LINCOLN — Saltdogs first baseman/outfielder Dennis Raben had his contract purchased by the Kansas City Royals Monday. The American Association's best slugger will report to Class-A Advanced Wilmington of the Carolina League.
Through 23 games for Lincoln in 2013, Raben leads the league home runs (10), RBI (25), total bases (72), and slugging percentage (.818). He also ranks second in batting average (.409), hits (36), extra-base hits (16) and is third in on-base percentage (.455).
Raben becomes the 41st Saltdogs player to be signed by a Major League Baseball organization, and the 15th since 2011 (most in the American Association).
The 25-year old earned American Association Hitter of the Week honors during the season's second week.
Raben homered on the first pitch he saw in a Saltdogs uniform, on Opening Day May 16 at Gary. He hit two home runs in that first game for Lincoln and hit two home runs in his penultimate game as a Saltdog, Saturday night against Sioux City.
The Miami native was selected in the second round of the 2008 MLB draft out of the University of Miami. He had hit 52 home runs in 251 games in the Seattle Mariners organization before signing with the 'Dogs prior to the 2013 campaign.
Lincoln opens a three-game series in Sioux Falls Monday night at 7:05 p.m. The 'Dogs will be without their leading two leading hitters (with Ian Gac sidelined four-to-six weeks with a hand injury).
The Saltdogs signed INF Alejandro Gonzales Sunday (played collegiately at Peru State College) and INF Tyler Goodro (former Sioux Explorers and Amarillo Sox catcher/first baseman) Monday.