Brett Oberholtzer has been re-signed by the Somerset Patriots and will enter his 2nd ALPB season in 2020. This is technically Oberholtzer’s 3rd time signing with the Patriots, but in 2018, his contract was purchased by the Colorado Rockies after Spring Training (he would have been Somerset’s opening day starter). In 2019, the left-hander posted a 3.49 ERA and 1.332 WHIP in 77 and 1/3 ALPB innings before his contract was purchased by the CPBL’s Chinatrust Brothers. Please don’t ask how he did over there. Not even Baseball Reference is tracking that. In his 7 starts leading up to his move to Taiwan, Brett carried a 5-0 record with a 1.63 ERA in 44 innings of work. How long Oberholtzer stays in a Patriots uniform this time around is unknown, but he projects as a top of the rotation guy with Thomas Dorminy and Liam O’Sullivan.
The Long Island Ducks have re-signed right-hander Joe Iorio. 2019 was Iorio’s first Atlantic League season and his first as a starting pitcher. As a starter, Iorio went 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA, 72 strikeouts, and a 1.214 WHIP in 99 and 2/3 innings. In his 24 and 1/3 relief innings, Joe posted a 2.59 ERA with a 0.986 WHIP and an 8.50 K/W. Iorio even made the All-Star team and threw 3 scoreless innings of relief in Game 4 of the Atlantic League Championship Series to keep the Ducks alive in the series. It will be interesting to see how Joe comes back after shattering his career-high innings total in 2019. If his arm-strength sticks around after that heavy use, Iorio projects as a top-half of the rotation starter for Long Island in 2020 but may see action out of the bullpen as needed.
Projections: 109 IP, 1.484 WHIP, 3.74 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, 6.4 K/9
High-end Projections: 130 IP, 1.141 WHIP, 3.01 ERA, 2.1 BB/9, 7.3 K/9
Low-end Projections: 95 IP, 1.544 WHIP, 4.57 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 5.6 K/9
Sugar Land has re-signed right-handed utility man, Blair Beck. After 3 and ½ Frontier League seasons with the Windy City ThunderBolts, Beck got his first taste of the Atlantic League when he joined up with the Skeeters in late-June. Beck had struggled in the Frontier League and appeared to bottom out in his 30 games with the ThunderBolts in 2019 (.184/.292/.265). However, Beck’s numbers improved against some stiffer ALPB pitching. He kept his average above the Mendoza line (.234) and improved his OPS from .557 to .681. Beck doesn’t project to hit above .230 this year, but the added flexibility from a player who has started games at 6 positions is a positive for the Skeeters going into 2020.
The Blue Crabs have signed veteran utility-man Jonathan Galvez after acquiring the 29-year-old’s rights in the New Britain Bees dispersal draft in the fall. In 2019, Galvez’s 5th Atlantic League season, he posted his best ALPB batting average and slugging percentage (part of a .305/.352/.485 season). Galvez’s mix of Atlantic League experience, ability to play multiple positions, and improved numbers at the plate are all positive indicators for Southern Maryland in 2020.
Projections: 415 PA, 33 Runs Created, 12 HR, .605 OPS, 1.0 WAR (MLB Equiv. Phil Ervin)
High-end Projections: 430 PA, 35 Runs Created, 13 HR, .615 OPS, 1.2 WAR
Low-end Projections: 395 PA, 29 Runs Created, 10 HR, .595 OPS, 0.7 WAR