Johnston, Almonte, Limonta, Nieve and Gillies to join Sugar Land for the 2016 season
(Sugar Land, Texas, March 23, 2016) - The Sugar Land Skeeters announce the return of Andrew Johnston, Denny Almonte, Johan Limonta and Fernando Nieve, and introduce Tyson Gillies for the 2016 season.
Johnston, 31, joins the Skeeters for his third season. The right-hander first came to Sugar Land mid-way through the 2014 season after spending time with the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League. Before being released by Camden, Johnston went 0-0 with a 7.66 ERA, 13 K and 8 BB over 24.1 innings in 19 games. Once he was picked up by the Skeeters, Johnston went 1-0 with a 2.51 ERA, 17 K and 4 BB in 28.2 innings pitched.
The righty has 10 seasons of professional baseball experience, advancing as high as AAA in the Rockies system in 2010 and 2011. He has a career 115 saves, with a career high of 31 saves while at AA Tulsa in the Texas League in 2009. Johnston was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 26th round of the 2003 amateur draft out of Jefferson College (MO) and in the 9th round of the 2005 amateur draft by the Colorado Rockies out of the University of Missouri-Columbia (MO).
Almonte, 27, returns to the Skeeters for his third season, having joined the team in August of 2014 and a full season in Sugar Land in 2015. Last season for the Skeeters, Almonte hit .205 with 39 runs, 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 122 games. He has seven seasons of professional baseball experience, with a career .239 batting Average, 100 stolen bases, 90 homers and 376 RBI in 708 games. The switch-hitter was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners out of Florida Christian School (Miami, FL).
Limonta, 32, comes back to Sugar Land after joining the Skeeters in June of the last season from the Atlantic League York Revolution. Last season with the Skeeters, Limonta batted .275 with 35 runs, 3 homers and 38 RBI in 76 games. The Cuba native has eight seasons of professional baseball experience, including 4 in the Atlantic League (York Revolution and Sugar Land Skeeters). Limonta has a career .285 batting average with 656 runs, 110 home runs, 683 RBI and 36 stolen bases. He was drafterd in the 20th round of the 2006 amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners out of Miami-Dade College (FL).
Nieve, 33, joins the Skeeters for a second time after a brief stint at the end of last season. Nieve spent most of the 2015 season in the Mexican League with Campeche. With Campeche, he went 1-2 with 10 saves, 4.18 ERA and 25 K over 23.2 innings pitched in 22 games. Nieve then pitched five games with the Skeeters, earning a 3.86 ERA with six strikeouts.
The right-hander has 14 seasons of professional baseball experience, including two seasons with the Houston Astros and two seasons with the New York Mets.He was first signed by Houston as an International Free Agent in 1999.
Gillies, 27, a left-handed batter, comes to Sugar Land with nine seasons of professional baseball experience. Gillies has spent time in the farm systems of the Seattle Mariners, Philidelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres, reaching as high as Triple A Leigh Valley IronPigs in the Philidelphia system. He spent last season with Double A San Antonio Missions, hitting .259 with 15 runs, two homers and 19 RBI in 61 games. The North Vancouver, British Columbia native was drafted in the 25th round of the 2006 draft by the Seattle Mariners out of Iowa Western Community College.
About the Sugar Land Skeeters
The Skeeters 2016 season begins Thursday, April 21 at Constellation Field. Season tickets, eight game ticket plans and flex books are on sale now at the Skeeters ticket office or online at www.SugarLandSkeeters.com.
Led by former Major Leaguer Gary Gaetti, 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.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League is the most innovative league in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball. In the league’s 18-year history, over 34 million fans have attended ALPB games and more than 800 players have joined MLB organizations. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcases the talent of top-caliber players and offers affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population. ALPB clubs serve the communities of Bridgeport and New Britain, Conn., Lancaster and York, Pa., Central Islip, N.Y., Bridgewater, N.J., Waldorf, Md., and Sugar Land, Texas.
For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.