Wednesday, Missoula’s Baseball Operations team announced the signing of three additional free agents set to join the PaddleHeads’ 2021 lineup. Baseball fans in Missoula rejoice, as the 2019 Osprey’ utility man and spark plug, Jose Reyes, is set to return to the Garden City. Former Minnesota Twins prospect, outfielder Jared
Wednesday, Missoula’s Baseball Operations team announced the signing of three additional free agents set to join the PaddleHeads’ 2021 lineup. Baseball fans in Missoula rejoice, as the 2019 Osprey’ utility man and spark plug, Jose Reyes, is set to return to the Garden City. Former Minnesota Twins prospect, outfielder Jared Akins has signed the dotted line and is poised to be a threat in the PaddleHeads’ batting order. Southpaw, Greg Elder Jr. rounds out the new additions, bringing his wipeout breaking ball and merciless mound presence to Missoula.
Jose Reyes | 2B/3B/SS | 5-9, 160lb
Reyes, a 22-year-old infielder out of Esperanza, Dominican Republic, was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks as an International Free Agent in 2015. As a 17-year-old, Reyes debuted for the D-Backs’ 2016 Dominican Summer League squad, the same league where he would spend the next two seasons. Reyes made his professional debut in 2019 for the Missoula Osprey, acting as the spark plug for both his teammates and the fans, with his radiant energy. Reyes finished the 2019 campaign with a batting average of .259, 5 stolen bases, 25 RBI, and 11 doubles across 58 games with the Osprey.
“Reyes is a super athletic, fun, durable baseball player who fans of Missoula baseball should remember well.” said PaddleHeads’ Manager Michael Schlact. “He is incredibly excited to return to Missoula and we can’t wait to watch him go out there and do what he does best... play hard and have fun. We love that he can play anywhere and will bring electricity to our lineup as well.”
Jared Akins | OF | 6-3, 220lb
The 24-year-old outfielder out of Glendale, CA, began his collegiate career at Glendale Community College where he posted a slash line of .379/.468/.621 and was named the Western State Conference Player of the Year. In 2017, Akins made the jump to Fresno State of the Mountain West closing out the season ranked fifth on the team in hitting (.328), and tallied a team-leading 23 doubles to tie 10th all-time in program history. Akins’ bat didn’t go unnoticed, selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 13th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. He spent the next three seasons, across three levels of the Twins farm system (Rk, Rk-A, A), producing a batting average of .220, 72 RBI, 15 homeruns, and 22 doubles in 163 contests.
“Akins is a physical outfielder who can play multiple positions. Missoula can expect a guy who will be a threat in the box and on the base paths, as well.” said Schlact. “We’re excited for him to be wearing our uniform and know that he will bring a big bat to our lineup and a solid glove to the outfield.”
Greg Elder Jr. | LHP | 5-11, 210lb
Few athletes leave high school with as many accolades as Elder. A four-sport athlete, Elder’s trophy case holds an All-Region honor and State Championship in football, All-Region and All-State awards in basketball, and All-Region and All-State honors in baseball. Collegiately, Elder toed the rubber from 2016-2019 for the Truett McConnell Bears, appearing in 57 contests, tossing 204.1 innings, totaling an astronomical 312 strikeouts.
“Elder is a solid acquisition and a reliable, young left-handed pitcher that we’re excited about. He throws three pitches for strikes and the reports on him all include his mound presence being great & his competitiveness being off the charts.” said Schlact.
The PaddleHeads’ Baseball Operations team of Michael Schlact and George Horton have now added seven players to the roster in the last 48 hours, and will look to continue the process of acquiring even more quality athletes to the roster in the coming days. PaddleHeads’ fans can expect consistent and frequent news as the 2021 roster takes shape.
With Opening Day of the PaddleHeads’ 2021 season tabbed for May 22, a limited number Season Ticket packages remain, and individual tickets set to go on sale April 6, fans are encouraged to act quickly to ensure they don’t miss a minute of the action. Follow the PaddleHeads on their social media platforms or at www.gopaddleheads.com to stay up to date on player signings, promotions and event announcements, and the latest happenings around the franchise.