FARGO – Brian Humphries doesn't consider himself a home-run hitter, but the outfielder is expected to add juice to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks lineup.
"He's got the ability to carry the team a little bit and be in the middle of the lineup," RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. "He's a run producer."
Humphries had a strong season with the Sioux Falls Canaries last summer, batting .310 with 24 doubles, 15 home runs and 58 RBIs in 98 games. Humphries ranked third in the American Association in total bases (197) and finished with 40 extra-base hits.
"I'm more a line-drive, gap (hitter)," said Humphries, who is from El Cajon, Calif. "I don't hit towering fly-ball home runs. I don't go into the box trying to hit home runs."
The 26-year-old Humphries spent four seasons in the Colorado Rockies organization before he played for Sioux Falls. The left-handed hitter has a .291 batting average over his five professional seasons. His 15 home runs with the Canaries were a career high for a season.
"I like that he plays with a lot of confidence," Simunic said. "He's a very confident player."
The RedHawks finished last season with a 44-56 record. F-M had a .267 team batting average last season, which ranked 10th in the American Association. The RedHawks finished with 55 home runs in 100 games. Humphries should help the team improve in those areas.
Simunic thinks Humphries can replicate, and even improve, on the power numbers he posted in Sioux Falls last summer.
"He's got the ability to do the same thing, maybe do a few more," Simunic said of the home runs. "The ballpark should fit him."
Humphries liked what he saw of Newman Outdoor Field in the games he played as an opponent in the ballpark last season. His focus is to build off last summer's production.
"My goal is to do better than that," Humphries said. "I want to do everything I can to help this team win."
The RedHawks acquired Humphries from the Canaries for cash during this offseason. F-M announced it had signed Humphries last week.
"It's a great opportunity. It's a very good organization," Humphries said. "It's an organization that prides itself on winning. It's a nice facility. ... I saw that when I played against (the RedHawks) last year."
Humphries is expected to play one of the corner outfield spots for the RedHawks, most likely right field.
"He's an all-around player, and when he's up at the plate, he means business," Simunic said.