Thursday, April 27, 2017

Joliet, IL —The Joliet Slammers presented by ATI Physical Therapy have signed three more additions to the 2017 roster following the Frontier League tryouts held April 24 and 25 at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois, home of the Gateway Grizzlies.

Steven Pollakov, Brian McKenna and Dane McFarland all join the Slammers for their first season. Pollakov is a Chicago-native and went to the University of Hawaii at Manoa (Honolulu, HI). The catcher spent the 2016 season with the Great Falls Voyagers of the Pioneer League.

Brian McKenna joins the Slammers after spending his 2016 season with the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League. He also made stops at the Utica Unicorns and Water Town Bucks in 2016. The catcher played his final two collegiate seasons at Post University in Waterbury, Conn. The New York, N.Y. native also played a season at John Jay College, hitting .330 driving in 16 runs for the Bloodhounds. He began his collegiate career at Seton Hall in 2011.

Outfielder Dane McFarland was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 12th round of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft from JSerra Catholic High School. (San Juan Capistrano, CA). McFarland was in the Diamondbacks system from 2013-2016, playing for the Missoula Osprey, Kane County Cougars and Hillsboro Hops.

Other recent signings include former Chicago Cubs prospect Rock Shoulders.Shoulders will be entering his first full season with the Slammers. Shoulders, a native of Tampa, Florida, played in nine games with the Slammers during the 2016 season and recorded 7 RBIs. He was drafted by Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein twice – first  in the 20th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft when Epstein was with the Boston Red Sox, and second in the 25th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft when Epstein was with the Cubs organization.

Another newly signed Slammer with an MLB pedigree includes Danny Concepcion. He is a pitcher who was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Virginia Commonwealth University. He spent his 2016 season with the Lexington Legends of the South Atlantic League.

The Slammers also have two 2016 college graduates making their Frontier League debuts this season. Alex Rodriguez, graduated from Methodist University with a degree in justice studies, and finished his senior campaign with 3 home runs to go along with 31 RBIs and finished with an amazing .398 batting average. He will be adding depth to the Slammers’ outfield.

CJ Needham, graduated from Louisburg University with a degree in criminal justice as well. He finished his last collegiate season with 5 home runs, 12 RBIs, and a superb batting average of .315. Needham will be used as a utility player as he can play first base and all three outfield positions.

Returning from last year’s East Division championship team includes starting pitcher Shane Bryant. Bryant will be entering his second season with the Slammers. He finished 2016 with a record of 5-2 and an ERA of 3.85 in 72 innings.

The Slammers open the 2017 season with exhibition games on Saturday, May 6 against the Schaumburg Boomers and Sunday, May 7 against the Windy City Thunderbolts at Slammers Stadium. The Slammers will then open regular season play on Friday, May 12 at the Lake Erie Crushers before returning home for the home opener on Tuesday, May 16 against the Traverse City Beach Bums. Individual game tickets, group tickets, and season ticket plans are all on sale now.

About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers presented by ATI Physical Therapy play at the Slammers Stadium downtown Joliet, Illinois, and are members of the professional, independent Frontier League.  The Frontier League is a 12-team league entering its 25th season of play in 2017.  Visit the Slammers online at or call the ticket office at 815-722-2287 for more information! Don’t forget to “Like” the Slammers on Facebook at or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers!


-- Joliet Slammers –