“This will be the first time for me to play close to home in my professional career, so I am real excited about that,” Kral said. “I remember playing some showcases in the ballpark and have heard a lot of great things about the organization. They have a great reputation.”
Kral enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and first in the Atlantic League. He previously spent the first five years of his career in the San Diego Padres organization, with Triple-A service in both 2012 and 2015. Kral played in 19 games with Triple-A El Paso last year, recording three doubles and three RBI.
His best season came in 2013 with High-A Lake Elsinore, where he hit .286 with 13 home runs and 45 RBI over 80 games. He added five home runs and 23 RBI with Double-A San Antonio later that season.
“Rob will work well with our pitching staff and be great in our clubhouse,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Rob has been behind other catchers almost his entire career, but in his opportunity to be the main guy, he really thrived. We think the upside could be great with him. He has the potential to be a complete player.”
Kral recorded five hits over 13 at-bats with three runs scored with Triple-A Tulsa in his first season in the Pacific Coast League in 2012.
The 2011 10th-round draft pick from the College of Charleston has 26 home runs and 101 RBI over his five-year professional career.
The Somerset Patriots won their Atlantic League leading sixth championship during the 2015 season. Tickets are now on-sale for the upcoming 2016 season and the schedule can be viewed at www.somersetpatriots.com. For more information or to purchase tickets for the 2016 season, 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 34 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