The Sugar Land Skeeters announced they have re-signed manager Gary Gaetti to a one-year contract extension through the 2017 season.
Gaetti, the only manager in franchise history, was hired as the club’s inaugural manager in 2011 and will be starting his sixth year as manager of the Skeeters in 2017.
The baseball team also announced the re-signing of two fan-favorite players, Travis Scott and Rene Tosoni.
Gaetti and the Skeeters recently captured their first Atlantic League championship title in 2016, sweeping the York Revolution in the Freedom Division Series and then taking three straight over the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League Championship Series. The Skeeters became the first team to go 6-0 in the playoffs and ended the 2016 campaign with 10 straight wins. Under his leadership, the team has reached the league playoffs in three of five seasons, including two Championship Series appearances (2014, 2016).
Gaetti in his five years as manager has compiled a 381-318 (.545) regular season record. The 2013 campaign was a record-breaking year compiling a 95-45 overall record and he was named the Atlantic League Manager of the Year in just his second season as manager.
A veteran of 20 major league seasons as a player with the Minnesota Twins, California Angels, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox, the Illinois native was a two-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award Winner, 1995 Silver Slugger Award winner and the 1987 ALCS MVP with the Twins and would go on to help them win the 1987 World Series. Gaetti posted a .255 career batting average in 2,507 games with 2,280 hits, 360 home runs and 1,341 runs batted in during 20 major league seasons.
After his playing career, Gaetti began coaching in 2002 as a member of the minor league New Orleans Zephyrs’ Triple-A staff. In 2004 he was appointed hitting coach for the Houston Astros where he helped the club to an NLCS championship in 2005 and their first ever World Series appearance. Gaetti held the same position with Tampa Bay’s AAA affiliate, the Durham Bulls, during the 2007-2008 (managed the last few weeks) seasons before being named the first manager of the Sugar Land Skeeters in 2011. Gaetti was inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 2, and in 2007 was named to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame.
Rene Tosoni returns
The Sugar Land Skeeters announced that the club has re-signed outfielder and former big leaguer Rene Tosoni to its 2017 roster.
Tosoni, 30, returns to the Skeeters for his second straight season and third overall, bringing 11 years of professional baseball playing experience to the team. Last season Tosoni primarily spent time as an outfielder, batting .301 and leading the league with 12 triples, setting a new Skeeters single season record.
He also played a significant role in the Skeeters winning their first Atlantic League championship last season. After trailing 7-0 against York in game two of the Freedom Division Series, the Skeeters rallied in the fifth inning to take an 8-7 lead, only to once again fall behind 9-8 in the seventh. However, Tosoni’s two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth solidified a 10-9 win for the Skeeters and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
The club ultimately went undefeated in the playoffs (6-0) and 10-0 down the stretch to capture the first championship in franchise history. Last season was the second time Tosoni helped the Skeeters reach the Atlantic League Championship round since his acquisition in 2014.
Tosoni was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2005 and spent seven seasons in the club’s minor league system. While with the New Britain Rock Cats in 2009, he was elected to participate for the World Team at the All-Star Futures Game, where he earned the game’s MVP honors. He made his MLB debut with the Twins in 2011 and batted .203 with 5 home runs and 22 RBI in 60 games. Tosoni, a native Canadian, won a bronze medal with Team Canada in the 2009 Baseball World Cup and a gold medal with Team Canada in the 2015 Pan Am Games. He also played for Team Canada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic and is returning again for this year’s Classic in March.
Travis Scott signs
The Sugar Land Skeeters re-signed catcher and first baseman Travis Scott to the 2017 roster as a player/coach.
Scott, 31, returns for his fifth full season with the Skeeters. Last season, Scott batted .264 with 107 hits in 113 games and his 16 home runs (a career high) and 67 RBI ranked second on the team. Scott is a three-time Atlantic League All-Star with the Skeeters (2013, 2015, 2016) including being named the MVP of the 2015 All-Star Game.
In 2014, Scott helped the Skeeters to the Atlantic League Championship Series and last season played a key role in the club winning their first championship in franchise history. Scott’s crucial two-run homer in game two of the Atlantic League Championship Series solidified a 2-0 win over the Ducks, paving the way for a three game sweep over Long Island and giving the Skeeters a 6-0 playoff record and 10-0 run down the stretch.
In four seasons with the Skeeters, Scott has an overall .255 batting average with 49 home runs and 228 RBI. He is currently the Skeeters franchise leader in games, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI and walks. Scott has played a total of five seasons in the Atlantic League, four with Sugar Land and one season with York.
Originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 20th round of the June 2005 draft, the Illinois native spent six seasons in the Seattle (2006-10) and Pittsburgh (2011) organizations, advancing as high as AA with both clubs. Scott has a .259 career average with 110 home runs and 548 RBI in 993 minor league games.
Opening day for the Skeeters’ 2017 season is set for Thursday, April 20, at Constellation Field when they host the Bridgeport Bluefish in a 7:05 p.m. game. Season tickets, mini plans and flex books are on sale now at the TDECU Ticket Office or online at www.sugarlandskeeters.com.