The Tijuana Toros are set for an exciting 2020 LMB season with several moves this offseason, including high-profile manager Omar Vizquel. This past Monday, Jan. 13, the border city team announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Joe Van Meter.
Van Meter is currently pitching in the Mexican Pacific League with Aguilas de Mexicali, but the Toros’ Sporting Director Oscar Romero announced the signing. The 31-year-old hurler had an outstanding campaign with Mexicali as he posted a 2.75 ERA with a 1.022 WHIP in 12 starts.
Van Meter also played independent ball with the High Point Rockers of the Atlantic League this year. The Manhasset, New York native, was phenomenal as he posted a 2.61 ERA with a 0.961 WHIP with the Rockers.
Van Meter was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2010 and has been a journeyman since then playing in the minors, independent leagues, Mexico, and even Australia. The American pitcher is yet to play in the LMB as he has only played in the Mexican Pacific League for the past couple of years.
Van Meter had a very brief stint with Yaquis de Obregon in 2018 but now has become one of the better pitchers in the league this season. There is still a few months away from the Toros’ season-opener, but Vizquel is building a great team with solid pitching.
The Toros had the best ERA in the 2019 LMB season at 4.41 and have already made several moves to try and improve that. Along with Van Meter, the Border City Bulls have also signed Greg Mahle and Jose Samayoa.
Mahle pitched for the Anaheim Angels back in 2016 and also was teammates with Van Meter in Mexicali this season. The 26-year-old left-handed pitcher had a strong regular season with Aguilas posting a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts.
Samayoa was drafted by the Texas Rangers back in 2013 and has been pitching in Mexican baseball since then. He has built quite a resume in Mexico, throwing in the LMB with Leones de Yucatan from 2016-2019.
Along with the latest signings, Tijuana will also count with other pitchers like Yoanis Quiala, who was named pitcher of the year in the Mexican Pacific League this year. The Toros are set for an exciting 2020 season with Omar Vizquel at the helm, and it certainly looks like the pitching will be a key to success.