STOLEN BASE KING SANDFORD RETURNS
Barnstormers Add Ex-Marlin Hood
The Lancaster Barnstormers have signed a pair of outfielders, Darian Sandford and Destin Hood, as they continue to build for the 15th season at Clipper Magazine Stadium, it was announced today by manager Ross Peeples.
Sandford, 31, is coming off a record-setting season in which he stole 82 bases for the Barnstormers, shattering the previous single season mark of 55, set by Quincy Foster in the inaugural season of 2005. In the process, the St. Louis-area native also became the first player in club history to reach the 100 mark in career stolen bases, reaching 127 by season’s end.
The switch hitting center fielder batted .324 with 45 steals in 60 games for the Barnstormers in 2017, along with having his contract purchased by the Washington Nationals in June of that season. He returned to the Barnstormers in September. Last season, he batted .274, drew 57 walks and crossed the plate 74 times in 123 games for the Barnstormers.
He was also named to the Atlantic League’s Red, White and Blue All-Defense Team for his stellar glovework in center field during the 2018 campaign.
Sandford signed initially with the Kansas City Royals in 2010. He set a career-high with 99 stolen bases for Vallejo of the Pacific Association in 2016 and, overall, has 532 steals in 706 professional games.
“Sandford has had two very good years for us,” said Peeples. “He anchors center field for us and can flat out go get the ball. His speed creates havoc, plus he brings a lot of energy to the game.”
Hood, who turns 29 in early April, is a right-handed hitting outfielder from Mobile, Alabama, a market which also produced baseball legends Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams, Satchel Paige, and Early Wynn.
He was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the second round in 2008, reaching Class AAA Syracuse by 2014. Hood also spent part or all of three seasons with the Class AA Harrisburg Senators.
Following the 2014 season, the Alabama native joined the Cleveland Indians organization and went to the Phillies as a free agent later in 2015. Hood went to the Marlins in 2016, where, after hitting .267 with 15 homers and 80 RBI with Class AAA New Orleans, he was rewarded with a September promotion to Miami. He went 2-for-4 against Cleveland in his debut game on September 2. One month later, he hit his lone Major League home run, connecting off Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.
He spent 2017 playing for New Orleans. Last year, Hood hit a combined .222 with 15 homers and 56 RBI between Class AAA Round Rock and Class AA Frisco in the Texas system.
“Hood is a player who is very athletic and can play all three outfield positions,” said Peeples. “He brings a lot of valuable things to the table, and we are excited to have him in the Barn.”
The Barnstormers now have seven players under contract for the 2019 season, which begins Friday, April 26 against High Point at Clipper Magazine Stadium.