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McDade Returns; Barnstormers Sign Witherspoon

Powerful first baseman Mike McDade and speedy outfielder Travis Witherspoon have been signed to 2016 contracts by the Lancaster Barnstormers, it was announced today by manager Butch Hobson.

The signings bring the total number of players under contract to seven.

McDade, 26, joined the Barnstormers in late June, 2015 and batted .280 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI in 70 games. The switch hitter had a pair of four-RBI games in July and homered in consecutive games, August 12-13. He drove in runs in five consecutive games later in the month.

The slick fielding first baseman went 4-for-14 with one RBI during Lancaster’s playoff series against Southern Maryland.

Before coming to Lancaster, the Nevada native spent six seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization, peaking at Class AAA Las Vegas in his hometown. In 2013, he split the season between the Cleveland and Chicago White Sox organizations in the Class AAA International League. McDade played for Class AA Bowie in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization earlier last season. He hit 21 homers for Class A Dunedin in 2010 and drove in 74 runs for Class AA New Hampshire the following season.

“McDade was a big part of that great run we had late last season after working with (hitting coach) D.J. (Boston),” said Hobson. “He is an excellent first baseman and provides us with a power bat in the middle of our lineup.”

Witherspoon, 26, comes to the Atlantic League for the first time. The South Carolina native signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2009 and reached Class AA in their system. A right-handed batter, Witherspoon reached double figures in home runs for five consecutive seasons, 2010-14. He finished in the top five in the Class A Midwest League in stolen bases in 2010, swiping 44 for Cedar Rapids. The South Carolina native grabbed 25 bags in the Class A California League in both 2012 and 2014 30 at Class AA Arkansas in 2013.

Last season, Witherspoon played 72 games in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization.

“Witherspoon is a tremendous center fielder that people are going to love to watch play out there,” said Hobson. “He has put together some offense in the past, and we are looking for D.J. to help him find that again.”

In addition to these moves, the Barnstormers have traded outfielder Kent Matthes to the Sugar Land Skeeters for cash.