Theo Fightmaster, General Manager
The Milwaukee Brewers have purchased the contract of Sonoma Stompers Ace right-hander, Santos Saldivar, the team’s general manager Theo Fightmaster announced Thursday.
Saldivar started the Pacific Association championship game for the Stompers last season thanks to his brilliant second-half run. He had a 2.05 ERA in 13 appearances, including five starts, and across his 48 1/3 innings, he struck out 58 and walked 17 while allowing only 44 hits.
Advanced metrics showed how dominant he was in such a short time, as his 2.23 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) was the best in the Pacific Association for players with at least 40 innings. He also had the best strikeout rate in that sample size at 28.9%. He placed fourth in the year-end awards for Pitcher of the Year, the only player in the Top 5 to pitch fewer than 75 innings.
“I’m excited for this opportunity, and I have to thank the Stompers for giving me this chance,” Saldivar said. “Without them, I wouldn’t have this chance. ... I’m also gonna miss Sonoma, and my host mom, Ms. Sandy (Popovich), and Ms. Gail (Brodkey, who I stayed with last summer).”
Saldivar was originally identified by the Stompers by the work of authors Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller, who took over baseball operations for the team in 2015, and chronicled their experience in a New York Time Best-Selling book, “The Only Rule is it Has to Work.”
“We couldn't be happier for Santos. He's a great guy with awesome stuff and amazing makeup, and we loved him from the second we saw his name (and his eye-popping stats!) on a spreadsheet,” Lindbergh said. “Both the Stompers and the Brewers signed him without ever seeing him pitch in person, because his performance is impressive enough to stand out from across the country.”
The 5-foot-10-inch right-hander will be only 23 years old this season and has a great four-pitch mix, with a fastball that can sit in the low 90’s to go along with a great curveball, change-up and slider.
Saldivar joins Sonoma’s own Jayce Ray as the first Stompers players to be signed by a Major League organization.
The Stompers open the season May 31, 2016, and start their home season in Sonoma on Tuesday, June 7, at 6 p.m. against the Vallejo Admirals.
Full Season tickets, mini-plans and partial season tickets are on sale on our website, www.stompersbaseball.com, or at the Stompers Fan Shop, located at 234 West Napa Street in Sonoma. Group events and Group Tickets are also available now. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 707.938.7277 for questions and more information.