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Right-Hander Returns after Proctor Trade

Last July, the Lancaster Barnstormers traded right-hander Cole Aker to High Point in exchange for catcher/outfielder Chris Proctor.

In 2023, the Barnstormers will have both Aker, a former UNC Tar Heel and Proctor, a former Duke Blue Devil, as Aker has signed a Lancaster contract for the upcoming season, it has been announced by manager Ross Peeples.

He is the 15th player under contract for the 2023 season and the 13th to be rejoining the ‘Stormers from last year’s club.

Aker, 26, was 2-2 with one save and a 5.64 ERA in 20 relief outings for the Barnstormers in 2022.  He was dealt to the Rockers on July 23 and made seven more appearances for the Rockers before being released.

The native of Memphis who grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 18th round of the 2018 draft.  With the Cardinals, he reached A+ Peoria in 2021, entering 20 games. 

He spent two collegiate seasons with North Carolina and one with the University of Tampa.

“Aker pitched well when he was here,” said Peeples.  “He has gained 20-25 pounds of muscle and supposedly a little velocity on his fastball.  From the videos we have seen, he will be interesting to watch this spring.”

The Barnstormers will begin their defense of the Atlantic League title on Friday, April 28 at Southern Maryland.