Fortitudo Bologna of the Italian Baseball League did make another splash on the market one month before the season starts. They have signed outfielder Richard AUSTIN and infielder Rayner BAUTISTA. Both played independent league ball last year.The 30-year old AUSTIN is from Syracuse, New York. He is playing for Frontier and Northern League Teams since 2001. In seven seasons he has a combined batting average of .302 (OBP .416/ SLG .488) in 594 games. In 2007 he was with the Fargo Moorheads. He hit .304 (.399/.499) with 15 homeruns, 69 runs scored and 67 RBI in 95 games.
The 29-year-old BAUTISTA was born in Nizao Bani, Dominican Republic. He signed with the Detroit Tigers organization in 1995 and later with the Baltimore Orioles. Between 1997 and 2006 he appeared in 778 minor league games as high as Triple A, having an overall batting average of .253 (.292/.365). After his release in 2006 he signed with York from the Atlantic League. He hit .299 (.327/.435) in 106 games last year. It was already his second stint in this league, after having played there in 2005 following his departure from the Tigers. He was mainly used as a shortstop during his career, but is also capable to play second and third base.
These two will strengthen the roster of Bologna even more. They already have confirmed that Jesus MATOS and Lino CONNEL return to the club. The will be joined by Martin VARGAS, Joseph MAZZUCA and several more new players on the roster. They will start their preseason schedule this Sunday against Castenaso.