BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have signed veteran right-handed pitcher Ryan Kelly, who like many of the Patriots 2017 hurlers, has spent time in the Major Leagues.
“I spoke with quite a few people about the Atlantic League, and always heard very good things,” said Kelly. “[Somerset] was high on me last year, which was big for me. With the fun environment I have heard about and the great coaching staff, the Patriots were a great fit for me.”
Kelly enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and first in the Atlantic League. The righty appeared in 17 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2015, and struck out 10 batters over 16.2 innings of work. Kelly earned his 2015 promotion after he posted a 3-1 record with a 0.95 ERA and 13 saves in 24 appearances with Triple-A Gwinnett earlier that season. Additionally, Kelly began the 2015 campaign with Double-A Mississippi where he recorded nine saves and tossed 17.2 innings without allowing an earned run (0.00 ERA).
The Blufton, SC resident began his professional career in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Kelly spent his first four seasons with the Pirates before he was traded three times during his fifth season, eventually landing with the San Diego Padres. There, he earned a promotion to Triple-A Tucson in both 2012 and 2013 after he posted a 4-1 record with a 2.66 ERA over 39 relief appearances with Double-A San Antonio in 2012.
“Ryan has a chance to be a dominant option out of our bullpen,” said Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “We look for Ryan to be a late-inning guy for us whenever we need some big outs. He has good strikeout numbers, low walk totals and the right makeup and attitude to be great at what he does. The future is bright for Ryan and we are happy to provide the necessary platform for him to succeed.”
Kelly spent the majority of his 2016 season with Vaqueros Laguna in the Mexican League. The Walters State Community College alumnus owns a 22-22 record with a 3.85 ERA and 57 saves in 289 games in the minors over his nine-year career, including a combined 2.73 ERA over 44 games at the Triple-A level.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots season, 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 July 12. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call 908-252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.