Memo Martinez of Nogales signed to play professional baseball with the Tucson Saguaros of the independent Pecos League after attending an open tryout Dec. 18, the team said in a news release.
Martinez graduated from Rio Rico High School in 2012 and, after taking some time off, enrolled at Mesabi Range Community College in Minnesota and played baseball for the Norsemen during the 2015 season as a pitcher and utility man.
As a pitcher, Martinez had an ERA of 1.97 and averaged 11.25 strikeouts per nine innings. As a position player, Martinez played several positions and won the Rawlings National Gold Glove Award for the NJCAA Division III as an outfielder. At the plate, he hit .336 with one home run.
“I’m extremely excited to welcome Memo to the 2016 Saguaros,” Saguaros manager JD Droddy said in a statement released by the Pecos League. “He is talented and versatile, and I’m expecting him to be an impact player.”
The Saguaros are an expansion team in the Pecos League and are set to play at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, which previously served as a Major League Spring Training facility, hosting the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks preseason camps. The stadium has a capacity of 11,000, making it the largest stadium in the league.
The Pecos League is an independent minor league with a season that runs May-July. The upcoming campaign will be its sixth season of operation with 10 teams ranging from Tucson in the west to Topeka, Kan., in the east.
Pecos League players are 25 years old and younger. According to the league website, 282 players were promoted to higher independent leagues and Major League-affiliated teams from 2010 to 2015.