Pirates Sign Ryan Church
Ryan Church
Ryan Church

Posted Jan 13, 2010

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they have signed outfielder Ryan Church to a one-year contract for the 2010 season.

Church, 31, hit .273 (98-for-359) with 28 doubles, four home runs and 40 RBI in 111 combined games between the Mets (67 games) and Braves (44 games) in 2009. He began the season with New York before being traded to Atlanta in exchange for Jeff Francoeur on July 10. Overall in 2009, Church made 86 appearances in right field and 23 in center field.

Ryan Church is an established well-rounded Major League player who brings an experienced left-handed bat and quality outfield defense to the organization,” said Pirates GM Neal Huntington. “He has the skills and tools to be a valuable player off the bench and could play regularly if the situation so dictates.”

Church was selected by Cleveland in the 14th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft and made his Major League debut with the Montreal Expos in 2004, a season in which he was named the club’s minor league Player-of-the-Year. In 2007, he hit .272 with 43 doubles, 15 home runs and 70 RBI in a career-high 144 games with Washington.

A career .272 hitter in his six big league seasons, Church has made 210 appearances in right field, 156 in left field and 137 in center field in that time, committing only eight errors and recording 24 assists in 1061 total chances.

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