Minor Leaguers now on Surge

SARANAC LAKE — At the home opener Thursday, Saranac Lake Surge fans saw new faces with great baseball experience.

The Empire Professional Baseball League is made for developing and scouting young baseball talent. Teams vary yearly, and some sign to higher baseball leagues throughout the year.

The coronavirus pandemic had an impact on professional baseball, causing some Minor League Baseball teams, which are affiliated with Major League Baseball teams, to be cut. This has caused an influx of ex-MiLB players going to independent leagues such as the EPBL. The Saranac Lake Surge has signed four players from Minor League teams.

SS-Kenny Hernandez, No.5

Kenny Hernandez’s Minor League career was in the New York Mets system. He started off playing in the Dominican Summer League in 2015. After a year in the Dominican, he moved over to St. Port Lucie, Florida, to play in the Gulf Coast League. Playing two years in Florida, Hernandez would play one more year in the Mets organization on Kingsport Axemen in the Appalachian League.

P-Jessel Soto, No.13

Jessel Soto only played one year of Minor League Baseball before the pandemic hit, signing a contract with the San Diego Padres. In that one year, he made it count. As a relief pitcher for the DSL Padres, he kept a 2.12 era while earning two wins and a save in 29 innings.

RF-Edel Luaces, No.14

Edel Luaces was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2016. He was selected in the 25th round with the 758th overall pick. In his first year, Luaces was assigned to the Yankees’ DSL East team. That first summer Luaces played 50 games with 26 RBIs and five home runs. After his first summer, he was moved to the DSL Yankees West team where he played until being released in 2018.

P-Albinson Volquez, No.16

Albinson Volquez was signed by the Atlanta Braves in 2016 to start his Minor League career. Starting his career in the DSL, Volquez pitched in 20 games with an ERA of 3.50. In 2017 he moved to the GCL, where he continued to pitch well with a 2.19 ERA. He continued to climb the latter going to the Florida Fire Frogs in the Florida State League. Volquez’s most recent season in the minor leagues was in 2019 when he played for the Danville Otterbots before being released.

Currently, Volquez is stepping in as player-manager for the Surge as the current manager isn’t able to be in Saranac Lake due to travel restrictions.


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