MARION — The Southern Illinois Miners have signed utility player Gianfranco Wawoe for the 2019 season, their first new addition to next year’s roster.
Wawoe comes to Southern Illinois after playing seven years in the Seattle Mariners organization, signing with them as a 16-year old from Willemstad, Curacao in 2011. In his last season with Seattle in 2017, he was a mid-season California League All-Star at Class A-Advanced Modesto, batting .270 with 17 doubles, six triples, 62 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 97 games while also seeing time at Double-A Arkansas (14 games) and Triple-A Tacoma (two games).
Before that, Wawoe batted .288 with 17 doubles, eight homers, 55 RBIs and 114 hits in 102 games at Class A-Advanced Bakersfield in 2016. In total, over 523 professional games, he has hit .274 with 93 doubles, 12 triples, 26 homers, 507 total hits, 300 runs scored and 79 stolen bases. Defensively, he has played primarily second base and shortstop, but also has seen game action at third base and in the outfield.
“We are very excited to add Gianfranco to our club,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “He was one of the top prospects in the Mariners organization and he brings us not only a great offensive player with good speed, but also great positional flexibility.”