Peoria adds Two; Defendis Released

PEORIA, IL— The Peoria Chiefs in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs have announced that outfielder Kevin Collins and infielder Kyle Reynolds have joined the team from extended spring training. To make room for the two new players, the Cubs have released infielder Luis Rivera and outfielder Johnny Defendis.

Collins was a Midwest League mid-season and Post-Season All-Star in 2004 with Lansing and finished that season with a .290 batting average, 33 home runs, 26 doubles and 86 RBI. Last season in High-A Daytona, Collins was batting .265 with 18 homers, 15 doubles and 52 RBI when he separated his shoulder while slamming into the outfield wall.

He has not appeared in a game since and his been in Mesa, AZ rehabbing the injury. Collins was drafted by the Cubs in the 24th round of the 1999 draft out of Pasco Hernando Community College in Florida. He led the Northwest League in hitting in 2002 with a .342 average and 13 homers before hitting .225 with 14 homers in Lansing in 2003.

Reynolds was drafted out of Baylor University in the 6th round last June and played in one game in Mesa before moving up to Boise for the remainder of the season. In 52 Northwest League games, Reynolds batted .256 with five homers, six doubles, 24 RBI and 28 runs scored. The 22 year old left-handed hitter played 26 games at shortstop last season and 17 at second base.

Rivera, a native or Puerto Rico, was batting .080 (2-for25) with three runs scored in 10 games. He saw action at third base, second base and shortstop with the Chiefs this season and last year when he batted .348. Rivera was signed in June 2005 by the Cubs out of Florida International University and started his career in Mesa before joining the Chiefs in late July.

Defendis appeared in nine games and was batting .172 (5-for-29) with two doubles and one run scored. He was drafted out of Rutgers in the 29th round last June. The 22 year old hit .324 with two homers, 12 doubles and 33 RBI in 62 games last season split between Mesa and Boise.

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