Atkins was 4-3 with a 4.06 ERA and 59 strikeouts over 62 innings pitched in 11 games started for Somerset this season.
He was in his second season with the Somerset Patriots and in the Atlantic League. The righty began the 2013 season in Somerset, where he made seven starts before his contract was purchased by the Atlanta Braves organization in late May. Prior to leaving, Atkins went 3-2 with a 3.97 ERA for the Patriots, including 39 strikeouts over 43 innings of work. He later went 5-2 with a 3.47 ERA in 17 games (16 starts) for Double-A Mississippi to end the 2013 campaign.
Atkins was signed by Somerset again for the 2015 season, but signed to play in Taiwan before the end of spring training.
The Gibsonville, North Carolina resident has made appearances in three different seasons at the Major League level: 2009-10 with the Chicago Cubs and 2011 with the Baltimore Orioles. Atkins appeared in 10 games (three starts) over those three years in the majors and tallied 17 strikeouts over 22.2 innings pitched.
Last year, Atkins split time between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket in the Boston Red Sox organization. Overall, the 6’4” hurler earned six wins with two saves and struck out 151 batters over 131.1 innings of work.
The 14-year pro owns a career 88-74 record in the minor leagues with a 4.29 ERA and 1,182 strikeouts, including 122 games (94 starts) at the Triple-A level.
Atkins becomes the eighth Somerset Patriot to have his contract purchased by a Major League organization this season. Most recently, slugging outfielder Jerry Sands joined the San Francisco Giants and reported to Double-A. Left-handed pitchers Jeremy Bleich and Logan Darnell both went to the Los Angeles Dodgers, right-handed pitchers Tyler Cloyd and Ryan Kelly joined the Seattle Mariners, southpaw Aaron Laffey went to the Arizona Diamondbacks and righty Vin Mazzaro joined the Cincinnati Reds. All seven pitchers were assigned to Triple-A.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by RWJBarnabas Health and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey on Wednesday, July 12th. For more information, stop by the 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.
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