Missouri native with power stroke joins Southern Illinois
The Southern Illinois Miners announce their newest roster addition for the upcoming 2017 season, bringing in slugging first baseman Justin Chigbogu.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, the 6'1", 240-pound Chigbogu was originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Raytown South High School by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Also an all-state defensive end in football at Raytown South, he spent four years in the Dodgers organization, culminating in a full season at Single-A Great Lakes in 2015 where he hit .209 with 24 doubles, 13 home runs and 51 RBIs.
His best season with the Dodgers came in 2014, where he hit .224 with 23 home runs, 11 doubles, 58 runs scored and 68 RBIs between Great Lakes and Rookie-level Ogden. Chigbogu won the Joe Baumann Award that season for leading all Minor League Baseball rookie-level and short-season Single-A clubs in home runs, bashing 20 long balls at Ogden in the Pioneer League to set a club record.
Chigbogu signed last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, playing in 56 games for short-season Single-A Hillsboro while hitting .214 with five home runs and 19 RBIs. Regarded as a tremendous power hitter, he has hit 58 career home runs in 333 games as a professional, an average of nearly one for every six games played.
"Justin is a legitimate power source for the middle of our lineup, particularly from the left side," Miners manager Mike Pinto said. "His success with the Dodgers organization will bring a great influence into our roster, and I am looking forward to seeing him with us this spring."
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The Southern Illinois Miners are the 2016 Frontier League West Division Champions, the 2014 and 2015 Frontier League East Division Champions and the 2012 Frontier League Champions. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in 2007, their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the Rent One Park box office at (618) 998-8499. For any additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.