2016 Atlantic League leader in stolen bases will represent Bees in World Baseball Classic for Canada
(New Britain, Conn., March 6, 2017) - New Britain Bees team officials today announced that the team has re-signed outfielder Michael Crouse for the 2017 season. Crouse becomes the first player in New Britain franchise history to represent the team on a World Baseball Classic roster while under contract with the team.
Acquired from the Lancaster Barnstormer in the Bees’ first-ever in-season trade on May 21, 2016, Crouse immediately made an impact for New Britain, delivering an RBI triple in his first game. Crouse stole a career high 61 bases during the 2016 season, the most in the Atlantic League since 2010, including 51 with New Britain. A native of New Westminster, British Columbia, Crouse tallied 111 hits during the 2016 campaign, including 10 home runs, 22 doubles, and four triples. Included in his home run tally was a blast against Sugar Land on September 1st that cleared the Constellation Field batter’s eye, the third ever home run to do so. Crouse was second on the Bees roster in both runs scored with 62 and runs batted in with 60 last season, and finished the year with a .291 average.
Defensively, Crouse spent time at all three outfield positions, primarily manning center field during the second half of the season. During a game against Lancaster on August 7th, Crouse registered 11 putouts and an assist during nine innings of play, a mark that tied the National League record for outs recorded in a single game by an outfielder.
Originally drafted in the 16th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft by Toronto, Crouse spent his entire affiliated career in the Blue Jays system, reaching the Double-A level with the Eastern League’s New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The 26-year old Crouse enters his second Atlantic League season with 201 career stolen bases, 67 home runs, 123 doubles and 29 triples. Crouse’s father Ray was also a professional athlete, playing in both the National Football League and Canadian Football League.
“I’m thrilled to have Mike back with the team this season,” said Bees manager Stan Cliburn. “He was a sparkplug in the middle of our order last year. He gets on base and makes things happen on the base paths. He’ll be a huge part of our team this season, and I wish him the best in the World Baseball Classic.”
Crouse will play for Canada in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, with the team’s first game in pool play on Thursday, March 9th at 6 PM against the Dominican Republic. Crouse previously represented Canada in 2008 for the World Junior Championships and in 2011 for the Pan-American Games.
About the New Britain Bees
The New Britain Bees are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, playing all home games at New Britain Stadium. Individual game tickets for the 2017 season go on sale at New Britain Stadium starting on March 18th at 10 am. Season Tickets and Mini-Plans are available by calling 860-826-BEES (2337), online at NBBees.com, or by visiting the New Britain Bees’ Front Office.
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 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 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 to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.