BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Somerset Patriots left-handed pitcher Nik Turley has signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins organization.
Turley joins the Twins organization after a standout 2016 season with the Somerset Patriots. The southpaw went 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA over 10 appearances (eight starts) in the regular season before dazzling in his lone postseason start in which he tossed seven shutout, three-hit innings with an Atlantic League postseason-record 14 strikeouts.
The first-year Patriot made his debut in Bridgewater July 28 after beginning the season with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox). In his second appearance with Somerset, Turley tossed three perfect innings of relief against the Long Island Ducks in which he struck out eight of the nine batters he faced. All eight strikeouts occurred consecutively, setting a new Atlantic League record for most consecutive strikeouts thrown in a game.
Overall, the La Canada, California native struck out 66 batters against 12 walks over 49 innings of work in the regular season. Additionally, Turley did not allow an earned run over his final three starts of the season (20 innings).
Turley’s signing marks the second-straight offseason in which a Somerset Patriots’ pitcher has signed with the Twins organization. Last year, Atlantic League Reliever of the Year Buddy Boshers signed with the Twins after posting a 3-1 record with a 1.50 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 54 innings with Somerset.
Boshers quickly returned to the Major Leagues May 28 with Minnesota, where he went 2-0 with a 4.25 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 37 appearances. The southpaw was later joined by 2015 Somerset Patriot shortstop Robert Andino as two members of last year’s championship squad to make it back to the Major Leagues.
Turley is the fourth member of this year’s Patriots team to join a Major League organization. Starting pitcher Darin Gorski (New York Mets) and relief pitchers Gus Schlosser (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Brandon Sisk (Seattle Mariners) all had their contracts purchased earlier this season.