Carpenter re-signs with Lancaster

First baseman/outfielder Joseph Carpenter, a graduate of Cedar Crest High School, will be returning to the Lancaster Stormers for a third season, it was announced today by manager Ross Peeples.

In addition to Carpenter, the Stormers have signed right-handed pitcher Joe Joe Rodriguez, a New Jersey native who played in the New York Mets organization through last year.

They are the 11th and 12th players under contract with the defending champion Stormers for the upcoming season. In addition, Carpenter, 24, joins Shawon Dunston, Jr., Trace Loehr, Nile Ball and Chris Proctor as members of both the 2022 and 2023 championship squads back for the attempt to defend the crown.

Carpenter joined the Barnstormers in August, 2022, after playing in the MLB Draft League. His first at bat resulted in a game-winning single against the Long Island Ducks. He went on to hit .297 with nine RBI and one home run, which came on the final weekend of the season.

In his 2023 return, the former Delaware Blue Hen led the Stormers with 16 home runs while again batting .297. The right-handed hitter banged out 22 doubles and knocked in 62 runs for the season. The Cornwall, Lebanon County, native cracked long balls against Long Island each game of the Lebanon Weekend series. Five of his home runs were hit at Regency Furniture Stadium, home of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.

“Carpenter has played very well for us the last couple of years,” said Peeples. “He’s a young guy who simply loves the game of baseball and works his tail off. He will probably play more first base than outfield this year. We look forward to watching him grow and open the eyes of Major League organizations.”

Rodriguez, also 24, was a teammate of Carpenter’s with Trenton in the Draft League in ’22. He signed with the Mets and spent the last two seasons pitching from the Florida Camp League team to Class A+ Brooklyn. In 31 appearances, the product of St. John’s was 4-1 with two saves and a 6.53 ERA. He fanned 61 batters in 51 innings.

The Vineland, New Jersey native was recommended to the Stormers by 2023 reliever Mike Adams, who has worked with Rodriguez at his training facility on the Jersey Shore.

“Joe Joe has a live arm,” said Peeples. “He comes very highly recommended by Mike Adams. We went to see him at Mike’s pro day. On top of that arm, he is a great guy. We’re looking forward to having him here.”

He pitched collegiately at St. John’s University.

Lancaster opens its quest for its third consecutive Atlantic League title at Long Island, April 25. The Stormers will return home on April 30 to play the newly-minted Hagerstown Flying Boxcars at 6:45.