Lancaster signs Conley, ex-Giant Baragar

The Lancaster Stormers have signed their final two players to head into spring training as catcher Jack Conley and former San Francisco Giants left-hander Caleb Baragar have inked contracts, it was announced today by manager Ross Peeples.

In addition, the Stormers have brought catcher Antonio Barranca, a York native, into camp on a tryout waiver.

Conley, 27, joined the Stormers a week into last season and took over the lion’s share of the catching responsibility. The defensive specialist appeared in 97 games and batted .237 with six homers and 40 RBI. He stole 29 bases for the year, third best on the club. One of those steals was a straight steal of home, June 29 at Lexington.

The native of Raleigh, NC drove in the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning of Lancaster’s critical win over York, September 11, a feat which he repeated in the fifth inning of the Championship Game at Gastonia.

Prior to joining the Stormers, Conley spent four seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies system, peaking at Class AAA Lehigh Valley.

“Conley is one of the best defensive catchers in the league,” said Peeples. “He controls the pitching staff well and is a good catch and throw guy. He’s a great guy in the clubhouse, but when he crosses the (foul) line, he always has his game face on.”

Baragar, 30, appeared in 49 games for the Giants between the 2020 and 2021 seasons. The Michigan native went 7-2 with two saves and a stingy 2.78 ERA. The southpaw pitched 14.1 consecutive scoreless innings at the end of his 2020 big league campaign and opened his 2021 work with 11 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.

Following his six seasons in the San Francisco organization, Baragar pitched in Class AAA with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians.

“Baragar is a veteran pitcher who will come in and start for us,” said Peeples. “He throws strikes and will be a valuable piece to our rotation.”

Barranca, 22, spent two seasons (2021-22) in the Atlanta farm system. He is the son of former Major League infielder German Barranca (Reds, Royals).

Spring training for the Stormers began on Monday morning. The exhibition game schedule begins Wednesday afternoon in York. Lancaster will play home games each day, Thursday through next Monday.

Lancaster’s quest for a third consecutive Atlantic League title begins at Long Island on Thursday, April 25. The curtain rises on the 20th year at Clipper Magazine Stadum, April 30, when the league’s newest franchise, the Hagerstown Flying Boxcars, take on the Stormers at 6:45.