The South Georgia Peanuts Professional Baseball Club, presented by
Security Bank, has announced the signing of three players who attended the
team’s tryout camp this past Saturday. All three players are pitchers with
two of them being left-handed.
“This tryout camp was very good in talent,” Peanuts Manager Wally Backman
said. “It was way better than what was in Florida (at the league tryout)
as far as pitching.”
Only one of the three players has prior professional experience. Pat Ford,
a left-handed pitcher, spent last season in the Rangers organization. He
made 11 appearances playing for the Ranger’s rookie-level affiliate in
Arizona. He finished with a record of 0-2 with 1 save and a 6.21 ERA. Ford
was also teammates with Backman’s son for a portion of the season. He is
the fourth player signed by the Peanuts who spent time with the Rangers
organization last year joining pitchers Shannon Wirth and Austin Weilep in
addition to shortstop Johnny Washington.
Backman was very excited to get the opportunity to sign Ford.
“I did not even realize he was going to be available,” he said.
“It’s such a sigh of relief (to get signed),” Ford said. “I now have a home.”
The other two players both have played most recently at the collegiate
level. Left-handed pitcher Dustin Taylor is finishing out his career at
August State. Taylor spent time as both a pitcher and first-basemen for
the Jaguars making him possibly a very important player for the Peanuts
since the South Coast League plays National League rules with no
Designated Hitter. He hit over .300 this past season while also appearing
nine times, including eight starts, as a pitcher. He came to the tryout
and worked as both a position player and pitcher.
“He came in as a two-way player,” Backman said. “I don’t think we have
seen everything he can do.”
Jared Sutton is the lone right-handed pitcher signed from the tryout. He
most recently pitched at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington.
Sutton finished his career with a 5.23 ERA. Sutton has not pitched
competitively since the end of last year’s collegiate season. Despite his
inactivity for close to a year, he consistently hit 94 mph on the radar
gun during the tryout.
“This is very exciting,” Sutton said. “I am ready to learn and see what
(Backman) can show me.”
More than fifty people attended the tryout. While only three were signed,
Backman took notes on many other players. Backman expects there to be a
number of changes to the roster as the season goes along and he hopes to
possibly bring back some of the guys who were not signed.
Many Peanuts players have already reported to Albany and have been working
out on their own at the Paul Eames Sports Complex. The official report
date is May 7th with the first day of practice taking place on May 8th.
Peanuts tickets are currently on sale by contacting the team office at
(229) 435-8900! The home opener for the Peanuts is scheduled for May 24
against the Charlotte County Redfish. South Georgia Peanuts...One Shell of
a Good Time!