Risinger back with the Padres

The San Diego Padres bought the contract of Ben Risinger from the Gary SouthShore RailCats of the Northern League last week.

If the name Ben Risinger sounds familiar to you it is because it should. The Australia native began his tour of duty in the Padres' system in 2000 when he was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

A career .251 hitter, Risinger had his best year in 2002 with the Mobile BayBears when he hit .288 with 26 doubles, three homers and 44 RBI's.

He made it to Triple-A in 2005 but was released by the Padres after hitting .211 in 128 at bats.

Signed by the RailCats, Risinger batted .310 with three home runs and 17 RBI's and batted .432 in the post-season while leading the team in home runs (3) and runs batted in (12), leading SouthShore to the Northern League Championship.

"I would not be surprised if someone gives him a chance in the Majors," broadcaster Tom Nichols, formerly of the Double-A Mobile BayBears and now heading up the game calling for the RailCats, said. "Plays a lot of positions, great clubhouse guy. He really cared about winning when he was here and helped us out tremendously."

Risinger can play any number of positions on the infield and played at third base, first and catcher for the Portland squad last year. He has also seen time at second base and played shortstop when he first came into the minors.

Risinger, 28, will likely head back to Portland in 2006, adding veteran leadership to the squad.

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