Corner infielder Clayton Conner, a 45th round draft-and-follow pick from 2006, will look to provide some power to the Hawks lineup. In 45 games with Yakima this season, Conner has hit .259 with nine home runs and 39 RBI, while also stealing eight bases in 11 attempts.
45 games is apparentlty the magic number for Conner in Yakima. He also spent 45 games there in his debut 2007 season, again hitting nine homers, but that year he batted .351, slugged .626, and averaged an RBI for every game played.
This will be the third stint for Conner with South Bend, as he spent time with the Silver Hawks in both 2007 and 2008. In 11 games in ’07, Conner hit .143 with a homer and three RBI. He played in 26 games with the Hawks in ’08, batting .170 with three homers and 12 RBI, before missing the rest of the season with a right shoulder strain.
Fellow corner infielder Ramon Ramirez, originally signed by the Diamondbacks in 2004, was a veteran presence in the clubhouse, and his influence on the younger players will be missed. In 56 games for South Bend this season, Ramirez hit .225 with a homer and 23 RBI. He was the lone player from last year’s Eastern Division championship squad to have returned to the roster this season.
Ramirez also spent a week in Hi-A Visalia this season, going a remarkable 13-for-38 (.342) with five doubles. He could never sustain a consistently successful stretch on either side of the ball, however, which prompted his release.