Pena Returns For Second Season With The Birds
SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Sioux Falls Canaries announced on Monday morning that the team has re-signed Shortstop Jerome Pena for the 2016 season.
Pena put together one of the best all-around seasons of his career in 2015. The middle infielder set career highs in hits (102), triples (4), stolen bases (8), batting average (.290), on-base percentage (.374), and slugging percentage (.429) while appearing in 91 games for Birds.
“Good shortstops are hard to come by,” said Manager Chris Paterson. “JP is one of the best at his position in this league. We felt it was crucial to bring him back in 2016.”
Pena hit safely in 12 of his final 15 games last season, and capped of his strong finish with a 4-for-4 day at the plate, including a home run and three runs scored in the final game of the regualr season against the Joplin Blasters. His stellar play on the field last summer also earned him the American Association’s Pointstreak Player of the Week honors for the week ending August 9th after hitting safely in every game during the calendar week.
“JP was an emotional leader for us last season,” added Paterson. “I like have guys like him in the clubhouse. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and leaves it all out on the field. We need more of that around here this season.”
The Tempe, AZ native appeared in 93 games in 2014 for the Baltimore Orioles Class-A affiliate in Frederick, MD. Pena posted a .269 batting average in 93 games with the ball club while collecting 19 doubles, four triples, and five home runs. The 27-year-old Peña enters his fifth year as a professional in 2016 carrying a .262 career batting average to go along with his 392 hits and 167 RBI’s.
Pena and The Canaries begin the 24th season of Birds’ baseball on May 19th against the Sioux City Explorers at Lewis & Clark Park. The Canaries kick off the 2016 home portion of their schedule on Friday, May 20th with a special presentation from All-Star Fireworks after the game. For more information about season tickets and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries ticket office at (605) 336-6060 or visit www.sfcanaries.com.