Southern Illinois continues to add talent to 2019 spring roster

Marion, IL (April 11, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have signed outfielder Brett Siddall, catcher Andy Cosgrove, and utility player Steven Kraft for the upcoming 2019 season

Siddall comes to Marion from the Oakland Athletics organization, where he hit .208 with 15 doubles, eight home runs and 50 RBIs in 118 games split between Double-A Midland (74 contests) and class A-Advanced Stockton in 2018, his fourth season with the A’s. He was teammates with fellow Miners signee Chris Iriart the previous three years with Oakland, and in 2017 was named an Organizational All-Star as well as a California League Postseason All-Star in the outfield. Siddall batted an even .300 with 23 doubles, 21 home runs, 68 RBIs, 132 total hits and 78 runs scored in 117 games with Stockton that season.

The Windsor, Ontario native, who is the son of former major league catcher and current Toronto Blue Jays TV analyst Joe Siddall, was selected in the 13th round of the 2015 MLB Draft after a three-year career at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, where he was a 2015 Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American and MAAC Player of the Year, batting .353 with 24 doubles, 12 homers and 63 RBIs in 62 games as a junior.

“Brett brings a legitimate power bat to the middle of our lineup,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “He has had strong success in the A’s organization, and we’re thrilled he chose the Miners to continue his career.”

Cosgrove joins the black and gold after a pair of seasons in the Minnesota Twins organization, batting .262 with 12 RBIs in 19 games in rookie ball with the Elizabethton Twins in 2018. The Kirkland, Washington native was a 17th-round selection by the Twins out of North Carolina State University, where he batted .284 as a junior with 11 doubles, four homers and 12 RBIs in 19 games with the Wolfpack.

“Andy brings another strong catcher onto our roster,” Pinto added. “He comes from a strong college program, from which we have great reports, and had two solid years with the Twins. He had a number of options, and we are excited he chose to join us.”

Kraft comes to Southern Illinois by way of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, where he hit .321 with nine doubles, a pair of homers and 29 RBIs in 31 games for the Pirates’ rookie affiliate in the Gulf Coast League. The utility man from Gainesville, Virginia played four years collegiately at Western Kentucky University, and hit .382 with 13 doubles and 33 RBIs in 44 games as a senior for the Hilltoppers in 2018 to earn Second Team All-Conference USA honors. Defensively, he saw action at four different positions with the Pirates.

“Steven comes to us after I got strong recommendations on him from the Pirates organization,” Pinto said. “He hit successfully in college and continued that success in professional baseball. He brings positional flexibility, and is a high-on-base-percentage guy. We are glad to add him to our roster this spring.”

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