Charlotte Knights In Focus: Stefan Gartrell
Fort Mill, SC – The Chicago White Sox signed a familiar name to Charlotte Knights’ fans last week. Stefan Gartrell, who clobbered 27 home runs and collected 80 RBI in 2010 for the Knights – his first full season in Triple-A – returns to the organization that drafted him.
After a solid 2012 season (.251-20-55 in 122 games) for Gwinnett, Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, the White Sox signed Gartrell in early January to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League spring training where he will seek his first-ever spot on a Big League roster.
Gartrell, 29, spent the first five years of his professional career in the White Sox organization after Chicago drafted him in the 31st round of the 2006 draft out of the University of San Francisco. The 6′-3”, 230-pound slugger was traded to the Braves organization seven games into the 2011 season while a member of the Knights. Over the past two seasons in Gwinnett, the San Francisco, Calif., native piled up 45 home runs and 146 RBI while being named an IL All-Star in 2011.
Over parts of three seasons (2009-11) with Charlotte, Gartrell hit .258 with 32 home runs and 102 RBI in 177 games. The 27 home runs he hit in 2010 was the 10th-most home runs in Knights single-season history. That season, Gartrell finished in the top five of the International League in games (1st, 139), at-bats (3rd, 534), home runs (2nd, 27) and RBI (T-4th, 80).
Despite his impressive numbers on the field, Gartrell made an even bigger contribution off the field. During his tenure with the Knights, Gartrell was actively involved in several different community initiatives.
“Getting our players and staff out in the community is a huge part of what we do and Stefan was one of those players I could always count on to volunteer,” said Lindsey Roycraft, Knights Director of Community Relations.
A consistent and durable player, Gartrell has hit at least 14 home runs and knocked in 50-plus runs in each of the last six seasons. In total, he is a career .269 hitter with 128 home runs and 466 RBI over seven professional seasons.
White Sox pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Glendale, AZ on Tuesday, February 12, with physicals and a workout scheduled for the same day. Gartrell and the rest of the position players will report and undergo physicals on Sunday, February 17. The first full-squad workout also will take place on that day.
The Knights open up their 24th and final season at Knights Stadium on April 11 at 7:15 pm against Gwinnett.