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Tucson Toros 2010 baseball team highlights

Former Diamondbacks Pitcher Headlines Recent Toros Signings

The Tucson Toros has signed seven new baseball players, including former Diamondbacks Pitcher Albie Lopez, who won a World Series Championship with Arizona in 2001. 

The Tucson Toros has also inked hard throwing Taiwanese Pitcher Sung-Wei Tseng, Outfielder and YouTube sensation Josh Womack and former Giants Minor League Pitcher Anthony Moreno.  The Toros are also returning an important part of their core group from the Division Champion 2009 squad, with Outfielder Lino Garcia, Shortstop Ryan Priddy and Catcher Luis Apodaca having already signed contracts for the 2010 season.

Albie Lopez, 38, joins the Toros starting rotation as the most tenured pitcher in GBL Toros history, with 11 years of Major League experience with the Cleveland Indians (1993-97), Tampa Bay Rays (1998-2001), Arizona Diamondbacks (2001), Atlanta Braves (2002) and Kansas City Royals (2002). 

A Mesa native, Albie was a part of the Diamondbacks Championship run in 2001, appearing in one World Series game.  The Righthander was originally drafted by the Indians in the 20th round in the 1991 Amateur Draft out of Mesa Community College and broke into the bigs with them as a 21-year old just two years later.  He holds a career 47-58 record and 4.94 ERA in 841 1/3 innings (92 starts) at the Major League level.  He was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 1997 Expansion Draft and went on to become the club’s Opening Day starter in 2001 before being dealt mid-season to Arizona.

Tucson Toros Draft Six Players From The Arizona Winter League

The Tucson Toros have drafted six players from the Arizona Winter League and have invited them to their spring training camp.  The Toros selected five pitchers and an outfielder in the draft that took place in Yuma, AZ at the culmination of the Arizona Winter League (AWL) season.
 
The AWL is a premier winter instructional league for professional and aspiring professional baseball players.  The 2010 season fielded eight teams comprised of 176 players from seven countries and played a 35 day schedule, with games taking place in Yuma, Arizona and San Luis, Arizona.  The league debuted in 2007, and has seen two of its alumni reach the Major Leagues including Sergio Romo (brother of 2009 Toro Andrew Romo) pitching for the Giants and Scott Richmond for the Blue Jays.  For many players, the AWL is their first crack at being signed to a professional contract and beginning their baseball career. Continue reading about the new drafts for the 2010 Tucson baseball season.

Righthander Sung-Wei Tseng is one of the most talented arms to come out of Taiwan in recent years, serving as the ace of Chinese Tapai National Team and representing Taiwan in the World Cup in 2005 and the World Baseball Classic in 2006.  The Cleveland Indians signed him in 2006 after Baseball America named him the 4th best prospect in the Alaskan Summer League, a premier league for college level talent.  Tseng, just 25-years old, spent parts of three seasons in the Indians organization striking out 157 in 216 2/3 innings.

Outfielder Josh Womack, 26, was selected in the 2nd round by the Seattle Mariners in the 2002 Amateur Draft.  He spent seven seasons in the Mariners organization, reaching as high as Triple-A.  Last year he served as the igniter for the Long Beach Armada of the GBL, playing centerfield and stealing a team leading 24 bases out of the leadoff spot.  Womack excelled both on the field and off, becoming a YouTube sensation when a video of his amazing bat tricks garnered over 3 million views. Watch the video of Josh Womack's bat trick.

The San Francisco Giants drafted Tempe native Anthony Moreno out of South Mountain Community College in 2002.  The 25-year old Righthander spent six seasons in the Giants organization reaching as high as the Double-A level.  Moreno was with the Single-A San Jose Giants in 2006 and 2007, going a combined 15-10 for pitching staffs that also featured two time NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez who threw a No Hitter for the Giants on July 19, 2009.
 
Lino Garcia, 26, returns to patrol the Outfield at Hi Corbett Field after leading the team with 22 stolen bases last season.  The Venezuelan native hit .314/.399/.458 (AVG/OBP/SLG) while playing plus defense in left and center.  Garcia has played parts of six seasons in affiliated ball including with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2001-05 and in Triple-A withs the Colorado Rockies organization in 2006.
 
Shortstop Ryan Priddy, 27, joined the Tucson Toros midseason and enjoyed a breakout year with the club setting new career highs in runs (40), hits (68), home runs (3) and walks (14).  He also hit .321, surpassing his previous career mark by over 40 points.  The Colorado native spent the previous three seasons in the Independent American Association.
 
Catcher Luis Apodaca, 27, is another member of the Toros young core that will be returning for the 2010 season.  The Venezuelan native hit .290 for the club while serving as a steadying force behind the dish for Tucson’s pitching staff.  Luis played in the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals organization from 2002-05 and reaching as high as Triple-A in the Colorado Rockies system in 2006.
 
The Tucson Toros will be hitting the road with some of their recently signed players along with Manager Tim Johnson during the team’s Spring Caravan set to take place throughout the Tucson area on Tuesday, April 20th.  More information to come, including a detailed itinerary of the Caravan, which will be open to media participation.
 
The Toros will kickoff the 2010 season in defense of their South Division title on Wednesday, May 19th when they take on the Edmonton Capitals at Hi Corbett Field at 7:00 p.m.


Where Are They Now?


Former Toros Pitcher Wilhelmsen Signed By Mariners

Former Tucson Toros Righthanded Pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen has been signed by the Seattle Mariners.  The hard throwing Tucson native struck out an impressive 13 batters over 11 2/3 innings for the Toros last season and notched two saves, including the franchise’s first ever save on Opening Night.  Tom was previously signed last August by the Milwaukee Brewers, the organization that originally drafted him in the 7th round of the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft out of Tucson High School, but became a free agent once again after being shut down with a pinched nerve in his shoulder.  Fully healthy now, he is expected to report to the Mariners minor league spring training complex in Peoria, AZ.
 
Wilhelmsen is one of four Tucson Toros to be picked up by a Major League organization, joining fellow Righthanded Pitchers Andrew Romo who signed with the San Francisco Giants organization, Rene Garcia who is now in the Chicago White Sox farm system and First Baseman Dustin Yount who was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers in February and invited to minor league Spring Training.
 
The Toros will kickoff the 2010 season in defense of their South Division title on Wednesday, May 19th when they take on the Edmonton Capitals at Hi Corbett Field at 7:00 p.m.

Yount Signed By Dodgers, Invited To Spring Training

The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed Tucson Toros First Baseman Dustin Yount to a minor league contract and have invited him to spring training at their complex at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, AZ.  The power hitting son of Hall of Fame Shortstop Robin Yount hit .310 for the Toros in 2009, while leading the team in home runs (11) and walks (32).  The 27-year old also played an integral role in helping the Toros reach the GBL Championship Series in their inaugural season by reaching base 21 times via hit or walk in 9 postseason contests last year. 
 
Dustin was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 9th round of the 2001 amateur draft and spent six seasons in their organization, reaching as high as the Double-A level.  He was also invited to the prestigious Arizona Fall League, a finishing school for some of the game’s best prospects, where he played for the Grand Canyon Rafters in 2006. 
 
Yount is the fourth Tucson Toro to be picked up by a Major League organization, joining Righthanded Pitchers Andrew Romo who signed with the San Francisco Giants organization, Rene Garcia who is now in the Chicago White Sox farm system and Tom Wilhelmsen who was inked by the Brewers last August.
 
The Toros will kickoff the 2010 season in defense of their South Division title on Wednesday, May 19th when they take on the Edmonton Capitals at Hi Corbett Field at 7:00 p.m.
 

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