On Tuesday, the Colorado Rockies announced that they have signed a minor leaguer to a contract with an invite to Spring Training.
Stamets, 28, was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 6th round of the June 2012 draft in his junior year at the University of Evansville, where he overlapped with Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland, who was a freshman in Stamets junior (and final) year.
After Stamets left, Freeland pitched with Rockies pitcher Phillip Diehl with Evansville as well.
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After spending 3 1/2 years in the Angels organization, Stamets was traded to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder David Murphy.
Stamets, a native of Dublin, Ohio, has been with the Indians ever since but he has had a hard time at the plate in both his hometown of Columbus (Dublin is a suburb) and in his brief time in the majors with Cleveland. In parts of four seasons in Triple-A Columbus, he has hit .230/.299/.379 in 291 games.
Since Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor was injured to begin the 2019 campaign, Stamets got his first cup of coffee in the majors but in 15 games, he only went 2-for-41 with a single and a double before being sent back to Columbus in mid-April. That was the last of the MLB action that he saw in 2019.
Obviously, he’s not going to dethrone Trevor Story as starting shortstop for the Rockies but given that the Rockies depth has been whittled down somewhat in the first few weeks of the offseason (e.g. the loss of Pat Valaika via waivers and the losses of Yonder Alonso, Drew Butera, and Noel Cuevas on the position player front due to free agency), it’s not a bad signing to give the Rockies some depth in the infield.