Jason James signs minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs
LOVES PARK, Ill. – One of the top hitters in Frontier League history won’t take a swing against Northern League pitching.
The Rockford RiverHawks announced Wednesday that Jason James, a three-time Frontier League All-Star, has signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs. This year, James hit a team-record .374 to win the league batting crown and hit a career-best 14 home runs with 48 RBI. Along the way, he had a league-record 40-game hitting streak.
When the RiverHawks moved from the Frontier to the Northern at the end of the season, James left the circuit in sixth place on the all-time hit list and No. 2 among active players.
“We’re always happy that our players are able to get an opportunity to play at the next level,” co-owner and director of baseball operations Dave Ciarrachi said. “Jason has certainly earned it through his performance.”
In 3½ professional seasons, all with the RiverHawks, James set nine team single-season or career records, including home runs and hits.
James has never hit under .341 and finished second in the league batting race in 2007 and ’08. His .355 career average is the best in team history. James also holds the RiverHawks’ all-time records for hits (415), home runs (34), RBI (199), doubles (86), games (306) and at-bats (1,170). In 2008, he doubled 30 times to set a single-season team record.
The RiverHawks signed the former Kishwaukee College player in July 2006 and he had two hits in his first professional game. James was voted to the Frontier League All-Star Game and to its end-of-season All-Star team in each of his three full seasons.
James is one of three former RiverHawks in major-league organizations. Pitcher Derrick Ellison finished the season with the New York Mets’ Triple-A affiliate at Buffalo. Pitcher Taylor Sinclair ended the year on the disabled list at South Bend, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ low Class A affiliate.
The RiverHawks are members of the Northern League, an eight-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 18th season in 2010. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Games are broadcast live on ESPN 1380 (WTJK-AM) and the internet. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.
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