Bridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have invited pitcher J.B. Kole and catcher Mike Kerns from the open tryouts to join the team in spring training beginning at TD Bank Ballpark on Tuesday, April 12th.
Kole is a right-handed pitcher from Basking Ridge, New Jersey with two seasons of service in the Milwaukee Brewers organization at the Rookie Ball level.
He spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons in Helena of the Pioneer League where he appeared in 27 games over the past two years. Last season, he finished with a 4.38 ERA and 31 strikeouts over 49.1 innings pitched.
“J.B. has a great downward angle and good arm. He located well with a good two and four seam fastball. He also showed a good changeup and a decent slider when he does not try to overthrow it. I am excited to see him come out to camp and compete,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie.
While at Ridge High School, Kole was the 2011 Somerset County Player of the Year and the MVP of the Somerset County Championship Tournament held at TD Bank Ballpark. He played college ball at Villanova University before becoming the eighth round pick of the Brewers in the 2014 June Amateur Draft.
“It’ll be nice playing so close to home. Coming to the tryout took about 25 minutes,” said Kole. “I felt that the command of my fastball was definitely there, which is a must for just about any pitcher. I felt consistency with my changeup and then towards the end my slider had everything working for me. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the mound and competing at a very high level.”
Kerns brings two seasons of professional baseball experience, most recently with the Camden Riversharks in 2015. The year prior, Kerns had his best season with Roswell and hit .377 with 63 hits and 37 RBI in 49 games played in 2014.
“Mike showed today that he is a good receiver and blocker. I can tell right off the bat that he’s a hard worker. He needs to get a little better with his throws, but he is a dependable guy that has potential,” Jodie said.
Kerns attended Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and Penn State University, Abington Campus.
“Playing against Somerset last year, you could always see that everything is first class. Everybody on the team could really play and make each game competitive. I’m really excited for the challenge to play on the same team with these guys after such a great year,” said Kerns.
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.
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