Press Releases

ThunderBolts sign four ballplayers

The Windy City ThunderBolts have begun assembling their roster in anticipation of the 2012 season, announcing their first four signings for the new year. After spending the past three seasons managing the Calgary Vipers, new manager Morgan Burkhart has turned to a familiar place, bringing three former Vipers with him to Crestwood, including OF Bryan Burke, SS Louis Templeton and RHP Stephen Whalen. RHP Bobby O'Neill also has signed with the club.
 
Burke is a three-year pro, who spent his first two seasons with Texarkana of the Continental League. He hit .291 with a .389 OBP between 2008 and 2009. After missing the 2010 season, he signed with the Vipers for 2011. He had his best season in Calgary, setting career bests in batting average (.302), RBI (28) and stolen bases (10).
 
Templeton is entering his second pro season in 2012 after a successful rookie campaign in Calgary. Known for his defensive prowess in the infield, he also did some damage at the plate in 2011, batting .289 with five home runs and 42 RBI. A product of Bellevue University, Templeton hit .395 over his last two collegiate seasons.
 
Whalen will be making his second turn as a Frontier Leaguer after beginning his career with the Midwest Sliders in 2008. He pitched in just 18 games for four different teams over his first three pro seasons before finding his place in the Calgary rotation in 2011. In 14 games (13 starts), he went 7-5 with a 5.13 ERA. He enters 2012 with a career 10-9 record and 5.40 ERA.
 
O'Neill was a 43rd round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2011 out of Biola University. After three middling seasons on the Biola pitching staff, O'Neill broke out in his senior year of 2011. He went 4-6 with a 4.64 ERA in 16 games (7 starts), including a 3.38 ERA over his final 12 appearances. He posted stellar numbers in Rookie ball as a member of the Gulf Coast League Twins. In 11 games (10 starts), he went 3-3 with a 2.27 ERA and had a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

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T
he Windy City ThunderBolts open their 14th Frontier League season on Thursday, May 17th vs. Joliet with a special one-game homestand fetauring discount beer and post-game fireworks! Stocking Stuffers, Season tickets, flex plans, and group outing opportunities are available now! Call 708-489-BALL or check out wcthunderbolts.com for more information!  



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