The East Texas Pump Jacks bolstered their lineup with today’s announcement that the team has signed two more hitters for the 2009 season. The Pump Jacks added outfielder Mike Petello, a redshirt sophomore at Scottsdale Community College, and Kyle Frasard, a junior infielder from Texas Wesleyan.
Neither player is a stranger to East Texas head coach Ben Taylor. Petello is in his second season with the Artichokes after transferring from Arizona State. Frasard spent two seasons in Scottsdale and was a member of the 2007 squad that finished third at the NJCAA D-II World Series. Frasard also spent last summer with the San Luis Obispo Blues, where Taylor was a member of the coaching staff.
In Petello, the Pump Jacks get a polished hitter whose aggressive approach and bat waggle have been compared to major league slugger Gary Sheffield. Petello has been drafted twice, in 2006 and 2008, each time by the Philadelphia Phillies, and he has signed to continue his college career at the University of New Orleans.
The Arizona native batted .333 during the regular season for SCC, earning his second consecutive first-team all-region selection. Petello tied future Pump Jacks teammate Brett Nicholas for the team lead with seven home runs and 39 RBI. He also led the team in stolen bases (seven), and he was second to Nicholas in walks (26), on-base percentage (.431), and slugging percentage (.565).
Last spring, Petello was SCC’s most dangerous hitter, batting .377 with ten home runs and 39 RBI. He finished first or second on the team in batting, homers, RBI, slugging percentage (.645), doubles (15), triples (2), at-bats (183), and stolen bases (10). Following the season and his all-region selection, he was selected by the Phillies in the 44th round of the June draft.
Petello was one of the top prep players in the state of Arizona at the time of his graduation from Saguaro High School in 2006. A pre-season Louisville Slugger All-American entering his senior season, Petello didn’t disappoint. He batted .430 with six homers, 39 RBI, and 17 stolen bases earn post-season All-American honors as well. He was named also named all-state for the second time and all-region for the fourth time in his high school career. Following the season, Philadelphia picked Petello in the 41st round of the 2006 draft.
Following his stellar high school career, Petello signed to play with Arizona State. The decision allowed him to follow in the footsteps of his uncle, former Sun Devils slugger Ken Phelps, who was a minor league star before breaking through and enjoying an 11-year career in the big leagues. After redshirting at Arizona State, Petello played summer ball for the Blues in 2007 and then transferred to Scottsdale.
It was in Scottsdale that Petello first teamed with Frasard. Frasard was a key cog in the Artichokes’ run to the World Series the season before, batting .299 with ten doubles and 23 RBI as a freshman. In 2008, he stepped into a leadership role, playing in a team-high 50 games and batting .291. He led SCC with 39 RBI and tied with Petello for the team lead with ten homers, the third-best mark in the conference.
Last summer, Frasard joined Taylor in San Luis Obispo, further developing as a hitter. He batted .313 in 46 games, scoring 27 times and driving in 24 more. He even made a showing on the mound, earning a win and posting a 1.80 ERA in ten innings. With Frasard’s contributions, the Blues went 50-15, earning national rankings from both Baseball America and PGCrossChecker.com.
Frasard has continued to shine this spring. Frasard is batting .328 with 15 runs and 13 RBI in just 67 at-bats for a Texas Wesleyan squad that finished second in the Red River Athletic Conference’s North Division. Frasard’s performance is even more impressive considered he was dogged by a wrist injury that forced him to miss nearly a month of action. He is batting .341 since his return at the end of March, and .400 during his current seven-game hitting streak.
Frasard is a native of Mesa, Ariz., where he starred at Red Mountain High School. He was a two-time all-region performer for the Mountain Lions.
With Petello and Frasard in the fold, the Pump Jacks have now announced 18 players for this summer’s roster. The newest Pump Jacks join Greg Fontenot and Patrick Holloway of Louisiana-Lafayette; Stephen Tromblee from Centenary; the Artichokes’ T.J. Geith, Brett Nicholas, and Ryan Oesterle; Joey Castleman, Daniel Gonzalez, Justin Howard, and Ben Woodchick from New Mexico; Rice pitchers Abel Gonzales, Mark Haynes, and Matt Reckling; Maryland’s A.J. Casario and Ian Schwalenberg; and returning hurler Chad Sherman out of Texas A&M.
Free Season Tickets: That’s right, free! With players this season coming to East Texas from across the country, the team is actively searching for host families. Host families enjoy the opportunity to have a potential future major leaguer live with them, forging a bond that lasts a lifetime. As an added bonus, host families receive FREE season tickets for everyone in their household. Click here or contact the Pump Jacks for more information.
The 2009 season is scheduled to begin on Friday, June 5, when the Pump Jacks host the league’s newest team, the Victoria Generals. The 48-game regular season will run through August 8, to be followed by the playoffs and TCL Championship Series. Fans can download a copy of the team’s schedule by clicking here.
Season tickets are currently on sale, with ticket packages starting as low as $105 – and $85 for children and seniors – for all 24 regular season home games. Box seat season tickets are also available, including Lower Box seats, which feature in-your-seat wait service all game long, every game. For more information on Pump Jacks season tickets, click here or contact the Jacks office at (903) 218-GO ET.