NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain Bees continue to bring back a number of familiar faces.
The Bees re-signed infielder Jovan Rosa, catcher James Skelton and pitcher Jim Fuller the team announced Tuesday.
“All three of these players were important pieces of our team last year and we’re glad to have them back,” Bees general manager Brad Smith said in a statement. “They are all Atlantic League veterans and bring stability to all facets of the club.”
Rosa returns to New Britain for his fourth campaign with the Bees. The two-time Atlantic League All-Star began last year with Campeche of the Mexican League, and finished up the season with the Bees. In 117 combined games, he posted a .271 batting average with 14 home runs, 60 RBI, and 45 runs scored.
The 31-year-old graduated from East Hartford High School in 2005 and was drafted out of Florida Gateway College by the Chicago Cubs in the 2006 MLB amateur draft. After spending four seasons with the Cubs organization, Rosa made his Atlantic League debut in 2015 by splitting time between the Bridgeport Bluefish and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
Skelton returns for his fourth season in New Britain as well and 16th of professional baseball. Last year with New Britain, the backstop appeared in 89 games and hit .255 with 45 runs scored, 33 RBI and had a .382 on-base percentage.
The 33-year-old was originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 14th round of the 2004 MLB amateur draft. He spent five years in the Tigers organization, and continued to play in the affiliated ranks through 2012. Skelton peaked at the Triple-A level with Louisville (Reds) in 2011 and Syracuse (Nationals) in 2012. He made his Atlantic League debut in 2013 and has played with the Somerset Patriots, Lancaster Barnstormers, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and Bees.
Fuller returns to the Bees for his third season in the Atlantic League. Last year, the left-hander appeared in 43 games for New Britain and went 2-1 with a 2.09 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 43.0 innings.
Fuller was originally drafted by the New York Mets out of Southern Connecticut State University in the 21st round of the 2008 MLB amateur draft. He spent five seasons in the Mets organization before joining the Minnesota Twins in 2014. Fuller then spent the following two years with the Oakland Athletics and Pittsburgh Pirates, reaching the Triple-A level with both organizations.