Pro Notebook: Guyer Inks Minor League Deal with White Sox

February 7 - Brandon Guyer on Tuesday agreed to a minor league contract with Herndon High School graduate Brandon Guyer, who will receive an invite to the club’s Major League camp when spring training begins later this month.

Guyer, 33, will attempt to revitalize a big league career that began in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Rays and includes an appearance in the World Series with the Cleveland Indians in 2016. Injuries led to an inconsistent season last year with the Indians, who did not pick up his team option for 2019.

The outfielder, who has earned a reputation for his ability to get on base and hit left-handed pitchers, hit .206 with a .300 on-base percentage, seven home runs and 27 RBI in 221 plate appearances in 2018. He’s a .250 career hitter, and has batted .274 with a .376 on-base percentage in 792 career plate appearances against lefties. In 2015-16, he led the American League in back-to-back seasons in times getting hit by a pitch, doing so a total of 55 times.

Should Guyer make Chicago’s opening day roster, it could be as a platoon option in a corner outfield spot with the left-handed swinging Daniel Palka, who hit 27 homers in his rookie campaign last year but hit just .200 with two homers and 34 strikeouts in 83 plate appearances against lefties. The White Sox currently have five outfielders on their 40-man roster, Palka along with Nicky Delmonico, Ryan Cordell, Luis Alexander Basabe and highly-regarded prospect Eloy Jimenez, who is expected to start the season in the minor leagues.

Guyer’s signing with the White Sox marks a return to Chicago. The Cubs drafted him in the fifth round in 2007 out of the University of Virginia.

Right-Hander Aker Signs with Winnipeg of Independent American Association

Mitchell Aker (Paul VI Catholic) signed late last month to pitch for the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the independent American Association.

The 24-year-old right-hander will be entering his fourth professional season after spending last year with the Evansville Oilers of the Frontier League, where he was named an All-Star en route to a league third-best total of 19 saves. Aker pitched in the independent United Shore Professional Baseball League in 2016 and with reached the Double-A level in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ system in 2017.

The 12-team American Association was established in 2005 and is based in the central United States, with Winnipeg as the league’s lone Canadian team. The Goldeyes have won three of the past eight league championships, but are coming off a 2018 season that saw them finish fifth in the North Division after winning the AA title the previous season.

Award-Winning P-Nats Marketing Staff Will Honor 36 Years at Pfitzner Stadium

In the club’s final season at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, the Potomac Nationals will give a nod to its 35 seasons at the ballpark with several promotions during the 2019 season.

The club’s staff, which has won two consecutive Carolina League Marketing & Promotional Excellence Awards, has filled Potomac’s 70-game home slate with promotions that include five bobblehead giveaways, a legendary celebrity appearance lineup, three Scout Nights, seven custom theme jersey auctions, wide-ranging theme nights, and Fourth of July festivities and fireworks.

"The P-Nats are prepared to put on an excellent show in 2019 that will honor the decades of success our franchise, our fans, our corporate partners, our community partners, and our booster club members have enjoyed in Prince William County at The Pfitz," P-Nats General Manager of Operations, Aaron Johnson, said in a release by the club.

Potomac will move to a new ballpark in Fredericksburg in 2020. To view the release and the club’s entire promotional schedule, click here.

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Photo of Brandon Guyer courtesy of USA Today