Jamestown, NY- The 2013 season brought not only a new affiliation, but a new style of baseball to Jamestown. The Pittsburgh Pirates, along with the Jammers kicked off a two year player development contract allowing for some of the top prospects within the organization to call Jamestown home. From the moment the players and coaching staff descended upon Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park, they knew they would be getting back to the "roots" of baseball.
A quick two day mini-camp before the start of the New York-Penn League season gave fans an opportunity to get a glimpse of a handful of new faces to the Pirates organization following the Major League Baseball first year player draft. The Jammers opening day roster consisted of 30 players with 11 suiting up for their first taste of professional baseball.
The first year rookies were highlighted early on by the Pirates 4th round selection Cody Dickson. Dickson, a southpaw pitcher out of Arlington, TX was taken after finishing his collegiate career at Sam Houston State. He would spell trouble for opposing batters displaying an electric fastball with sharp breaking ball to complement his repertoire.
Jamestown stormed out of the gates in 2013, hitting the field with a youthful pitching and fielding combination. Over the course of the season the Jammers suited up several players that were under the age of 20, including both first round draft picks Reese McGuire and Austin Meadows. McGuire and Meadows joined the Jammers for a post-season push and added a jolt to the offense that surged into the end of the regular season.
Harold Ramirez (LF) and Edwin Espinal (1B) became fan favorites over the course of the season, honing their powerful bats in their first taste of short-season baseball. Espinal would also become a vocal leader on and off the field, never counting himself (or the Jammers) out of a game and hustling onto the field each half inning. JaCoby Jones, the Pirates 3rd round selection joined the Jammers after LSU was knocked out of the College World Series. He would be joined shortly after by Adam Frazier (6th Round) who made a run to the finals with Mississippi State.
The 2013 season had moments of highs (and lows) as one could expect to come in any season. JaCoby Jones' season would be cut short by a knee injury, Adam Frazier pieced together a 14-game hitting streak, showing Jammers fans why he lead the NCAA in hits for a season with 109. Jamestown sat atop the Pinckney Division until the last four weeks of season when they locked into a sprint for the finish with State College. Although the division would get locked up by the Spikes, the Jammers would save their best for the last game of the season by pulling off a thrilling 9-4 victory to edge out the Lowell Spinners for the NY-P Wild Card.
The two rivals would meet in the first round of the playoffs as the Jammers would charge out to a game one victory (6-5) before falling in a decisive game three. Fresh off their third post-season berth since 2008, the Jammers would not fall short of player accomplishments come post-season. Adam Frazier finished third amongst all batters in average (.321) and second in on base percentage (.399). Harold Ramirez paced the league with 274 at-bats that would lead to 78 hits on the season which was third in the league. Ramirez also tied teammate Jeff Roy to lead the league in stolen bases (23). Brett McKinney brought down the hammer all season long leading the league in saves (10), appearances (23) and second in games finished (18).
With the quick start out of the gates, seven Jammers were selected to represent the National League at the 2013 New York-Penn League All-Star Game at Dodd Stadium in Connecticut. The seven players selected was a franchise high, beating the previous (5) representatives from the 2008 squad. The Jammers 43-32 record matched the final mark of the 2010 squad that featured Marcel Ozuna. When it came to how the Jammers matched up as a team against the rest of the league, Jamestown finished second in batting average (.270), first in runs scored (355), second in hits (666), first in RBI (314) and second in stolen bases (113).
The Jammers are gearing up to kick off their second season with the Pirates and build off the successes of the 2013 season. The preparations are already underway to get the Bucs top talent on the field in 2014. Fans can keep up-to-date during the off-season on all things Jammers by visiting our website at www.jamestownjammers.com or by giving us a "Like" on Facebook or a "Follow" on Twitter.