LANCASTER, PA — Outfielder Ariel Sandoval has signed a contract to return to the Lancaster Barnstormers for the 2023 season, announced manager Ross Peeples.
He becomes the 18th player signed and the 15th returning from the ’22 squad that captured Lancaster’s third Atlantic League championship.
Sandoval, 27, came to the Barnstormers, July 21, in a trade with the Sussex County Miners for LHP Erik Cha. The native of the Dominican Republic made an immediate splash, batting safely in 21 of his first 22 games, batting .356 (32-90) with nine stolen bases
He only appeared in eight games over the final 24 days of the regular season, finishing the season with a .356 average, five homers and 23 RBI.
Sandoval delivered key plays during the Barnstormers’ post-season run. He launched a game-tying three-run homer against Southern Maryland ace Endrys Briceno in the ninth inning of Game Two in the Division Series, then gunned down Michael Wielansky at home in the top of the tenth. He made a great diving catch against the Blue Crabs’ David Harris to protect a 6-2 lead in Game Five. In the Championship Series, his two-run single in the 12th inning of Game One, snapped the 1-1 deadlock and propelled Lancaster to the 6-2 win.
Originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013, Sandoval spent five seasons in their organization and two more with the Seattle Mariners’ system, peaking at High-A with both. In 2021, the right-handed batter joined the Frontier League’s Southern Illinois Miners, batting .287. He was hitting .261 for Sussex County at the time of the trade.
“’Sandy’ just does a lot of things well,” said Peeples. “He will be one of our middle of the lineup guys and can play all over the outfield.”
Lancaster opens defense of its Atlantic League title at Southern Maryland on April 28.
For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.