SUGAR LAND, TX – The Skeeters today announced that the contract of right-hander Joe Lienhard has been purchased by the Kansas City Royals. The Royals have assigned Lienhard to their Pioneer Rookie League affiliate in Idaho Falls, Idaho.The Skeeters have matched their single-season record with 12 contracts purchased by Major League Baseball organizations. They’ve also set their single-season record with a total of 15 contracts purchased from outside professional baseball organizations.
The following players have had their contracts purchased from the Skeeters roster by MLB teams this season: OF Cody Asche (BOS), IF Ryan Court (SEA), RHP Christian Bergman (SEA), RHP Andrew Bellatti (NYY), OF Courtney Hawkins (SFG), RHP Joe Lienhard (KCR) IF Will Maddox (SFG), OF C.J. McElroy (SFG), Kevin McGowan (WSN), RHP Felipe Paulino (HOU), RHP Mitch Talbot (CLE), Konner Wade (BOS).
Right-handers Michael Mariot (Tijuana) and Matt Ramsey (Tijuana), and infielder O'Koyea Dickson (Durango), have had their contracts purchased by the Mexican League.
The Skeeters have had 24 contracts purchased by MLB teams over the last two seasons, which are the most of any independent league baseball team. The next closest team is the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association, with 16 contracts purchased by MLB teams.
Lienhard, 22, was in his first season with the Skeeters and as a professional. He was 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in five games (one start) with the Skeeters. He picked up his first professional win on July 12 against the Long Island Ducks, throwing five scoreless innings while striking out three and walking none in what was his first professional start.
Lienhard began the 2019 season with Oklahoma State University, going 4-1 with a 4.39 ERA in 21 games (eight starts), striking out 41 batters to 22 walks in 53 ⅓ innings pitched. He’s the only player on Skeeters roster who had yet to make a pro appearance prior to joining the team.
A native of Wichita, Kan., Lienhard was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2018 after going 4-1 in eight Big 12 starts and went 5-3 with a 5.30 ERA in 18 total appearances (12 starts) that season. His five wins in 2018 were second on Oklahoma State. His father, Steve, was a four-year letter-winner and pitcher at Oklahoma State from 1984-87 and spent six seasons at the Minor League level with the San Francisco Giants (1987-90) and Milwaukee Brewers (1991-92).
The Skeeters, winners of the 2018 Atlantic League Championship, begin their eighth season of play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball at Constellation Field. Individual tickets, season tickets and mini-plans for the 2019 season are currently available and can be purchased by visiting sugarlandskeeters.com, the TDECU Ticket Office at Constellation Field, or by calling the Skeeters at 281-240-4487.
All Skeeters home games can be streamed live on the Skeeters Youtube page or can be listened to live by visiting sugarlandskeeters.com
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