Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced today the signing of catcher Luis Alen to a contract for the 2014 season.
Alen, 28, hit .315 with five home runs, 59 RBI and a career-high nine stolen bases for the Goldeyes last season. He is the longest serving catcher in Goldeyes history, having already spent five seasons with the organization. Alen is poised to become one of four players in franchise history to play six or more seasons with Winnipeg.
“Obviously, Luis is one of my most favourite players that we've ever had wear a Goldeyes uniform,” Forney said.
“In my opinion, he's the best duel-threat catcher there is in independent baseball. Offensively, he's a very consistent .300-hitting catcher that has the ability to drive in a lot of runs and produce a great on-base percentage. He doesn't swing and miss very much. Behind the plate, he's super at receiving and does a great job of calling games. He has a real understanding of what works and what doesn't work in this league.”
Hailing from San Francisco, Venezuela, Alen has a career .315 batting average with Winnipeg, which sits third in franchise history for Goldeyes players with a minimum of 750 career at-bats. He's hit 29 home runs and added 261 RBI in 465 career games, which trails only Max Poulin's 676 games played for the most by a Goldeyes player.
Among other career Goldeyes records Alen is chasing, he needs 11 doubles to pass Fehlandt Lentini, 59 RBI to pass Harry Berrios and 95 hits to pass Poulin.
Alen was signed as a free agent by the Florida Marlins in 2003 and played three seasons in their system. After playing in Italy in 2006, he joined the Goldeyes for the 2007 campaign. He was then signed by the New York Mets and played from 2008-2009 in their organization. Alen came back to Winnipeg in 2010 and has played the last four seasons with the Goldeyes.
The Goldeyes now have 14 players signed for the 2014 season, including seven pitchers and seven position players.