ST. PAUL, MN (July 16, 2012) – In an attempt to shake things up at the halfway point of the season the St. Paul Saints made their first trade of the season sending starting pitcher Alberto Rolon to the Lincoln Saltdogs in exchange for infielder Joe Spiers.
The 26-year-old Spiers began the season in the Atlantic League with the York Revolution, where he played just three games, before being traded to the Saltdogs on May 25 in exchange for a player to be named later. He was having a solid season for the Saltdogs currently hitting .296 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 47 games. In 195 at bats he has scored 31 runs, clubbed 11 doubles, stole 18 bases (fifth in the American Association), has a .360 on base percentage and a .385 slugging percentage. Spiers played 46 games at shortstop for the Saltdogs.
Spiers began his professional career in 2007 and was a non-drafted free agent signee by the Atlanta Braves and spent the season at their Rookie Level Gulf Coast team. Since 2008 he has played for seven different Independent League teams and has a .292 career average in that time with an average of 23 stolen bases per season, including 50 last season with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League.
During his high school days Spiers was a National Gatorade Player of the Year finalist during his senior season and had a California state record 46-game hitting streak. The streak began his junior season at Redlands Arrowhead Christian Academy where he hit in all 32 games. He transferred to Canyon Springs Moreno Valley and extended the streak before it came to an end against Temecula Valley, a school he played for during his freshman and sophomore seasons, in a no hitter. He also used his speed competing in the 100-meter dash and the 4×100 relay.
After high school Spiers began his college career at the University of Hawaii where he was a Freshman All-American in 2005. From there he transferred to San Diego State and was named to the Wallace Watch as a contender for the Brooks Wallace Award, presented annually to the national collegiate player of the year.
The 27-year-old Rolon struggled this season after a terrific 2011 for the Saints. This season he was 2-4 with a 6.63 ERA in 11 starts. In 57.0 innings pitched he walked 31, struck out 30 while opponents hit .305 against him. He is currently tied for second in the league in earned runs (42), third in walks and fourth in runs allowed (45).
The Saints roster stands at the league maximum 22 players, nine pitchers and 13 position players with one pitcher and one position player on the disabled list and one pitcher on the inactive list.