ST. PAUL, MN (April 11, 2013) – Add a third member to the St. Paul Saints roster with Major League experience. A pitching staff that is already filled with quality arms just added another one with the signing of former Texas Ranger and Mounds View High graduate Mark Hamburger who joins former Big Leaguers Anthony Claggett and Craig Brazell.
The 26-year-old Hamburger has an incredible story going from an open tryout with the Minnesota Twins to the Major Leagues in the matter of just four years. After a dominating year in college, going11-0 with a 0.83 ERA in 2007 at Mesabi Range Community & Technical College, he showed up at the Twins tryout camp and wowed scouts. He was signed to a minor league deal and sent to the Gulf Coast League.
In 2008 Hamburger was a Post-Season Appalachian League All-Star and went 1-2 with a 4.27 ERA and 13 saves with Elizabethton. In August of that season he was traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Eddie Guardado. He was sent to Single-A Clinton and between the two stops he went 1-2 with a 3.98 ERA and 16 saves.
In 2010 he was an MiLB Organizational All-Star after an incredible season between Single-A Bakersfield and Double-A Frisco where he went 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA and 21 saves in 50 relief appearances. In 65.1 innings pitched he struck out 69 while opponents hit .236 against him.
His big moment came in 2011. After going 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA and four saves in 11 relief appearances at Frisco, Hamburger was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock. He once again made the organization take notice going 7-4 with a 3.88 ERA in 31 games (four starts). On August 30 he was called up to the Major Leagues and made his debut on August 31 in Arlington against the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched a perfect ninth inning of relief getting two ground outs and a fly out. Despite giving up three runs in 2.0 innings in his next outing at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox, he did strike out Adrian Gonzalez twice. Overall, Hamburger was 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in five games. In 8.0 innings he struck out six while Major League hitters batted just .179 against him.
Last season he bounced around between three different organizations: Rangers, San Diego Padres and Houston Astros.
The Saints also signed catcher Dwight Childs. The 24-year-old was an 18th round selection by the Cleveland Indians in the 2009 June Amateur Draft out of the University of Arizona. In his three seasons with the Indians organization he hit .145 with four home runs and 32 RBI. He has thrown out 36% of base stealers in his career.
During the off-season the Saints have signed 17 players, 10 pitchers and seven position players. The Saints 2013 season begins on Thursday, May 16 with a 7:05 p.m. home game against the New Jersey Jackals.