Last season’s southern conference champion in the German Baseball-Bundesliga brings in two new American players. The HEIDENHEIM HEIDEKOEPFE announced on their website that they signed left-handed pitcher Dustin Bergman and center fielder/second baseman Raymond Stokes for the 2009 season.
Dusty Bergman is 31 years old and was selected by the Anaheim Angels in the sixth round of the 1999 amateur draft out of the University of Hawaii. He made his professional debut the same year in the Northwest League (Low-A). The following seasons he moved through the farm system of Angels. In 2004 he made his lone MLB appearance, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk in two relief innings against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Bergman later joined the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees organizations, pitching for their Triple-A teams. Between 1999 and 2006 he had a 37-48 record with an ERA of 4.40 and 534 strikeouts (239 walks) in 784 Minor League innings. The past two years he played in Independent Leagues. In 2008 Bergman had an ERA of 4.71 in 21 innings for Sioux City and an ERA of 6.20 in 74 innings for Lincoln, each of the American Association. He has German roots and they are looking to get a German passport for the southpaw. He will also serve as pitching coach and pinch hitter.
Ray Stokes is 23 years old and from Oakland, California. After attending Cal State East Bay College he was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 16th round of the 2006 amateur draft. Since then he has played for Padres affiliates between the Rookie and Single-A level. He is batting .241 (OBP .399/SLG .299) with 37 runs and 22 RBI in 57 games in his pro career. Stokes will take over as leadoff hitter for the HEIDEKOEPFE.
Bergman and Stokes join head coach/pitcher Mike Hartley and shortstop Ryan Lilly as foreign players on the HEIDENHEIM roster. They open the new season on April 5th on the road against the HAAR DISCIPLES.