Somerset Patriots Welcome Back All-Star Outfielder Aharon Eggleston

eggyblogsBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced that three-time Atlantic League All-Star outfielder Aharon Eggleston has been re-signed for the 2017 season.

 

“I’m excited about my return to Somerset,” said Eggleston. “Somerset has become a second family to me. They are a first-class organization and I am happy they’ve decided to have me back.”

 

Eggleston enters his fifth season with the Somerset Patriots and fifth in the Atlantic League. He was played in each of the last four seasons with the Patriots, and was named a mid-season All-Star in 2013, 2015 and 2016, along with being named a postseason All-Star in 2013 and 2015. Additionally, Eggleston was named to the 2016 Atlantic League Red, White and Blue All-Defensive team.

 

Last year, “Eggy” hit .310 with eight home runs and 55 RBI. His .310 batting average ranked second on the team and seventh in the league, while his .388 on-base percentage led the team and ranked fourth in the league. Additionally, Eggleston finished second on the team in runs (73) and hits (142). Defensively, he recorded just two errors in 2013 chances in the outfield.

 

The San Diego, California native enjoyed a strong 2015 as well, finishing second in the league in on-base percentage (.390) and seventh in batting (.289), while also tallying five home runs and 46 RBI.

 

Eggleston continued his strong play into the postseason that year, leading the eventual Atlantic League champions with nine runs scored, including a .333 average, two home runs, three RBI and a team-high .529 on-base percentage.

 

“What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Eggy,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “He’s a true professional that comes ready to play every day and knows what it takes to win. He’s about as consistent and solid of a player as they come both offensively and defensively. Eggy’s really a joy to have around because he is a leader and someone we look to for guys to see what it means to be a Somerset Patriot. We are thrilled to have him back with us this season.”

 

The lefty outfielder’s 2013 All-Star campaign included a .294 average over 120 games with eight home runs, 56 RBI, 12 stolen bases and a league-high 93 runs scored.

 

Eggleston has hit .290 with 22 home runs, 162 RBI, 38 stolen bases and 286 runs scored in 417 games over his four seasons with Somerset.

 

The Southern Arkansas University alum has a career .303 batting average in minor league baseball with 46 home runs, 509 RBI, 170 stolen bases and 726 runs scored over 1,040 games played.

Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary and the Atlantic League All-Star Game at TD Bank Ballpark, are on sale now. For more information, stop by TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

 

 

About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.

 

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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Somerset Patriots LHP Jeremy Bleich Signed By Arizona Diamondbacks

bleichblogsBridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced that left-handed pitcher Jeremy Bleich has been signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

The Louisiana native went 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA over 17 relief appearances with the Somerset Patriots in 2016. Additionally, Bleich struck out 28 batters against just three walks in his 22 innings of work.

 

Earlier this week, Bleich was selected to represent Team Israel in the WBC. The southpaw allowed one unearned run with three strikeouts over 2.1 innings pitched for Israel in the 2016 WBC qualifiers.

 

He has played in the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies organizations, including three seasons of Triple-A service.

 

Bleich was originally drafted by the Yankees in the 1st round (44th overall) of the 2008 June Amateur MLB Draft out of Stanford University.

 

Bleich played in three-straight seasons at the Triple-A level from 2014-2016, including most recently with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs before joining the Somerset Patriots. He also went 4-2 with a 4.14 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 41.1 innings pitched last season in Double-A Reading.

 

The left-hander compiled a 2.60 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 17.1 innings for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians in 2015.

 

Bleich has a minor league career 3.82 ERA with 446 strikeouts in 553.2 innings over 198 games.

 

Bleich is the eighth member of the 2016 Somerset Patriots team to join a Major League organization. Starting pitcher Darin Gorski (New York Mets) along with relief pitchers Gus Schlosser (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Brandon Sisk (Seattle Mariners) all had their contracts purchased during the season. Left-handed pitcher Nik Turley (Minnesota Twins), infielder David Vidal (Miami Marlins) and right-handed pitchers Alexis Candelario (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Jim Miller (Minnesota Twins) were all signed earlier this offseason.

 

Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary and the Atlantic League All-Star Game at TD Bank Ballpark, are on sale now. For more information, stop by TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

 

 

About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.

 

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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Somerset Patriots Welcome Back 2014 ALPB Left-Handed Pitcher Of The Year Matt Zielinski

zielinskiblogsBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced that 2014 Atlantic League Left-Handed Pitcher of the Year and 2015 league-champion Matt Zielinski has been signed for the 2017 season.

 

“The Somerset Patriots are a first-class organization,” said Zielinski. “I am excited for the opportunity to help replicate the success we had in 2015.”

 

Zielinski enters his third season with the Somerset Patriots and third in the Atlantic League. He previously played for the Patriots in both 2014 and 2015. In 2014, Zielinski was named the league’s Left-Handed Pitcher of the Year after he posted a 10-8 record with a 3.27 ERA (sixth-best in the league). He also started in the Atlantic League All-Star Game that season.

 

The Southampton, Pennsylvania native followed up his strong 2014 season with an equally impressive 2015 campaign. Zielinski went 8-4 and finished second in the Atlantic League with a 2.86 ERA. Only teammate Sean Bierman, who finished with an Atlantic League-record 1.79 ERA, had a lower mark.

 

Additionally, the southpaw enjoyed a 17-start stretch from June 5th to September 3rd in which he suffered just one loss that season. Zielinski later earned a win in Game Three of the Atlantic League Championship Series with 6.1 innings of three-run baseball en route to winning the championship, the team’s league-record sixth title.

 

Overall, Zielinski is 18-12 with a 3.06 ERA over 53 games (47 starts) in his two seasons with the Patriots.

