Former Phillies 3B agrees to terms with Rockers
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers announced today that former Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Mitch Walding has agreed to terms for the 2021 season.
Walding spent parts of the 2018 and 2019 seasons with the Phillies before signing with Toronto prior to the COVID-19 abbreviated 2020 season.
A fifth round pick of the Phillies in 2011 out of Stockton, Cal. St. Mary’s High School, Walding spent his entire pro career with the Phillies organization until opting for free agency with the Blue Jays. He hit 81 career homers and posted a .240 batting average over eight professional seasons that included stops at AAA Lehigh Valley, Pa. and AA Reading, Pa.
Walding collected his first Major League hit, a two-run homer, on Sept. 14, 2018 against the Miami Marlins.
“Bringing Mitch in to play for the Rockers was a no-brainer for us,” said Keefe. “He gives us a big lefthanded bat in the middle of our line-up. Mitch has light tower power and has proven so at the higher levels of AA and AAA and at the Major League level. Mitch is also a great defender at third base. He will slide over to first now and again and see some time in the corner outfield positions as well. Having Mitch’s left-handed bat in our ballpark will be a really nice addition.”
The Rockers were 74-66 in their first season in 2019 under Keefe’s direction. Keefe recently signed a three-year contract extension to remain with the Rockers through 2023.
The Rockers became the first expansion team in the Atlantic League’s 23-year history to make the playoffs in their first season in 2019. High Point also finished with the Atlantic League’s second-most number of All-Star selections with seven and had Major League Baseball organizations purchase seven players’ contracts.
The Atlantic League will open its 2021 season on May 28.
About High Point Baseball, Inc
High Point Baseball aka the High Point Rockers began their inaugural season in the Atlantic League in 2019 with their home opener on May 2, in a brand new approximately $36M downtown ballpark, Truist Point, originally named BB&T Point. Enhancing the rich baseball history in North Carolina, High Point Baseball is part of the fastest growing family sport in America. High Point Baseball is committed to providing superior customer service and quality, affordable family entertainment experiences for the Triad of North Carolina. With seven players having their contract purchased and earning the 2019 Ballpark of the Year as well as Mascot of the Year (HYPE, The Rocking Horse), the High Point Rockers have built a fun and competitive atmosphere in both High Point and the Atlantic League.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The ALPB is a Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. Through its partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment and collaborates on marketing and technology initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 950 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 42 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.
Photos by Miles Kennedy