies! pic.twitter.com/qo7SW6an6d
The Washington native alternated between right field and catcher for the Canaries the last two seasons but will be the team’s primary first baseman in 2021. Coulter will also back up veteran Charlie Valencia behind home plate.
“I think he has matured as a hitter and has improved throughout the last two seasons,” Meyer said. “He’s ready to break out and become the big leaguer he is capable of being.”
The Milwaukee Brewers selected Coulter as the 27th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. He reached as high as the Triple-A level in 2018.
Meanwhile, Hasty was dominant in his last season on the mound for the 2019 Wayne State Wildcats. In 22 innings, the right-hander struck out 22 while not giving up a home run and yielding just 13 hits. The Plattsmouth, Neb., native posted a 2.42 ERA and other-worldly numbers like his 8.9 S09 (strikeouts per nine innings), 3.67 SO/W (strikeouts per walk), and 2.4 H9 (hits per nine innings).
Like many undrafted prospects in 2020, Hasty did not pitch professionally last season, due to the cancellation of the affiliated minor league season and limited roster spots across independent leagues, both due to cancellations of seasons and influx of affiliated minor league talent.
Meyer said he is excited to see Hasty throw after receiving a recommendation from former Canary pitcher Kirk “Pork” Clark, Hasty’s pitching coach at Wayne State and the current pitching coach at South Dakota State.
“Pork said Hasty is a gamer and isn’t afraid to pitch in big-game situations,” Meyer said. “His fastball will be in the low 90’s with a good breaking ball and I expect Charlie to compete for a bullpen spot this year.”