The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks have re-signed OF Mike Coles and SS Zach Penprase, signed RHP Chad Rhoades, placed 3B Jeremiah Piepkorn on the Inactive List and released RHP Mike Finocchi, the Northern League club announced today. Coles, Penprase and Rhoades will be in Fargo when the RedHawks open training camp on May 6.
Coles, 27, batted .330 with 28 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 41 RBIs and 77 runs scored in 87 games with Fargo-Moorhead in 2009 while earning Northern League All-Star honors. Coles led the league in doubles, was second in batting average, third in hits and runs scored and fourth in stolen bases (27) in helping the RedHawks to the Northern League Championship.
Coles was signed by Fargo-Moorhead as a free agent in May after being released by the Joliet JackHammers after one game. He spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the Windy City ThunderBolts of the Frontier League. Coles began his professional career in 2006 with the Gary SouthShore RailCats after completing his college career at Purdue University.
Penprase, 25, returns for his third season with Fargo-Moorhead. He set a new Northern League record with 100 runs scored in 2009, in addition to hitting .300 with 24 doubles, four triples, six home runs, 46 RBIs and 45 stolen bases. Penprase set career-highs in nearly every offensive category in 2009, and set a RedHawks single-season record in stolen bases while helping Fargo-Moorhead to the Northern League Championship. Penprase also led all league shortstops in assists, total chances and double plays on his way to being named the Northern League All-Star shortstop.
Penprase joined the RedHawks in 2008 after two seasons in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He batted .326 with ten doubles, four triples, two home runs, 29 RBIs and 42 runs scored in 65 games before his contract was purchased by the Boston Red Sox organization.
Rhoades, 27, joins the RedHawks after spending four seasons with the Boston Red Sox organization. In 2009, he was 6-2 with a 3.94 ERA in 56 games for the Portland (ME) Seadogs of the Eastern League (AA). Rhoades pitched 82.1 innings and allowed 39 runs (36 earned) on 71 hits. He struck out 82 batters, walked 36 and held opponents to a .228 batting average against him.
Rhoades was originally signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent in 2006 out of Oklahoma Baptist University. In four professional seasons, he is 15-11 with a 4.07 ERA and has spent most of the past two seasons at the Double-A level.
Piepkorn will begin the 2010 season on the Inactive List for the RedHawks. He was the 2009 Northern League batting champion after hitting .339 with 20 doubles, two triples, 19 home runs and 73 RBIs in 92 games. The former NDSU star originally joined the RedHawks for the final month of the 2008 season after being released by the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Finocchi was placed on irrevocable waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release. He was 0-2 with a 3.29 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the RedHawks in 2009. He missed the final month of the season and the playoffs with an injury.