(Sugar Land, Texas, Feb. 5, 2019) - The Sugar Land Skeeters today announced the signing of 11-year Major League veteran, James Loney.
Loney, who will serve as a player-coach, will be a part of the Skeeters pitching staff, as well as making appearances in the outfield and infield.
“Words cannot express how ecstatic I am to come back home and be a member of the Sugar Land Skeeters,” Loney said. “I am proud to be associated with a first-class organization and appreciate the opportunity to have an impact in this community. I am thrilled the Skeeters are such an integral part of Sugar Land, and excited to get started on defending the Atlantic League Championship Title!”
Loney, 34, was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round (19th overall) of the 2002 MLB Draft out of Elkins High School (Missouri City, Texas). He spent seven of his 11 Major League seasons with the Dodgers, also appearing with the Boston Red Sox (2012), Tampa Bay Rays (2013-15) and New York Mets (2016).
Over his Major League career, Loney appeared in 1,443 games and owned a slash line of .284/.336/.410 to go with 108 home runs and 669 RBIs.
The Houston native led the National League with 160 games played at first base in 2010 and led the American League in games played at the position in 2014 with the Rays (152 games). He finished fifth in the National League in 2010 with 41 doubles. He ranked second in the American League in singles in 2014 (138) and finished in the top 10 in the National League in 2008 (118, 8th) and 2009 (122, 9th).
Loney ranks eighth all-time in Dodgers history in games played at first base (896).
“Any time you can sign a player of this magnitude, especially one who’s from the Houston area, it’s a really big deal,” said Skeeters manager Pete Incaviglia. “It’s a great fit for the Skeeters organization and I also think it’s a great fit for him. It’s really the best of both worlds and we’re incredibly excited to have him on board.”
Loney appeared in five separate MLB postseasons, totaling 23 games, and hit .350/.429/.525 with three home runs and 16 RBIs. While with the Dodgers, he hit a grand slam in Game 1 of the 2008 National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs. On September 28, 2006, Loney drove in nine runs against the Colorado Rockies, tying the Dodgers single-game franchise record held by Gil Hodges. He was unanimously selected to the Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team in 2007.
Loney was a highly touted prospect working through the Dodgers Minor League system, ranking as high as the No. 34 prospect in baseball prior to the 2003 season, per Baseball America. He helped lead Elkins to a 5A Texas State Baseball Championship in 2002, serving as a standout pitcher and position player. He posted a 1.52 ERA while going 12-1 his senior season at Elkins en route to the state title. His only pitching appearance at the professional level came in 2016 with Triple-A El Paso (San Diego Padres), throwing a scoreless inning of relief.
Loney last appeared at the professional level in 2017 with the LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization and last played at the affiliated level in 2017 with Triple-A Gwinnett (Atlanta Braves).
The Skeeters open the 2019 season on April 25 at Constellation Field against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Season tickets and mini plans for the 2019 season are currently available and individual tickets will soon be made available. To purchase season tickets or mini plans, or for more information on ticketing, please visit sugarlandskeeters.com or call the TDECU Ticket Office at 281-240-4487.
Visit SugarLandSkeeters.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@SL_Skeeters) for all the latest news on the team and the latest on events to be hosted at Constellation Field.
About the Sugar Land Skeeters
The Skeeters play at Constellation Field, a state-of-the-art stadium located at the intersection of State Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 90A in Sugar Land. The Skeeters are a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) and play 140 regular season games. The Skeeters Baseball Foundation promotes youth education and healthy activities lifestyles by providing support to culturally, racially and economically diverse areas of the community. For more information please call 281-240-4487 or visit sugarlandskeeters.com.
About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 40 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 900 players and 70 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment.
For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.