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Right-Hander De La Cruz Also Joins Pitching Staff


Lancaster, PA — The Lancaster Barnstormers have signed left-handed pitcher Josh Smith from the recent Florida Atlantic League Pro Showcase conducted by Prospect Dugout as the result of a draft held today by the league’s 10 clubs.

Smith, 25, pitched for Roswell (New Mexico) of the Pecos League in 2021, going 3-3 with a 9.00 ERA in 10 starts, that included one complete game.  He struck out 64 batters in 54 innings of work.

Prior to heading to Roswell, Smith pitched five seasons at Ashland (OH) University, an NCAA D-II school in the Great Lakes Conference.

“Josh is a lefty that has a good arm and was around the plate,” said Lancaster manager Ross Peeples.  “We are excited to bring him into camp and give him an opportunity to see what he can do.”

The showcase was held March 21-23 with representatives of all 10 clubs plus league officials on hand.  Drafting was held on Wednesday afternoon with the two new clubs, the Staten Island Ferryhawks and the Wild Health Genomes, splitting the first 12 picks before the other eight clubs took their opportunities.  Among those drafted was Alexis “Scrappy” Hopkins, the first female baseball player drafted at any professional level.  Hopkins was the eighth pick in the draft, taken by the Genomes.

In addition, the Barnstormers have signed right-handed pitcher Oscar De La Cruz.  De La Cruz, 27, signed with the Chicago Cubs in 2013.  After two seasons in the Dominican Summer League, the second of which he dominated (8-1, 1.80), the right-hander would eventually climb to Class AA Tennessee in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

De La Cruz was picked up by the New York Mets for the 2021 season.  He opened the campaign at Class AAA Syracuse, appearing four times, before spending the remainder of the season at Class AA Binghamton.  He went 1-5 with a 7.24 ERA in 16 appearances, of which 13 were starts.

“Oscar is a big guy who has both started and worked in the pen,” said Peeples.  “He is a mid-90’s guy that will start out in the bullpen for us and be one of our back-end guys.  He has a lot of upside, and we look forward to having him on the club.”

Lancaster now has 19 players under contract for the 2022 season, which opens at Gastonia on April 21.  The home opener is eight days later, Friday, April 29, against the York Revolution with a 6:30 PM first pitch.

About the Lancaster Barnstormers

The Lancaster Barnstormers are headed into their 18th year in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.  Home games are played at Ballpark Digest’s two-time Best Ballpark in MLB Partner League Baseball – Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit www.lancasterbarnstormers.com for more information.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

With teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.