Outfielder Matt Szczur signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. If he doesn’t win a roster spot in spring training, Szczur will open the season with the Triple-A Reno Aces.
A 29-year-old right-hand batter has played five big league seasons as an outfielder and pinch hitter. He has a good batting eye but not much power or speed. Szczur has a .259 career batting average in 589 at bats, with 65 walks and a .312 on base percentage. He has played all three outfield positions, mostly in left field.
In 57 games with the San Diego Padres last season, Szczur hit .187 with a home run and six RBIs.
The Chicago Cubs drafted Szczur out of Villanova in the fifth round of the 2010 Major League Draft. His best season was in 2016, when the Cubs won the World Series. He played in 107 games and batted .259.
The Aces had another World Series champion Cub last season, pitcher Jake Buchanan, who signed a minor league contract this off-season with the Oakland A’s. The A’s Triple-A team has moved from Nashville and will play in the Aces Pacific Coast League division in the new Las Vegas Ballpark. Their name is the Las Vegas Aviators.