JC Escarra signs with the Tijuana Toros.

Power-hitting catcher/outfielder JC Escarra has signed with the Tijuana Toros after working out a buyout with the Gastonia Honey Hunters of the Atlantic League. The slugger is having the best season of his career in the independent circuit. Escarra will report to the ball club on Monday.

In 40 games this season with Gastonia he is slashing .350/.427/.719/1.146 with 15 longballs and 40 RBIs. Escarra was second in the league in homeruns and runs batted in, while he is third in batting average.

Escarra was traded this offseason from the Kansas City Monarchs of the American Association to Gastonia, the Honey Hunters were looking for another big bat to insert in their lineup and that is exactly what they received. During May Escarra hit a robust .364 with eight longballs and 31 runs batted in earning player of the month honors. Escarra said this about his accomplishment, “It feels great. It is a great accomplishment and accolade. I also hope to build on it as I move forward this season.”

When I spoke to the Cuban-American earlier today he had this to say about the level of play in the Atlantic League in comparison to the American Association, ” I believe both leagues a lot of talent and competition but the level of pitching is far better here in the Atlantic (League). Numbers don’t lie we have already had five pitchers signed by other leagues in one month from our roster alone. We had only had one pitcher sign the whole year in the American (Association) last season. ”

The ex-Oriole prospect had also had a strong winter in Puerto Rico with the Leones de Ponce hitting .277 with two longballs, 14 doubles and 25 runs batted in, in 47 games with ballclub. His efforts also earned him a berth in the league’s all-star game. Escarra looks to supplement a strong Toros lineup that already includes Jack Mayfield, Aderlin Rodríguez, Nick Williams and Félix Pérez.

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