FARGO, N.D. — The Fargo Moorhead RedHawks announced the re-signings of five players today; Leo Pina, Jordan George, Nick Novak, Tyler Grauer and the return of Kevin McGovern, who will serve dual roles for the team as a pitcher and pitching coach for the 2022 season.
Leo Pina (INF) has been the RedHawks anchor at third base for the past four seasons while batting .307 since joining the team in 2018 after spending seven years in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cardinals organization in 2011 and split time between the Springfield Cardinals (AA) and the Palm Beach Cardinals (A+). Pina played two seasons in the Dominican Summer League before coming to the U.S.
Jordan George (UTL), the 29-year-old native of Arkansas who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 35th round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft, returns for his second season with the RedHawks. Last year became one of George’s most productive seasons as he played in 92 games for the RedHawks and had 111 hits, 80 RBI, 64 runs, 23 doubles, 16 home runs, a .436 OBP, and a streak of 50 games where he reached on base at least once per game. Jordan versatility was also important as he played as an outfielder, infielder and designated hitter and was a dangerous batter from both sides of the plate. George was the sole member of the 2021 RedHawks team to be selected to the Postseason All-StarTeam.
Kevin McGovern (LHP) returns to the RedHawks after a huge start for the team in 2021, going 4-0 with a 1.40 ERA, two complete games and 37 strikeouts in 32.0 innings pitched over his first four starts of the year. McGovern broke the American Association career strikeout record of 701 strikeouts in his June 5 start against the Kane County Cougars. His contract was transferred to the St. Louis Cardinals organization on June 10, 2021, where he pitched in 15 games with the Springfield Cardinals and went 1-5 in 14 starts and had an ERA of 6.33 with 75 strikeouts in 69.2 innings.
He is one of only two pitchers in American Association history with four seasons of 100-plus strikeouts (2015-18), and one of only four pitchers in American Association history with three or more seasons of 100-plus strikeouts. McGovern has combined for 100.0 or more innings and 100 or more strikeouts in each of the past six full seasons. The Philadelphia, Pa. native ranks third on the American Association career wins list (52) and second on the innings pitched list (794.0). McGovern will also serve as the RedHawks Pitching Coach in addition to pitching in 2022.
RedHawks Manager Chris Coste said “We go into every season with one goal, to win the championship. Leo Pina, Jordan George and Kevin McGovern are three players who will help us achieve that goal. As the manager, I can’t fully put into words what they all mean to the RedHawks, on the field and in the clubhouse as I’m ecstatic to have them back as well as Nick and Tyler!”.
Nick Novak (INF) is returning to the RedHawks for his second season. The 23-year-old rookie played college baseball with the Angelo State (TX) Rams (NCAA) from 2017 to 2021 before joining the RedHawks. He also played two seasons with the Mankato MoonDogs (NWL) in summer collegiate baseball. In 45 games for the RedHawks, Novak hit .320 with five doubles, five triples and three homeruns.
Tyler Grauer (LHP) returns to the club after pitching in nine games in 2021. The lefty had an ERA of 1.93 in 9.1 innings pitched, striking out 13 and allowing only two runs. The Kansas native played four years of college baseball at Indiana State University (NCAA) and was assigned to the West Virginia Black Bears, a collegiate summer baseball team of the MLB Draft League, on May 21, 2021.
Pina, George, McGovern, Novak and Grauer join Christian Correa (C) Brendon Dadson (INF) LHP Brady Stover (LHP) and Jacob Bockelie (INF) as players who have re-signed with the RedHawks for 2022.
The 2022 American Association Season will start on Friday, May 13th with the RedHawks traveling north of the border to take on the Winnipeg Goldeyes at Shaw Park. After a three-game series in Winnipeg, the RedHawks head to Kansas City and Cleburne before heading home to take on the Milwaukee Milkmen at Newman Outdoor Field on Tuesday, May 24th at 6:30pm.
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