Thursday, one day removed from Missoula’s announcement of the additions of Hitting Coach Bobby Brown and Assistant Coach Mason Przybilla, the PaddleHeads’ Baseball Operations team has announced the free agent signings of four new athletes set to join the PaddleHeads 2021 squad. Former members of the Arizona Diamondbacks system, Missoula
Thursday, one day removed from Missoula’s announcement of the additions of Hitting Coach Bobby Brown and Assistant Coach Mason Przybilla, the PaddleHeads’ Baseball Operations team has announced the free agent signings of four new athletes set to join the PaddleHeads 2021 squad. Former members of the Arizona Diamondbacks system, Missoula baseball fans can celebrate the return of outfielder Tristen Carranza (2019 Missoula Osprey) and right-handed pitcher Andy Toelken (2018 Missoula Osprey). Joining the two familiar faces, are a pair of new ones – right-handed pitcher Mark Simon by way of the Triple-A Mexican League, and former Louisville Cardinal, southpaw Rabon Martin.
Tristen Carranza | OF/3B | 5-10, 200lb
During his collegiate career at New Mexico State, Tristen Carranza helped lead the Lobos to their first-ever WAC Tournament Championship, going 10-21 on his way to be named Tournament MVP. Carranza was acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018, before making his professional debut in 2019 for the Missoula Osprey. Wasting no time showing off his bat, Carranza was named a Mid-Season All-Star in the 2019 Pioneer League v. Northwest League All-Star Game. Tristen wrapped up the 2019 campaign hitting .252 with 29 RBI, 7 homeruns, and 21 XBH through 67 appearances. Most recently, Carranza spent the 2020-21 season south of the boarder with the Aguilas de Mexicali of the Mexican Pacific Winter League.
“Carranza is a former D-back and Osprey who can play multiple positions and has lots of power offensively.” said PaddleHeads Manager Michael Schlact. “We’re excited about bringing him back to Missoula and we’re looking forward to having him contribute in many ways throughout the season.”
Andy Toelken | RHP | 6-2, 188lb
Graduate of the University of Missouri, Andy Toelken finished his two-year career with Tigers as an 11-6 pitcher with a 3.24 ERA. The right-hander appeared in 21 games, tossing 57.1 innings. Working 48 strikeouts as a senior, Toelken finished his Missouri career with 100 strikeouts and 43 walks. Before attending Missouri, Toelken pitched at St. John’s for two seasons. He was named as one of the nation’s best impact junior college transfers by Perfect Game, and finished his career with an 18-2 record and a 2.00 ERA. His 18 wins set a new school record for most in a career. As a pro, Toelken split time during his professional debut between the D-Backs’ short-season affiliates (Missoula, Hillsboro), where he posted a 3.08 ERA through 11 appearances. In 2019, Andy spent the entire campaign hurling for the class A(Full) Kane County Cougars as a relief pitcher, where he closed out the season with a record of 7-3, 58 strikeouts over 77.1 innings pitched, and an ERA of 2.91.
“Andy also comes to us from Arizona’s system where he was consistent and reliable throughout his career there.” said Schlact. “Andy’s a fantastic human being, he is a strike thrower, he’s durable, and he has an arsenal that can get through a lineup, multiple times. We couldn’t be more excited to have him in our rotation.”
Mark Simon | RHP | 5-10, 185lb
Simon, a 25-year-old hurler, is set to bring his explosive arm to Missoula. As a high school senior at Houston Cypress Falls, Mark posted an impressive 0.63 ERA and earned First Team All-District and First Team All-Greater Houston honors. Collegiately, Simon spent two seasons at New Mexico Junior College where he was tabbed All-Conference in both seasons, and was selected to the Texas-New Mexico All-Star Game in 2015. Professionally, Simon spent the 2017 & 2018 seasons as both a starting pitcher, and reliever, compiling 30 innings pitched for the Rieleros de Aguascalientes of the Triple-A Mexican League.
“Mark is a power arm who has been working extremely hard to continue improving, and adding the tools necessary to continue progressing in his pro career. We couldn’t be more excited about the mentality and makeup he brings to the staff.” said Schlact.
Rabon Martin | LHP | 6-1, 195lb
Southpaw, Rabon Martin, a 24-year-old hurler comes to Missoula by way of Dallas, GA. Martin began his collegiate career at Darton State College where he played his way to Second Team All-Conference honors and a Gold Glove recipient, helping Darton State finish ninth in the country at the Junior College World Series. Following his stint at DSC, Rabon attended the University of Louisville where he appeared in 29 games, posting a record of 4-1 with a 4.12 ERA and 34 strikeouts over 39.1 innings pitched in 2017 and 2018. Martin made his professional debut for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers of the USPBL where he tallied a 1-2 record with 60 strikeouts over 43 appearances and 64 innings pitched across the 2019 and 2020 campaigns.
“Martin is going to be a key piece to the bullpen this season as he has done a nice job continuing to improve as a pitcher.” said PaddleHeads Manager Michael Schlact. “He can throw multiple pitches for strikes, and with deception, which is going to make him hard for hitters to see, and square up out there”
As the PaddleHeads’ roster continues to take shape, the “Adopt-a-PaddleHead” host family program is in need of area families who are interested in potentially housing a player(s) or field staff member for the upcoming 2021 season that begins May 22.
Interested families are encouraged to contact the Missoula PaddleHeads at (406) 543-3300 with any questions – and can apply to the Adopt-a-PaddleHead program via the link below, by visiting the PaddleHeads Post (140 N. Higgins), or by emailing [email protected].
Opening Day of the PaddleHeads’ 48-game home slate is tabbed for May 22, with the first month of games set at 50% capacity, and a limited number of season tickets available, fans are encouraged to act fast and purchase tickets online in advance, to secure their desired seating locations. Tickets are available now online at http://bit.ly/GETTIX21 or by visiting the PaddleHeads Post (140 N Higgins – 406.543.3300).
Follow the PaddleHeads on their social media platforms or at www.gopaddleheads.com to stay up to date on the latest happenings around the franchise.