BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have re-signed record-breaking closer Jon Hunton, who will also serve once again as the team's Director of Player Personnel.
“Even though I have a couple seasons under my belt with both roles, the preparation for the 2016 season is similar to any other; except this season we are the defending champions. I want to make sure just like any other season that we have not only great players on the field, but great guys in the clubhouse. I’m excited to put together the 2016 roster with the goal of keeping the championship in Somerset,” Hunton said.
Hunton enters his fifth season with the Patriots, and third as the Director of Player Personnel. Two years ago, Hunton became the first player in professional baseball to hold the title of Director of Player Personnel while still playing.
“I am extremely excited to team up with Jon in a quest for another championship. Jon takes extreme pride in his dual role with the Patriots. He works tirelessly to find young men that will represent the Patriots well both on and off the field,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie.
The 6’9” closer finished second in the Atlantic League in saves last year with 32, marking the third-straight season he has recorded at least 30 saves for Somerset. He also carried a 3.09 ERA over his 50 appearances on the year.
Hunton broke the Atlantic League record for saves in a single-season with 49 in 2014. He finished that season as the Atlantic League’s “Closer of the Year” for a performance that also included a 2.08 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 56.1 innings pitched in 59 games.
Hunton is now just six saves shy of the Atlantic League career record set by Southern Maryland’s Jim Ed Warden with 134.
Hunton has recorded 119 saves with a 2.74 ERA with the Patriots over his four-year tenure.
“I feel as though we have the league’s best closer in Jon. He has been very consistent in his pitching role with the Patriots and we have the utmost confidence in him. He does so many things for our club that do not go unnoticed beyond what his titles demand. I know Jon is excited about the challenge of the upcoming season and we are happy to have him as a huge part of our organization,” Jodie added.
The North Plainfield native has experience in the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A’s organizations, including a season at both the Double-A and Triple-A level.
Hunton joined Somerset late during the team’s championship run in 2008 and appeared in eight games. After his time with the Patriots, Hunton signed with the A’s, where he spent the next two seasons.
He also spent time in the Atlantic League during the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Long Island Ducks, where he recorded eight saves.
Hunton has a minor league career 42-40 record, a 3.17 ERA, 201 saves, and 565 strikeouts over 640.2 innings pitched in 563 games.