03/13/2019 8:38 AM -
Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots today announced that two-time Atlantic League All-Star left-handed pitcher Duane Below has been re-signed for the 2019 season.
“I’m looking forward to playing for the Patriots again and am thankful for this opportunity,” said Below. “Hopefully we will get the job done this time around. It’s been a fun couple of years. I’m excited to get back up to Jersey and get going.”
Below enters his third season with the Somerset Patriots and third in the Atlantic League. The 6’3” southpaw went 9-6 with a 3.98 ERA over 22 starts in Somerset last year. He led the team in starts, wins, and innings pitched (128.2), while finishing second in strikeouts (94) during the regular season. Additionally, Below yielded just 22 walks on the season – fourth fewest in the Atlantic League among qualified pitchers. He walked more than one batter in only four of his 22 starts.
The Britton, Michigan native went 5-1 with a 2.88 ERA over 62.1 innings pitched as a reliever in his first season with the Patriots. His 46 relief appearances ranked third on the Patriots in 2017, while his ERA led the team among pitchers with at least 25 appearances. Additionally, Below struck out 58 batters against just nine walks.
Below has twice been named an Atlantic League All-Star. He carried a 2.21 first-half ERA in 2017 towards a selection to the Mid-Summer Classic in Somerset, while parlaying his 3.20 first-half ERA last year into a nod for the All-Star Game on Long Island. He has tossed two scoreless innings across his two All-Star Game appearances.
The Lake Michigan College alumnus owns a 14-7 record with a 3.65 ERA over 68 appearances (22 starts) in his two seasons with the Patriots.
“We are extremely happy to team up with Duane for his third season here,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Below has been a huge part of our organization’s success both on and off the field the last couple of years. He is a versatile lefty who has been outstanding as both a starter and reliever for us. He is a very hard worker and helps lead our younger guys on how to handle themselves. Below does so many things for our club that do not go unnoticed and we are fortunate to be joined by him again.”
The 13-year pro appeared in 43 games (three starts) in the Majors spread across three seasons (2011-13) with the Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins. Below’s best season in the majors came in 2012 with the Tigers in which he went 2-1 with a 3.88 ERA and 29 strikeouts against just eight walks in 27 appearances (one start).
Below spent 2015 and 2016 with Triple-A Las Vegas in the New York Mets organization after spending eight of the first nine years of his career in the Tigers organization. He recorded nine wins with Las Vegas in 35 appearances (28 starts) over those two years, including a 2.19 ERA over 49.1 innings of work in 2015.
The Somerset Patriots will be back in action on Friday, April 26th for Opening Day at TD Bank Ballpark. Stay up to date on all the team news throughout the offseason online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 900 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 40 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.