Bridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced that closer Jon Hunton has been voted as the #4 Patriot in team history.
The Top 20 Patriots presented by AT&T is a season-long promotion as part of the team’s 20th Season. The Top 20 Patriots were voted on by the fans and ranked by an expert panel of team officials, media, and long-time fans.
“It’s an honor. There are a lot of great players that have come through here and that I played with over the years,” said Hunton. “Being part of this list of extraordinary players for a team so close to where I live and grew up makes it even more special.”
The now six-year Somerset Patriot originally joined the team during the 2008 championship race. He re-joined the team in 2013 to start an impressive run as the top closer in the Atlantic League, saving 30 or more games in four straight seasons.
In 2013, he set a team saves record with 37 on his way to All-Star and Post-Season All-Star recognition.
Hunton then broke the Atlantic League record for saves in a single-season with 49 in 2014. He finished the season as an Atlantic League Post-Season All-Star for a performance that also included a 2.08 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 56.1 innings pitched over 59 games.
During the 2015 championship season, Hunton led the Atlantic League with 32 saves and carried a 3.09 ERA over 50 appearances.
Hunton’s 37 saves led the league during the 2016 season and helped him shatter the Atlantic League career saves record. He then added to the mark to finish with 165 saves going into 2017.
“All the records are really a tribute to the great players I’ve had the fortune to play with over the years. If the team isn’t successful, there wouldn’t even be the possibility of any records. The teams over the last five years consistently have been among the best in the league. Wins and saves come with that,” added Hunton.
In 2014, Hunton took on the role of Director of Player Personnel and was responsible for player signings and transactions alongside Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. In doing so, Hunton became the first player in professional baseball to hold the title of Director of Player Personnel while still playing. Hunton has 274 career saves over a 13-year career that’s taken him all over the United States and around the world.
The 6’9” Hunton has become a larger than life figure in Somerset Patriots history. Hunton’s local roots and success on the mound over a long period of time made him a fan favorite. His apt nickname “Big Jon,” that is accompanied by its own sound byte each time he enters a game or records an out, has made him stand out even more.
“I think a lot of people relate to the fact that I was born and raised down the road from the ballpark. I think that makes me very approachable and have an instant connection with the fans. I’ve always tried to give back because the fans are the ones that cheer the loudest for you so you always want them on your side,” said Hunton.
Not many players in franchise history have been more dominant in his role or has added more excitement when entering a game. Somerset continues to be Hunton’s home and his love of the team is clear every time he takes the mound or a phone call from a potential player.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary, are on sale. 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 37 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.