03/20/2009 9:19 AM -
The Kansas City T-Bones and manager Andy McCauley are happy to announce the addition of former Devil Ray and Kansas City product Damian Rolls to the 2009 squad.
Rolls, 31, began his professional career as a first-round (23rd overall) draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1996 amateur draft. Following the 1999 season, the Kansas City Royals selected Rolls in the Rule 5 draft before immediately sending him to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as part of a conditional deal. Rolls made his major league debut on September 3, 2000 against the Royals in Tampa.
“We are thrilled to add a player of Rolls’ caliber to the team,” said McCauley. “As a former first-round pick, we look for him to solidify the middle of our lineup and to bring veteran leadership both to the clubhouse and on the field.”
A graduate of F.L. Schlagle High in Kansas City, Rolls had originally planned on attending the University of Kansas before his selection by the Dodgers. He has spent the last two seasons in the independent Atlantic League with the Long Island Ducks. He posted career highs in home runs and RBI in 2008, blasting 17 long balls with 55 RBI while hitting .287. In five major league seasons, Rolls posted a .248 average over 266 games while collecting 42 doubles, nine home runs and 73 RBI, all with Tampa Bay.