CHARLESTON, S.C. - College of Charleston slugger Daniel Aldrich has signed a free agent contract to play with the New York Yankees.
A local native from Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Aldrich finished the 2012 season with 11 home runs and 46 RBI, batting .287 at the plate. He was second on the team in walks with 32, while leading the squad with seven triples. Aldrich delivered clutch hits in some of the Cougars' signature victories this past season, launching home runs in wins over No. 8 South Carolina and Clemson and the game-winning single to beat Coastal Carolina. He earned All-Gainesville Regional Team honors after hitting .417 with two doubles and a home run in three NCAA games.
In 2011, Aldrich had a breakout season as he was named the NCBWA Freshman Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball National Freshman of the Year and SoCon Freshman of the Year. He was selected as a Louisville Slugger All-American, NCBWA All-American, ABCA/Rawlings All-American, and CBI All-American. He won the 2011 TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby while leading all Division I freshmen in home runs (22), RBIs (73), slugging percentage (.739) and total bases (164).
Aldrich had just finished his summer season with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League, after the squad was knocked out of the playoffs on Sunday night. Aldrich helped lead the Kettleers to the best record in the league's regular season, hitting .350 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI.
Although he would have only been a redshirt-junior next season, Aldrich finishes his CofC career ranked sixth in program history in home runs (33), and sixth in triples (9). His 22 home runs in 2011 rank third in school history for the most in one season.
With the signing, Aldrich becomes the sixth player from the 2012 College of Charleston team to sign a professional contract. He joins drafted players Marty Gantt (Rays), Christian Powell (Twins), David Peterson (Braves) and free-agent signees Kyle Owings (Diamondbacks) and Josh Renfro (Cardinals).
Former College of Charleston standout Brett Gardner has been in the N.Y. Yankee organization since getting drafted in the third round in 2005. Gardner won a World Series ring with the club in 2009, but has been plagued by injury in 2012.