Monday, December 21, 2015
By: Dave Collins
Former Phillies First Rounder Keyed Barnstormers Second Half Run
Zach Collier, a key component of Lancaster’s 2015 second half playoff push, has signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals for 2016, it has been announced.
Collier, 25, batted .277 with seven homers and 34 RBI for the Barnstormers in 63 games after signing with the Barnstormers at the All-Star Break. The California native also contributed 13 doubles and five triples while stealing 13 bases.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ first round pick in 2008 belted a grand slam and drove in six runs against Bridgeport on July 28. Six days later, Collier belted a pair of homers against the Somerset Patriots, the second of which tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Collier spent the previous two seasons with Class AA Reading in the Phillies’ organization. During spring training in 2015, he failed a physical and required heart surgery for the second time in his life, the first coming in his sophomore year of high school.
“We’ve had a lot of players get signed over the years,” said Lancaster manager Butch Hobson. “This one is one of the most exciting considering everything Zach has been through. He is a talented young player who has a chance to get to the big leagues.”
He is the second member of the 2015 Barnstormers to be signed by a Major League organization since the end of the season. Left-handed pitcher Bryan Morgado was picked up by the Atlanta Braves in November.