ST. PAUL, MN (June 8, 2013) – Ole Sheldon spent the off-season teaching high school economics in Florida. The school year is over and he’s hoping to give a lesson to American Association pitchers as the St. Paul Saints franchise leader in home runs and RBI will return for his fifth season.
The 30-year-old Sheldon had his second best power year in 2012 when he slugged 20 home runs, only surpassed by the 22 he hit for the Saints in 2010. He finished last season hitting .279 with 20 homers and 69 RBI in 97 games. In 383 at bats he scored 55 runs, slugged 22 doubles, a .339 on base percentage and a .493 slugging percentage. His record setting season began on July 15 when he collected four RBI at Winnipeg and surpassed Brent Krause’s (2007-11) franchise record of 212. He currently has 243 RBI with the Saints. The home run record fell on July 21 at Sioux City when he clubbed his 55th in franchise history surpassing David Kennedy’s (1994, 97-99) record of 54. The home run was also the 100th of Sheldon’s career. He finished 2012 with 60 home runs in his Saints career. He finished tied for first in the American Association in home runs.
This season has a chance to see other records fall as Sheldon trails Krause by 12 in the extra base hit department, 21 doubles, 38 runs scored, 38 games played, 66 hits and 100 at bats.
Despite battling injuries during most of the 2011 season Sheldon put up another remarkable campaign hitting .304 with 12 homers and 76 RBI in 81 games. In 326 at bats he scored 51 runs, had 22 doubles, two triples, an on base percentage of .373 and a slugging percentage of .494. He stepped up when it counted hitting .353 with runners on base, .405 with runners in scoring position and .511 with runners in scoring position and two outs. He also hit .467 with the bases loaded including a grand slam on May 14 vs. Sioux Falls Pheasants. During the Saints run to the American Association Championship Series Sheldon hit .300 with a homer and five RBI in 10 games.
Sheldon’s 2010 season with the Saints was just as solid slugging the second most homers in a single season with 22. He barely missed out on the franchises single-season RBI mark knocking in 79 and finishing tied for second with Marcel Longmire (2007) in that category and just behind David Kennedy’s 1997 mark of 80. His 47 extra base hits were tied for the third best single-season mark in the franchise’s history, five shy of Jason Cooper’s record, which he set that season.
In 2009 Sheldon played in just 30 games for the Saints before the Cleveland Indians purchased his contract. With the Saints he hit .340 with six homers and 19 RBI and was among the league leaders in nearly every major category prior to him leaving. In 106 at bats he scored 22 runs, had seven doubles, slugged .575 and had a .444 on base percentage. On June 16 the Indians purchased his contract and he was assigned to Single-A Kinston.
While with Kinston he hit .267 with 13 homers and 54 RBI in 72 games. In 258 at bats he scored 39 runs, walloped 14 doubles, slugged .473 and had a .360 on base percentage.
Sheldon was a 14th round pick of the Houston Astros in the 2004 June Amateur Draft. He reached Double-A Corpus Christi in 2008 and had, at that time, a career high 13 home runs.
In order to make room for Sheldon the Saints released relief pitcher Billy Spottiswood. He was 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA.
The Saints roster stands at the league maximum 22 players, 10 pitchers and 12 position players.