CATCHER RETURNS AFTER CAREER YEAR IN 2016
(New Britain, Conn., March 16, 2017) New Britain Bees team officials today announced that the team has re-signed catcher James Skelton for the 2017 season. Skelton is the 15th player signed by New Britain for the upcoming season, and the 10th returning player from the 2016 inaugural season roster.
Acquired from the Somerset Patriots in exchange for the rights to outfielder Carlos Guzman, Skelton was the second player signed by the Bees for their inaugural season. Batting primarily out of the leadoff spot, Skelton led the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball in walks with 91 and on-base percentage at .399, while setting career highs in home runs (10), games played (113), runs (67), and doubles (18). Skelton was named to the Atlantic League’s End-of-Season All-Star Team in 2016, as well as the league’s Red, White, and Blue All-Defensive Team along with teammate Jon Griffin.
This will be Skelton’s fifth season in the Atlantic League, and second with the Bees. Prior to last season, Skelton played for Somerset, Southern Maryland and Lancaster. Originally drafted out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in the 14th round of the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft, Skelton has appeared at the Triple-A level with both the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds organizations, while also playing in the Arizona Diamondbacks system.
“Skelton had a career year last year and we’re excited to welcome him back for the 2017 season,” said Bees Manager Stan Cliburn. “His consistency from the leadoff spot and behind the plate makes him a leader on this team. We’re excited to have him back in our lineup and working with our pitching staff.”
About the New Britain Bees
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.