By Gabe Schapiro
Vallejo, CA – The Vallejo Admirals Professional Baseball Club announced that center fielder Darian Sandford and catcher Kale Sumner have been promoted to the Canadian-American League, where both will be joining the Garden State Grays.
In corresponding moves, the Admirals have signed outfielder Jalyen Harris and catcher CJ Maldonado.
Sandford made a big impact during his 18 games in Vallejo. He hit .260, but was an on base machine with a .374 OBP. He led the team with 13 walks and 18 runs, but his stint in the navy blue and gold was best highlighted by his incredible speed. He once scored from second base on a wild pitch, another time on an infield single, and his 24 stolen bases were six more than any other entire team in the Pacific Association.
Sumner didn’t quite have the same immediate impact at the plate, getting off to a slow start this season. His .220 average doesn’t look impressive, but after a 2-for-26 start, he contributed at least one hit in 10 of his final 11 games with the club. Similarly to Sandford, he was also an expert at getting on base. Even at his coldest moments at the plate, he routinely worked full counts, and made productive outs. He departs with a .385 OBP, which placed him third on the team. In addition, he was solid defensively, and the pitching staff sang his praises as a signal caller.
The 21-year old Harris doesn’t just step into Sandford’s roster spot, he also steps into a very similar role. The outfielder doesn’t have a lot of power, but like Sandford, he knows how to get on base, and comes equipped with good speed. He most recently played for the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League, where he swiped seven bags while hitting .250 with a .368 OBP in 13 games. Harris also spent the 2013 season in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, where he hit .243 in 32 games.
Maldonado comes to the Admirals from the Ellensburg Bulls of the now-folded Mount Rainier League, where he was teammates with Vallejo closer Bryan Escanio. Maldonado hit .520 with nine home runs during his senior season at Reed High School in Sparks, Nevada, before playing at Shasta College.