06/25/2019 12:44 PM
CLEBURNE, Tex. (June 25, 2019) – The Cleburne Railroaders have added their second former Major Leaguer in the last week, inking veteran utility man Ryan Brett on Tuesday.
Additionally, the Railroaders have officially signed right-handed pitcher Stephen Johnson, who was acquired from the High Point Rockers on June 21. The active roster now stands at 23 players, the maximum allowed by American Association roster rules.
Brett comes to Cleburne after starting the year with the Kansas City T-Bones, where he played 23 games. The 27-year old got off to a slow start, hitting .148 as late as June 7. Over the last two weeks, however, Brett surged offensively, going 12-for-30 (.400) at the plate to raise his average to .238. He was released by the T-Bones on June 22.
The versatile defender joined the T-Bones late last season and became an instant contributor, hitting .336 over the final 27 games with more walks than strikeouts. It was Brett’s performance in the postseason, however, that jumped off the page. Brett hit a staggering .405 in nine playoff games, including a 4-for-6 effort in the first game of the Championship Series against the St. Paul Saints. He notched hits in eight of the nine playoff games, scoring six runs while driving in five.
Brett was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 3rd Round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Highline High School in Washington, eventually making his Major League debut on April 18, 2015. Along the way, Brett showcased an elite combination of speed and bat-to-ball skills, swiping 20 more bases four times and hitting better than .300 in four of his first five seasons. His time at the game’s highest level lasted just three games, despite the fact that Brett reached base in three of his four plate appearances. His first Major League hit came against New York Yankees closer Andrew Miller, a ninth inning double on April 19, 2015.
A shoulder injury derailed the remainder of Brett’s time in the Rays organization, and he elected free agency following the 2017 season. He signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers prior to the 2018 season, but was released in Spring Training and latched on with the Chicago White Sox. The native of Seattle split 2018 between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte before the White Sox released him in August.
Over the course of nine professional seasons, Brett is a career .282 hitter with 36 home runs and 162 stolen bases in 196 attempts.
The Railroaders open up a three-game series with the Lincoln Saltdogs on Tuesday night at 7:06 PM. Johnson (0-0, 0.00) will make his Cleburne debut on the mound, while Lincoln counters with former Major League right-hander Nick Tepesch (4-3, 5.10).
For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.
Photo Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY SPORTS