February 21, 2013
Wahl appeared in only one game for the Frontier League's Washington Wild Things last season due to injury, but the right-hander had a terrific introduction to professional baseball with the Minnesota Twins' organization in 2011. The 24-year-old Wahl was 5-1 with a 2.23 ERA in 16 relief appearances for the Twins' rookie level Gulf Coast League affiliate that year. Wahl struck out 35, walked 13, and allowed just 21 base hits in 32.1 innings. A native of Westerly, RI, Wahl signed with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent following a four-year career at Southern University. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Wahl posted an 8-11 record with 10 saves and a 4.47 ERA in 75 collegiate apearances.
"Kyle could end up being a valuable piece to our bullpen, given that he is a rookie," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper. "He will come in and compete for a job after missing the 2012 season with an injury. He is fully recovered, and excited to be coming to Wichita to help us anyway he can. He had a great year in rookie ball in 2011, and hopefully he can continue that success here."
Bradford hit .333 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI in 59 games played for the Pecos League's Santa Fe Fuego in 2012. A right-handed batter, Bradford hit safely in 40 of 59 games for Santa Fe, and compiled a 13-game hitting streak (27 for 57, .474) from June 10th through June 26th. A native of Lismore, Australia, Bradford hit a combined .384 with 26 RBI in 32 contests for White Sands and Carlsbad of the Pecos League in 2011. The 25-year-old is entering his fourth season of professional baseball, and is a lifetime .349 hitter in 104 career games. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Bradford played college baseball at Southeast Missouri State University and Three Rivers Community College.
"I worked Kieran out a couple of years ago and loved his bat," said Hooper. "He needed to work on his throwing mechanics, and has put a lot of time and effort into becoming the best all-around catcher he can. He will come in and compete for one of our catching spots."
Yoo last played stateside in 2010 for the Golden League's Orange County Flyers and the United League's San Angelo Colts, hitting a combined .290 with six RBI over 17 games played. Like Bradford, the La Canada, CA native is heading into his fourth season of professional baseball. Yoo--who will be 30 on Opening Night--began his pro career in 2008, appearing in 15 games for the Golden League's Long Beach Armada. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound catcher played in 23 contests for the Northern League's Schaumburg Flyers the following season. Most recently, Yoo played for the Goyang Wonders in the Korea Futures Baseball League. A switch-hitter, Yoo spent parts of his college baseball career at the University of Southern California and Texas Christian University.
"Stephen will also come in and battle for one of our catching spots," said Hooper. "One of my former teammates throws bullpens to him during the offseason, and I have heard great things about him defensively and as a person. I like that he has some experience at the independent level, even though he is still considered a rookie."
All three have rookie status in the American Association this season, and give the Wingnuts six players officially signed for 2013. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins in early May.
2013 Wingnuts Signings
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
SS Ryan Khoury
RHP Kyle Wahl
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler