BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots have signed veteran catcher Mike Blanke.
He will be active for Tuesday night’s game against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
Blanke enters his first season with the Patriots and fourth in the Atlantic League. He played two full seasons with the Long Island Ducks in 2015-16, and spent two months with the Blue Crabs last year. Blanke was an Atlantic League All-Star with the Ducks in 2015, and finished the season hitting .282 with nine home runs and 43 RBI.
Originally a 14th-round selection in the 2010 MLB Draft, Blanke spent the first five seasons of his professional career with the Chicago White Sox organization. He showcased the ability to be a power-hitting catcher when he hit 10 home runs and recorded 50 RBI in 91 games with High-A Winston-Salem in 2012. Blanke also excelled defensively that year, throwing out 41 percent of the baserunnerstrying to steal.
Blanke converted to a pitcher in 2014 for a season, before converting back to a catcher prior to signing with the Long Island Ducks. He was an exciting prospect coming out of the University of Tampa, where he hit .377 in his final year with nine home runs and 65 RBI to go along with a 1.068 OPS.
The Canadian native began his 2018 season with the Ottawa Champions of the Can-Am Professional League, where he compiled a .425 on-base percentage over 22 games. Originally born in Granby, Quebec, Blanke becomes the second Canadian-born player on the 2018 roster, joining pitcher Dustin Molleken.
Blanke has 62 home runs and 316 RBI over his nine-year professional career.