WALDORF, Md. – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs continue to form their 2022 roster, announcing the signing of a trio on Thursday afternoon. The Crabs inked deals with a pair of right-handed relievers, Patrick Baker and Pedro Echemendía, and a speedy outfielder, Jack Sundberg.
Patrick Baker returns to Southern Maryland after proving to be a key member of the Blue Crabs’ bullpen in 2021. The Anne Arundel Community College product was selected in the 29th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles, and topped out at the Single-A level in 2016 with the Delmarva Shorebirds. Baker began the 2021 season in a low leverage, late inning role in Southern Maryland, but roster moves shifted the right-hander into a middle relief role where he excelled. In the months of July and August, the 29-year old logged 23 2/3 innings while fanning 29 batters, holding a 1.90 ERA. In 2022, the fireballer who can touch 100 miles per hour on his fastball returns as a top option in Stan Cliburn’s bullpen, having made an appearance in the Blue Crabs’ 2021 playoff run.
Pedro Echemendía is a right-handed pitcher that brings a wealth of experience to Southern Maryland’s bullpen. Echemendía began his professional career in the Cuban National Series before joining the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 2015. The journeyman peaked for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds in 2016 and 2017, compiling a 2.05 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. The Cuban national is no stranger to the Atlantic League, with 32 appearances in 2019 for the Lancaster Barnstormers, posting a 2.57 ERA with 31 strikeouts.
Jack Sundberg joins the Blue Crabs from the Frontier League, where he spent the 2021 season with the New York Boulders. The outfielder was originally drafted in the 26th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals and spent four seasons in the Nationals organization. In 2017, while in High-A with the Potomac Nationals, Sundberg posted a .277 batting average, producing 109 hits and 52 walks. The speedster ranks second all-time in stolen bases at the University of Connecticut, and had a stellar 2021 season with the Boulders, holding a .405 on-base percentage while accruing 106 hits, 69 walks, and 48 stolen bases.
“Patrick Baker was a key piece for us in 2021. He excelled in a middle relief role, and has the repertoire to make starts when needed. Pedro Echemendía is a proven veteran that we can lean on in our bullpen, and Jack Sundberg is going to be one of the top base stealers in the Atlantic League. The more our roster fills out, the more confident we feel in returning to the postseason,” said Blue Crabs General Manager, Courtney Knichel.