FEB 14, 2017
FLORENCE, Ky. — The Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, continue to prepare their roster for the 2017 season, as third-year manager Dennis Pelfrey has added six new players to the fold.
Left-handed pitcher Marty Anderson returns to the Freedom after making one appearance for the club in 2016, following a stint in the Pecos League.
“He will be competing for a spot in our starting rotation,” said Pelfrey. “Marty has the ‘stuff’ to be a very good starting pitcher in professional baseball.”
Infielder Wardy Polanco-Torres, a 2016 graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan University, enters 2017 as a true rookie. In 63 games for TWU last spring, he hit 18 home runs while driving in 53 runs and stealing 37 bases.
According to Pelfrey, Polanco-Torres “brings some excitement and athleticism to our club and will be competing at third base and shortstop this spring.”
Additionally, the Freedom have signed four players out of the California Winter League.
Infielder Ozzy Braff joins the club after a collegiate career split between Whitman College (Wash.) and San Jose State. As a senior at SJSU last spring, Braff hit .284 while slugging six home runs and tallying 26 RBI, both team-highs.
Pelfrey also expects new right-handed pitcher Jose Flores to play a major role this summer.
“He comes with a big arm and some experience in both independent and affiliated baseball, and will help get our bullpen back to one of the best in the league,” Pelfrey said.
Catcher Ryan Rinsky is another true rookie signee. The New Jersey resident graduated from Ramapo College last spring and threw out 62 percent (23 of 37) of would-be base stealers as a senior.
“Ryan is a very good defensive catcher,” Pelfrey said. “He will be competing for the backup catching role and push to be the starter in 2017.”
Outfielder D’Aundray Van Slyke rounds out the latest group of signees. The Washington state native brings versatility to the table and could serve as a strong presence in the middle of the Freedom lineup.
“D’Aundray is a very dynamic player with the ability to play all four corner positions,” said Pelfrey. “He’s a power threat and has a plus arm, and he will make spring training camp very competitive.”
The Freedom home opener of the regular season is on Wednesday, May 17. Group tickets and season ticket plans are currently on sale for the 2017 campaign. Fans can guarantee seating for premium promotional dates by calling the Freedom at 859-594-4487.