Stompers Sign International Battery Out Of California Winter League

The Sonoma Stompers added a handful of new players to the 2015 roster, as they signed Japanese right-handed pitcher Ryuske Kikusawa, and Puerto Rican catcher, Billy Gonzalez. Stompers Vice President and General Manager, Theo Fightmaster, announced the acquisitions Thursday. Kikusawa, 23, earned a spring training invitation with the Tokyo Giants before his impressive performance in the California Winter League. The 6-foot righty features a good fastball, 86-88 MPH and a stellar split finger pitch. In the California Winter League, Kikusawa is 2-1 with a better than 7-1 strikeout to walk ratio, and an ERA of 1.87.

Gonzalez, 23, from Ponce Puerto Rico, caught for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League in 2014. The 5-foot, 11-inch right-handed hitting backstop appeared in 21 games and showed great promise defensively and with the bat.

‘These two young men are promising athletes, and fantastic kids,” Fightmaster said. “They will cherish the opportunity to play for Sonoma, and Sonoma will enjoy watching them.”

Gonzalez is expected to share catching duties with 2014 Pacific Association Gold Glove catcher, Andrew Parker. Parker is signed on to rejoin the Stompers this summer.

“This gives us, in my opinion, two of the best defensive catchers in the league,” Fightmaster said. “We can keep them both fresh, and that will keep our pitchers comfortable.”

The Stompers also signed third baseman, and utility infielder Danny Martinez on Wednesday. Martinez, 23, of St. Petersburg, Fla. Stands 6-foot, and bats and throws right-handed. His crisp defensive play, lightening-quick hands and strong arm impressed Stompers management during a tryout in Palm Springs.

Also on Wednesday, Yuki Yasuda, a 24-year old second baseman, also agreed to terms with the Stompers. Yasuda hit .321 in 2014 while playing for the Douglas Diablos of the Pecos League. The second baseman and utility infielder drove in 22 runs, stole eight bases, scored 14 runs and reached base at a .390 clip.  Yasuda hit .344 in limited action with the Houston Applos during the 2014 Pecos Spring League.