“I have heard a lot of great things about the Patriots, city, organization and fans,” Nieves said. “I talked to David Vidal, Will Oliver, Roy Merritt and Connor Little about the Patriots and how I wanted to come and play here. I am real excited for the opportunity to battle for a starting spot.”
Nieves enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and first in the Atlantic League. The southpaw has spent time in the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays organizations. He played at the High-A level in both the Brewers and Blue Jays organizations, including the 2014 season in the Florida State League with High-A Dunedin. There, Nieves carried a 2.30 ERA over 44 appearances (four starts) with three wins and one save.
The Bayamon, Puerto Rico native spent the 2015 season with the Evansville Otters in the Frontier League, posting an 8-2 record with a 2.68 ERA over 14 games (12 starts). Nieves also tossed two complete games and one shutout with the Otters.
“We are excited to see the many newcomers compete in spring training, but I am especially eager to see Efrain,” manager Brett Jodie said. “He has pitched in many different roles for the teams for which he has played. We know he has a lot of versatility and can be effective in those many roles.”
The 2007 seventh-round draft pick by the Brewers out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy is 54-44 with a 4.10 ERA in 318 appearances (94 starts) in his nine-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