Edward Albert Ponte
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.
- School State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
- High School Riverview High School
- Born September 20, 1967 in Somerville, MA USA
Pitcher Ed Ponte played in the Houston Astros minor league system from 1988 to 1993 and later in independent baseball from 1997 to 1999. In the Astros' system, he found success as a relief pitcher and in indy ball, he was successful as a starting pitcher.
Ponte was never drafted - he was signed by the Astros as an undrafted free agent prior to the start of the 1988 campaign by scout Shawn Pender. He pitched for the GCL Astros that season, going 0-0 with a 1.20 ERA in five relief appearances, striking out 22 batters in 15 innings. He allowed only 8 hits and saved one game. The following year, he went 11-3 with two saves and a 3.27 ERA in 42 relief appearances for the Asheville Tourists, allowing only 69 hits in 82 2/3 innings although he walked 38. Despite being used solely out of the bullpen, he led his club in victories.
He split 1990 between the Osceola Astros (1-3, 4 Sv, 2.83 ERA, 32 G) and Columbus Mudcats (1-2, 3.00 ERA, 18 G), going a combined 2-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 50 appearances. In 90 1/3 innings, he surrendered only 68 hits while striking out 97 batters. With Osceola in 1991, Ponte went 7-6 with 10 saves and a 1.78 ERA in 47 appearances, striking out 82 batters in 76 innings while allowing only 43 hits. His nine intentional walks were second most in the Florida State League, while his 32 games finished were third. He also had the best WHIP (0.848) and the second best hits per 9 innings ratio (5.01). He was not named one of the All-Star relievers in the FSL as Rich Batchelor and Julian Vasquez were selected.
In 1992, he pitched for the Burlington Astros (2-4, 1.79 ERA, 30 G, 10 Sv), Osceola Astros (1-1, 7.30 ERA, 7 G) and Jackson Generals (1-1, 2.54 ERA, 33 G), going a combined 4-6 with 10 saves and a 2.83 ERA in 70 games. He led the minor leagues in pitching appearances, two ahead of Rafael Chaves. He pitched for the Quad City River Bandits in 1993, going 3-6 with 17 saves and a 4.01 ERA in 39 games. He tied Doug Pettit for 7th in the Midwest League in saves, a distant 16 behind leader Kirk Bullinger.
He resurfaced in 1997, pitching for the Waterbury Spirit of the independent Northeast League. Now a starting pitcher, he went 5-6 with a 2.86 ERA in 15 starts. He was third in the league in ERA behind Ethan Merrill and Gardner O'Flynn. He was signed by the Cincinnati Reds in April 1998 and was loaned to the Cancun Langosteros of the Mexican League. Listed as Eduardo Aponte there, he was 0-3 with a 8.05 ERA in three starts before being let go. In May, he was resigned by Waterbury and went 7-4 with a 2.15 ERA in 12 games (11 starts). He was second in the Northeast League in ERA, .59 behind league Pitcher of the Year John DeSilva. He also spent a brief portion of the year with Taiwan's Brother Elephants, going 0-1 with five runs allowed in six innings.
Overall, Ponte went 45-42 with a 2.78 ERA and 44 saves in his American baseball career. He was 0-4 with a 7.92 ERA in Mexico and Taiwan.