 

“It is a pleasure to welcome Matt back,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Matt had some great years for us and was a vital part of the 2015 championship season. He will again compete for a spot in our rotation where he has had so much success in the past. Matt is not only a great left-handed pitcher, but he is a tremendous addition to our locker room. He understands what it takes to win and what it means to be a Patriot.”

 

Last year, Zielinski made 11 starts with Bologna in the Italian Baseball League. “Z” went 9-0 over his 11 starts with a 0.42 ERA (three earned runs over 64.1 innings): both of which led the league.

 

Zielinski spent three seasons with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League prior to joining Somerset in 2014, including a 9-7 season in 2013 in which he led the league with 114 strikeouts.

 

The West Chester University of Pennsylvania alumnus owns a 35-28 record with a 3.03 ERA and 483 strikeouts over his six-year professional career.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary and the Atlantic League All-Star Game at TD Bank Ballpark, are on sale now. For more information, stop by TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

 

 

About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.

 

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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Somerset Patriots National Anthem Auditions Set For Saturday, March 11th

anthemauditionsfbBridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots, along with Magic 98.3 FM and WCTC 1450 AM, have announced that the team will host National Anthem Auditions on Saturday, March 11th from 12-4 pm at Bridgewater Commons Mall.

 

The event will be a fundraiser designed to benefit Operation Shoebox New Jersey, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to collecting donated supplies to ship care packages to U.S. troops based overseas.

 

There will be a $10 fee to audition, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit Operation Shoebox New Jersey. The $10 donation is tax deductible and all participants will have the opportunity to sign a letter that will be included in a care package to a soldier.

 

The Patriots will audition up to 100 soloists and small groups during the event with up to ten winners being selected to return as finalists to sing the National Anthem in front of judges at TD Bank Ballpark at a later date.   During this time the judges will have the chance to hear the finalists sing the National Anthem and give final approval to perform at the ballpark during the season.

 

Interested individuals can register for the auditions by e-mailing Nicole Comple at ncomple@somersetpatriots.com.

 

The Patriots are looking for participants of all ages with no prior auditioning experience for the team. Past winners are asked not to audition again as the team already has their information on file to be used again when needed. Singers will be judged on vocal talent, stage presence and their ability to perform before a large crowd.

 

During the auditions, each singer will have up to one minute to sing, a cappella, the song of their choice. Contestants will not be permitted to sing the National Anthem at this time. All contestants will be required to perform a song that is appropriate for a family audience.

 

The team will also set up a waiting list to provide a chance for singers to fill in if a registered individual cannot make the audition.   All participants must pre-register with the Somerset Patriots.

 

The event will take place at center court on the lower level of Bridgewater Commons. In addition to the National Anthem auditions, the event will include interactive games and contests for mall patrons to win prizes, special offers for tickets and merchandise, and the ability to interact with team representatives. Sparkee The Mascot and his pal Slider will be at the mall to entertain young fans.

 

Magic 98.3 FM and WCTC 1450 AM are the event’s media partner and New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Famer Bert Baron will serve as emcee.

 

This is the 14th year the Patriots will be hosting National Anthem auditions and second time the event will take place at Bridgewater Commons.

 

Representatives from Operation Shoebox New Jersey will be on-site to help promote their organization and encourage additional donations for our troops.

 

Operation Shoebox New Jersey has shipped more than 100,000 total packages to U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and other posts in the Middle East. For more information, visit www.opshoeboxnj.org.

 

Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary and the Atlantic League All-Star Game at TD Bank Ballpark, are on sale now. For more information, stop by TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

 

 

About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.

 

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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Somerset Patriots Add MLB Outfielder Jerry Sands

sands alBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced that Major League outfielder Jerry Sands has been signed for the 2017 season.

 

“I have heard a lot of good things not only about the Somerset Patriots, but also about the Atlantic League,” said Sands. “I look forward to playing in front of the best fans in the league and giving it all I got.”
Sands enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and first in the Atlantic League. He has spent parts of the last three seasons in the big leagues, and begins his first season with the Patriots with five years of service at the Major League level.

 

The Middletown, New York native broke into the Majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011, where he hit .253 with four home runs and 26 RBI over 61 games. Sands made it back to the big leagues with the Dodgers in 2012 and the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014 before appearing in 50 games with the Cleveland Indians in 2015. That season, he hit .236 with four home runs and 19 RBI over 50 games.

 

Most recently, Sands split time between the Chicago White Sox and their Triple-A affiliate, Charlotte, last year. He hit one home run and recorded seven RBI over 24 games with the White Sox. In 156 games at the major league level, Sands has hit .238 with 10 home runs and 57 RBI.

“We are happy to have Jerry as a part of our 2017 team,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “We are excited about what he will bring both offensively and defensively. We hope Jerry will help us win some games while he is here and then get back to where he belongs: in the Majors. I think we will be a good fit for each other and look forward to what the future holds.”

 

The Catawba College alumnus hit at least 26 home runs with at least 88 RBI per season in a stretch from 2010-12. In 2011 with Triple-A Albuquerque, Sands batted .278 with 88 RBI and finished fourth in the Pacific Coast League with 29 home runs. The following season, he led the PCL in RBI (107) and finished third in homers (26) with a .296 batting average.

 

In October of 2012, Sands was traded as a Player To Be Named Later along with four other players from the Dodgers to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Two months later, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a package along with Mark Melancon for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt.

 

Sands owns a career .274 batting average with 159 home runs and 535 RBI in nine professional seasons in minor league baseball.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary and the Atlantic League All-Star Game at TD Bank Ballpark, are on sale now. For more information, stop by TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

 

 

About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.

 

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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