Oilers sign two Blue Raiders
The Peninsula Oilers have added a pair of Blue Raiders from Middle Tennessee State University to their 2002 roster.
Six-foot-1 left-handed pitcher Steven Kline is a sophomore from Murfreesboro, Tenn., and is studying athletic training. Justin Sims also will be joining the Oilers from the 2001 Sun Belt Conference's championship team. Sims is a junior left-handed-hitting outfielder majoring in business management and was a 1999 draft pick of the Chicago Cubs.
Oilers alumni concluding their first season of professional baseball include Randall Shelley (Oilers 1999, 2000), Joe Hietpas (Oilers 2000) and Ronnie Goodwin (Oilers 1999).
Shelley played for the Texas Rangers farm club at Pulaski and hit .249 with 18 doubles in 67 games. Hietpas, who signed late, split playing time between the New York Mets' farm teams at Binghamton and Kingsport. Goodwin sported a 3-3 record with seven saves for the Florida Marlins' farm team, the Utica Blue Sox.
Doug Mientkiewicz of the Minnesota Twins was awarded the Rawlings American League Gold Glove for first basemen. A member of the 1993 National Baseball Congress World Series champion Oilers, Mientkiewicz had an American League-best .997 fielding percentage. Mientkiewicz was ranked among the league leaders for much of the season, finishing with a batting average of .306.
Oilers Corner is submitted weekly during the offseason by Mike Baxter, baseball operations manager for the Peninsula Oilers of the Alaska Baseball League.
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