NEW BRITAIN - The start of the Atlantic League season is two days away and that means the New Britain Bees have finalized their roster for opening day with a few more additions.
Outfielder Darren Ford and infielders Vinny Siena and Manny Ramirez, Jr. have signed with the Bees the team announced Thursday afternoon.
Ford is a former big leaguer with the San Francisco Giants. Siena starred at UConn and Ramirez, Jr. is the son of former Red Sox All-Star Manny Ramirez.
“We’re excited for the start of the 2018 season and believe we have a roster that will compete for the Atlantic League championship,” Bees general manager Brad Smith said in a statement. “Darren is a veteran outfielder who is impressive with both his bat and glove. Vinny is a local talent that gives us versatility by being able to play anywhere in the infield, while Manny is a young, talented ballplayer that adds some power to our lineup.”
Ford joins the Bees for his second season in the Atlantic League and 14th of professional baseball. The former big leaguer spent last year with the Somerset Patriots, appearing in 19 games and posting a .243 batting average with 10 RBI, 13 runs scored and nine stolen bases.
The 32-year-old began his professional career with the Milwaukee Brewers after being selected in the 18th round of the 2004 amateur draft. He spent four seasons with the Brewers organization before being traded to the Giants as part of a deal for Ray Durham. After two more seasons in the minors, Ford made his Major League debut in 2010 for San Francisco.
Ford has appeared in a combined 33 games during his big league career, collecting a .286 batting average with eight runs scored, and nine stolen bases.
Over the course of 1,209 career minor league games, Ford has comprised a .264 batting average with 59 home runs, 423 RBI, 740 runs scored and 459 stolen bases.
Siena joins the Bees for his first season in the Atlantic League and fourth of professional baseball. Last year, the Connecticut native split time between the Single-A St. Lucie Mets and Single-A Colombia Fireflies of the New York Mets organization, appearing in 69 combined games.
The 25-year-old was drafted by the Mets in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB amateur draft. In 252 career minor league games, Siena owns a .243 batting average with 50 extra-base hits, 70 RBI, and 129 runs scored.
Ramirez, Jr. comes to New Britain for his Atlantic League debut during his first season of professional baseball. The slugger recently graduated from the University of San Francisco, where he appeared in 42 games and collected a .267 batting average in 2017.
In a corresponding roster move, the Bees have released pitcher Josh Blanco.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org