NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain Bees are adding three more to their pitching staff.
Mark Hamburger, Mike Hepple and Tyler Higgins will be Bees this upcoming season the team announced Tuesday afternoon. Hepple pitched for New Britain last season.
“Our pitching staff is starting to take shape and all three of these players will be strong assets,” Bees general manager Brad Smith said in a statement. “Mark is a former Major Leaguer with proven success over his career. Mike was strong for us in his Atlantic League debut last year and will be reliable once again, while Tyler adds a power arm to our bullpen.”
Hamburger joins the Bees for his 12th season of professional baseball after being acquired in a trade with the St. Paul Saints of the American Association.
Over the last two seasons with St. Paul, the 31-year-old right hander made 44 appearances (42 starts), posting a 25-12 record with a 3.43 ERA and 215 strikeouts in 330.2 innings.
Hamburger made his MLB debut in 2011 with the Texas Rangers, appearing in five games and collecting one victory with a 4.50 ERA. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Twins in 2007 and spent one year with the organization before being traded to the Rangers in 2008 for Eddie Guardado. Following stints with the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros organizations, Hamburger rejoined the Twins organization in 2014 and made eight appearances for the Rock Cats.
Hamburger holds a record of 57-50 with a 3.62 ERA, 764 strikeouts, 19 complete games and four shutouts over the course of 973.1 innings in 348 minor league games (83 starts).
Hepple returns to New Britain for his sixth season of professional baseball and second in the Atlantic League. The Newington native appeared in 43 games with the Bees last season and posted a 2-2 record with a 3.23 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 55.2 innings pitched.
The 27-year-old began his professional career in 2013 with the Washington Wild Things of the independent Frontier League. After one year in the independent ranks he was signed by the New York Mets the following season and spent three years in their farm system, reaching as high as the Double-A level with Binghamton in 2016.
In 161 career minor league outings, Hepple owns an 11-10 record with a 3.66 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 238.2 innings pitched.
Higgins heads to New Britain for what will be his eighth season of professional baseball and his Atlantic League debut.
The 26-year-old spent last season with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Miami Marlins double-A affiliate where he posted a 3-3 record with a 3.43 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 60.1 innings of work.
Higgins was drafted by the Marlins in the 23rd round of the 2011 MLB amateur draft. He spent his entire minor league career with Miami, reaching as high as double-A. Over the course of 197 minor league appearances, Higgins owns a 12-18 record with a 3.72 ERA, eight saves and 242 strikeouts in 307.2 innings pitched.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org