Tolleson Signs With Jays
Last season, the Charlotte Knights posted a 65-78 record and finished in third place in the International League South Division. The team saw 21 players make the jump to the Majors a year ago — four more than in 2012.
Despite the under .500 record, the Knights’ squad saw the emergence of catcher Josh Phegley and the return of Knights legend Jordan Danks. The season also featured an Andre Rienzo no-no, and the arrival of Avisail Garcia. Plus, the Knights also saw a number of solid young players make the transition from Double-A to Triple-A (Marcus Semien, Erik Johnson, and Daniel Webb).
With all of that, however, there was one player who was there from day one and provided leadership and consistency throughout — Steve Tolleson.
Named as a mid-season Triple-A All-Star, Tolleson was Mr. Consistent for the Knights in 2013. The son of former Major League Wayne Tolleson, Steve had a very good season for the Knights, in what was their final season in Fort Mill at Knights Stadium.
Tolleson, a South Carolina native, compiled a .288 batting average with 113 hits, 28 doubles, 47 runs scored, eight home runs, 53 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases over 116 games. The 30-year-old nearly hit .300 last season (he was hitting .300 as late as August 25).
A product of the University of South Carolina, Tolleson had 27 multi-hit games and hit one of Charlotte’s two grand slams last season (June 6 at Pawtucket).
All and all, it was a solid year for Tolleson.
Now, the 2013 Knights MVP (I named him MVP in my Knight Fever year-end awards blog) is moving on. A free agent after the season, Tolleson has recently signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. He will receive an invite to Spring Training and will look to make the club before the end of camp. He joins former Knights Dan Johnson and Tomo Ohka, who also signed with Toronto.
If Steve begins the season with Triple-A, the Knights play Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate — the Buffalo Bisons — from May 9-12 at BB&T Ballpark.
Stay tuned for more updates on former Knights players and the recent White Sox signings that could impact the Knights 2014 roster in 2014.