DURHAM, NC – Lincoln Saltdogs 1B Dennis Raben (pictured) leads the American Association in both home runs and RBI. So, it should come as no surprise that the Kansas City Royals came calling for the University of Miami product earlier today. The Royals have purchased Raben’s contract and are expected to send the left-handed hitter to High-A Wilmington.
This will be Raben’s second stint in affiliated baseball, as he spent four seasons in the Seattle Mariners’ organization. Seattle actually drafted Raben twice. The M’s liked the hard-hitting lefty enough to pick him out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, FL) with their 49th round pick in 2005. Then, in 2008, Seattle took Raben in the second round. After signing, Raben began at Short Season Everett in the Northwest League and climbed up to High-A High Desert by 2012.
In 23 games with the Saltdogs this season, Raben hit 10 home runs and tallied 25 RBI to lead the American Association. In addition, the left-handed hitting first baseman was 36-for-88 at the plate. That gives Raben the second-best batting average in the league at .409. Raben also had two multi-home run games. Those numbers prompted Kansas City to purchase Raben’s contract earlier today. Raben is expected to join the Wilmington Blue Rocks later this week.