Former Knights Move On…

There just isn’t enough baseball talk to go around. I know, I know, its the offseason. But still…

Sure, I watch MLB Network everyday. I listen to Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo on SiriusXM everyday to hear his baseball chatter… but I need more. I’m tired of football, basketball, and hockey. I need baseball.

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This year, I have the opportunity of attending the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando, FL. I’m thrilled! As I enter my eighth season in professional baseball in 2014 — I’ll be attending the Winter Meetings for the first time in my career. And, if there was ever a year to attend, I think this is the year.

With so many things happening this year — brand-new ballpark (BB&T Ballpark), the Triple-A National Championship Game, and much, much, more, attending this year’s meetings will be very beneficial. Also, to add to the excitement, I was chosen to moderate the International PR/Media Session in Orlando. I can’t wait!

One thing you can expect is tons of blog posts! Expect audio interviews and updates throughout the week!

Over the course of the offseason, a number of former Knights players have gone on to sign contracts with other organizations.

Here’s the latest…

Anthony Carter (2011-12) – Signed Minor League contract with San Diego
Carter, a Georgia native, was originally drafted by the White Sox in the 26th round of the 2005 draft. The hard-throwing right-hander made his way through Chicago’s system and made his Charlotte debut in 2011. Over the course of two seasons withe the Knights (74 games), Carter posted a 4-8 record with five saves and a 5.73 ERA (110 IP). All four of Carter’s Charlotte wins came during the 2012 season — when he went 4-6 with a 4.60 ERA and two saves (62.2 IP).

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The 27-year-old became a free agent after the 2012 season and latched on with the Boston Red Sox on a Minor League deal during the offseason. It turned out to be a great move for Carter, who excelled all season for the PawSox in their bullpen.

Appearing in a team-high 52 games, Carter posted a 2-0 record with a 3.47 ERA and a team-best 24 saves for Pawtucket. Overall, he finished second in the IL in saves — just four behind the category leader Jairo Asencio (Norfolk). Carter also finished second in games and tied for first in games finished (40). He was a top reliever all season and was selected to the Triple-A All-Star game in July.

On November 18, Carter signed a Minor League deal with the San Diego Padres. He received an invite to Spring Training and he should have a good chance at making his Major League debut with the Pads sometime in 2014. 

Dan Johnson (2012) Signed Minor League contract with Toronto 
Johnson was a superstar in 2012 with the Charlotte Knights. The former A’s and Rays slugger had an impressive year in Fort Mill. The Minnesota native hit .267 with 28 home runs and 85 RBIs in 137 games. He also walked 94 times, scored 77 runs, and ripped 127 hits.

Johnson moved around a bit in 2013. He signed a Minor League deal with the New York Yankees and hit .253 with 21 home runs and 69 RBIs in 133 games for Triple-A SWB. He appeared in three games with the Baltimore Orioles (.000 BA, 0-5) and five games with Triple-A Norfolk (.154 BA, 2-13).

Recently, Johnson inked a Minor League deal with the Toronto Blue Jays on November 15. His deal also included an invite to Spring Training. Johnson has had some important Big League at-bats during his career and will hope for a shot with the Jays.

In 12 Minor League seasons, he owns a lifetime .288 batting average with 221 home runs and 824 RBIs (1,151 games).

Jason Berken (2013)Signed Minor League contract with San Francisco berken_2_full
Berken, a product of Clemson University, signed with the White Sox just days before the regular season. In fact, Berken arrived at Knights Stadium on Media Day. Still, he proved to be a key cog in the team’s rotation all season.

The former Baltimore righty started 27 games for the Knights and posted a 12-12 mark with a 3.80 ERA (161.0 IP). His 12 wins were tied for second in the IL, while his 27 starts also ranked tied for second. He also ranked tied for second in losses and third in innings pitched. He was a consistent starter for the Knights during a year when the team had its ups and downs. He tossed one complete game and finished second on the Knights in strikeouts (117).

Berken, who has appeared in 110 career Major League games, recently signed a Minor League contract with the Giants. The Green Bay, WI native will look to make his way back to the show this season. The Giants always seem to do a good job finding and working with pitchers (Ryan Vogelsong is a prime example).

That’s it for today’s blog post, but check back soon. A number of other former Knights have latched on with new teams. Stay tuned…

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