The anchor to the Barnstormers infield is back.
Shortstop Lance Zawadzki has signed for a third season in Lancaster, it was announced today by manager Butch Hobson. In addition, the Barnstormers have inked former Washington Nationals right-hander J.D. Martin for the 2016 season.
With these additions, the spring roster now stands at 25. The remaining two slots are expected to be filled by early next week.
In 2015, Zawadzki became only the fourth player in franchise history to reach 20 homers and 20 steals in one season, slugging his league-leading 20th homer of the season, a rare opposite field homer by a left-hander, in the bottom of the first inning in the final game of the season. Zawadzki batted .275 with 63 RBI during the 2015 campaign, batting .304 after July 4th.
The previous season, the Massachusetts native hit .238 with 11 homers and 53 RBI for the Barnstormers championship squad.
Drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2007, the former switch hitter reached the big leagues for 20 games with the Padres in 2010. He has since played at the Class AAA level with Kansas City, Atlanta, the Dodgers, St. Louis and Toronto.
“Lance had an awesome year for us last year,” said Hobson. “He solidifies shortstop for us, plus he is a veteran guy and a leader.”
Martin, 33, signed with Cleveland in 2001. He reached the Major Leagues with the Washington Nationals in his ninth pro season, going 5-4 with a 4.44 ERA in 2009. He finished strong, winning five of his last seven decisions with a 3.71 ERA over those 11 starts. The California native went 1-5 the following year with the Nationals.
The right-hander has had several outstanding seasons in the minor leagues. He won 14 games in the Class A South Atlantic League in 2002 and picked up a dozen wins between Class AA Akron and Class AAA Buffalo in 2008. Martin was the International League Pitcher of the year in 2013, notching 16 wins for Durham. The following year he pitched in Korea. Martin sat out last season.
“Martin is a veteran big league guy,” said Hobson. “He’s a strike thrower, and we are glad to be able to add his experience to our rotation.”