Former outfielder Mike Reese – owner of the highest batting average in RailCats history – is returning to The Steel Yard this summer after a one-year hiatus.
Reese, 28, hit .297 in two years with the RailCats before taking last season off to complete his Masters degree in education. The 2010 season will be Reese’s sixth in professional baseball, and the slugging veteran has hit at every stop, boasting a .303 career batting average and .402 lifetime on-base percentage. Both a power and speed threat, Reese was a two-time Frontier League All-Star while a member of the Richmond (Ind.) Roosters from 2004-05.
After coming to the RailCats from Traverse City of the Frontier League before the start of the 2007 season, Reese led the league-champion ‘Cats that year in slugging (.457) and on-base percentage (.391), hitting .280 in 59 games. One year later, Reese earned nearly 100 more at bats as more of a regular in the lineup and his numbers improved, with a .308 average, seven home runs, eight stolen bases and a .407 on-base percentage.
Reese’s 2008 season also included several memorable moments, including a dramatic two-run eighth inning home run on July 29 in Winnipeg that capped the largest comeback in RailCats history – from 9-1 down after five innings to an eventual 14-10 win. That home run kick-started a huge second half of the season for Reese, who finished the year on a team-record 22-game hitting streak that started back on July 29.