WICHITA, Kansas – After beginning their offseason roster building with the addition of three pitchers, the Wichita Wingnuts began developing their lineup on Tuesday by inking Harrison Kain. The outfielder is the first player from the team’s roster last season to sign for 2016.
After being acquired by the Wingnuts in a July trade, Kain immediately established himself as a part of the everyday lineup. In 45 games he hit .286 with a pair of home runs and 17 RBI. Kain also doubled eight times, worked ten walks, and swiped 12 bags. When the opposition was at the plate, he provided a number of highlight reel worthy moments whether diving for catches or crashing into walls.
Kain played the first 38 games of the season with the Sioux Falls Canaries and was batting .231 with four home runs, and ten RBI at the time of the trade. He had been in the outfield for 36 games and also played second base once.
A stellar outfielder for the Pepperdine Waves in college, Kain made only one error in 181 career chances for a .994 fielding percentage. He also collected 19 outfield assists. As a senior he ranked among the national leaders with 13 outfield assists, four of which resulted in a double play. As a junior in 2010 he hit .253 while appearing in 40 games and added six RBI on 25 hits. In 2011 Kain hit .239 while starting 46 games for the Waves. He had 11 RBI, including six doubles and one home run. He wrapped up his eligibility with 12 stolen bases.
After going undrafted the now 26-year old Kain joined the Amarillo Sox for the remainder of the 2011 season. He was impressive enough in just 16 games to warrant a camp invite from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He was released before camp broke and ended up playing the full season with Amarillo in 2012. That season he hit .238 with three home runs and a career-high 44 RBI.
Kain moved from one South Division member to another for the next two campaigns. Suiting up for the Laredo Lemurs he enjoyed his best all-around season as a pro in 2013. In 70 games he hit at a .330 pace and drove in 35 runs while also stealing 19 bases. He worked 24 walks and struck out just 42 times. The native of Thousand Oaks, California was part of a massive nine player trade last winter between the Lemurs and Sioux Falls.
Kain is the fourth player to sign with the Wingnuts for next season. During the pre-season, a maximum of 28 players may be under contract with the team. The active roster must be trimmed to 23 two days before the start of the regular season. The ninth season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins on Thursday, May 19th against the Lincoln Saltdogs.