The St. Paul Saints are signing three Blizzard Alumni for the 2018 championship season: RHP Jake Esch (2008), OF Max Murphy (2011) and RHP Jake Matthys (2012).
RHP JAKE ESCH
Esch, who has seen big league time with both the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres was an 11th round draft pick by the Marlins out of Georgia Tech. Esch, who was a standout offensive player as well at Tech was a Cretin Durham Hall graduate in 2008 and is looking forward to coming back to Minnesota and recalled his time with the Blizzard.
"The foundation of my baseball career began in St. Paul at CDH and with the Blizzard," Esch said. "It's exciting to return to my roots in order to rebuild that foundation to rejuvenate my baseball career forward to the big leagues."
OF MAX MURPHY
One of the most prolific home run hitters the Blizzard program has ever seen, Max Murphy, a hard-swinging right-handed hitter, joins the Saints after spending four seasons with the Minnesota Twins. Murphy, who was a ninth-round draft pick, made it up as high as AA for the Twins and has hit a career 29 home runs in just over 1,300 at-bats.
Murphy, who would be considered by most Blizzard coaches, as one of our best-ever players talked about coming back to the Saints and his time spent playing for the Blizzard Elite teams and competing against some of the top competition around the country.
"My time at the Blizzard was awesome," Murphy said. "Being able to train during the winter and travel down south to play really helped me in furthering my career."
RHP JAKE MATTHYS
Right hander Jake Matthys will be beginning his second year in professional baseball after being traded this spring to the Saints from Gary. Matthys, who was one of the fiercest competitors ever to wear a Blizzard uniform, coached at the Blizzard Academy this year coaching our 14u Elite team as well as being one of the Academy's primary pitching instructors.
Matthys recalled how his past experience with the Blizzard has propelled him from a young 14-year old in our program to where he is no.
"Playing with the Blizzard growing up has given me more opportunities than I could have ever imagined and I truly believe it has allowed me to get to and play at this level with the Saints," Matthys said. "Playing with the best in the state against the best in the country from the age of 14 really prepared me for this level of competition."
"The part that amazes me most about the Blizzard program is the overwhelming support I get to this day," Matthys said. "As soon as players and coaches heard that I was traded to the Saints they all congratulated me and said they will be out at the games this summer to watch me pitch. I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity to play for (the St. Paul Saints) and be a part of the Blizzard organization which to me is a family that I am proud to be a part of."
And while the Saints are set up for another run at a championship with players from all around the country and glove, Saints Executive Vice President and General Manager, Derek Sharrer, has always done his best to keep many of the roster spots open to locals.
"Similar to what you'll hear from a college coach, we do our best to keep Minnesota ballplayers at home," said Sharrer. "Our state has produced a ton of great talent historically and continues to do so thanks to a passion for the game that rivals any of our neighbors to the south. When given a chance to add Minnesota raised players like Jake Esch, Jake Matthys, and Max Murphy to our roster we pounced. Saints fans are always excited to root for a "hometown kid" but, what matters most is that it's a hometown kid that will help our team win games. We're confident that these three players will do just that, and we look forward to helping them accomplish their baseball goals."
You can find out more about the Saints schedule, purchasing tickets and general info on their website at: www.saintsbaseball.com