Texas buys contracts of Mendez, Mazara, Sadzeck, and Leclerc
The Texas Rangers, parent club of the Hickory Crawdads, have purchased the contracts of four former 'Dads, with Yohander Mendez, Nomar Mazara, Connor Sadzeck, and Jose Leclerc all being placed on the team's 40-man roster.
The quartet of players was added to the Rangers roster as protection from this year's Rule 5 Draft, which is scheduled for December 10th. The Crawdads now boast 17 former players on the Rangers 40-man roster.
Mendez, 20, went 3-3 with a 2.44 ERA (18 ER/66.1 IP) over 21 games/8 starts with the 'Dads in 2015. The Venezuela native began the year with 24.1 scoreless innings pitched out of the bullpen while being named a mid-season South Atlantic League All-Star. Mendez made two postseason starts for the champion Crawdads, including the decisive game 3 of the SAL Championship Series where he earned the win with 8 strikeouts and one run allowed over 5.1 IP.
Mazara, 20, roamed the outfield for the 'Dads in both 2013 and 2014. The 6'4" left-hander hit .236 with 13 home runs, 23 doubles, and 44 RBI over 126 games in '13 before batting .264 with 19 HR, 21 2B, and 73 RBI over 106 games with the Crawdads in '14 prior to a late-season promotion to Double-A Frisco. Mazara combined to bat .296 with 26 doubles, 2 triples, 14 home runs, and 69 RBI in 131 games with Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock last season. The outfielder was a mid-season All-Star in the Texas League and was tabbed the 12th-best prospect in the league by Baseball America. Mazara reached Triple-A for the first time in 2015, batting .358 (29-81) in 20 games with Round Rock after a late season promotion from Frisco.
Sadzeck, 24, posted the lowest ERA in the SAL while pitching with the Crawdads in 2013, as the right-hander went 12-4 with a 2.25 ERA (33 ER/132 IP), 78 strikeouts, and a .218 batting average against over 24 starts. The 6'5" hurler missed the entire 2014 season following elbow surgery, but returned to the mound last year where he went 3-2, with a 5.82 ERA (39 ER/60.1 IP) in 18 games/14 starts with High-A High Desert and Frisco. He also pitched for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League, recording 14 strikeouts over 10.0 innings in 7 relief outings.
Leclerc, 21, appeared in a team-high 39 games out of the bullpen for the 'Dads in 2013. The 6'0" Dominican Republic native also led all relievers with 77 Ks while going 3-4 with a 3.36 ERA (22 ER/59 IP) and a .244 BAA. Leclerc was a starter last season for the first time in his career, going 6-8 with a 5.77 ERA (66 ER/103.0 IP) over 26 games/22 starts with Frisco. The right-hander had made just one start in his first 4 professional seasons and went 4-4, 3.76 (33 ER/79.0 IP) with 71 strikeouts in his first 17 starts in 2015.