The Fayetteville SwampDogs have announced the three newest players set to hit the field in May, all of which come from the University of Iowa. Hawkeye right-handed pitchers Ben Probst and Grant Judkins, as well as outfielder Ben Norman, are set to join the SwampDogs for the 2019 season.
Probst, a sophomore, appeared in 16 games in 2018. The Urbandale, Iowa native amassed a 1-0 record and a 4.35 ERA in 20.2 innings while striking out 21 and walking nine.
"Ben had a great freshman year at Iowa and is poised to continue to do big things this year," SwampDogs head coach, David Anderson said. "He has electric stuff and will be a back end guy for us this summer."
Judkins, a junior from Pella, Iowa, brings two-way talent to Fayetteville. As a pitcher, he appeared in 13 games in 2018, compiling a 4.12 ERA in 39.1 innings. Judkins struck out 37 while walking only 11 in his sophomore season. Judkins found success at the plate in 2017, when he hit .270 while knocking in 16 runs on 30 hits.
"I look forward to seeing [Judkins'] progression this summer," Anderson said. "Grant is an extremely versatile player and has had success at the collegiate level both in the field and on the mound. He will come in as a two-way player for us and help bolster our rotation."
Norman, a junior from Des Moines, Iowa is another high-ceiling player with the potential to break out with the SwampDogs. He tallied five doubles and drove in 12 runs for Iowa last season. As a freshman, Norman hit .296 with 12 doubles and 20 RBIs, adding 14 stolen bases and an impressive .397 on-base percentage.
"[Norman's] extremely exciting with a ton of upside," Anderson said. "He has appeared in over 100 games in his first two years at Iowa and will bring experience and leadership to our locker room. He has elite speed and will be a huge asset to our outfield."
The SwampDogs begin their 19th summer of fun on May 28th, as they host Catawba Valley. Season tickets, bundled tickets and group tickets are on sale now. Single game tickets go on sale May 1st. The SwampDogs are a member of the Coastal Plain League. Heading into its 23rd season in 2019, the CPL features 16 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 116 alums – including 2017 American League Champion Series Most Valuable Player, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as 2017 National League Championship Series MVP Chris Taylor – make their Major League debut.