The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have signed left-handed pitcher Kelvin Rodriguez and right-handed hurler Bradey Welsh for the upcoming 2019 season, adding depth and experience to the pitching staff. Both played last year in the Atlanta Braves organization.
Rodriguez is coming off his best professional season at Single-A Rome in 2018, where he was the Braves' closer and a mid-season South Atlantic League all-star with a 2.73 ERA, 13 saves, 66 strikeouts and 27 walks in 59 1/3 innings. The 6'5" southpaw played a total of four seasons with the Braves after signing as a 21-year old out of the Dominican Republic, and over 92 career appearances owns 148 strikeouts against 55 walks in 167 2/3 innings along with a 12-9 record and a 2.68 ERA.
"Kelvin has the chance to really impact the back end of our bullpen," Miners manager Mike Pinto said. "He has velocity and great deception in his delivery. He had an all-star season in the 'Sally' league last year, and that will be something he can build on this summer with us."
Welsh, a 22-year old from Marshfield, Missouri, joins the black and gold after one season with the Braves, posting a 4.21 ERA over 14 games along with 20 strikeouts and 13 walks in 25 2/3 innings between Rookie-levels GCL Braves and Danville in 2018. The 6'1" right-hander finished the season by allowing just two earned runs over 14 1/3 frames in his last eight appearances for an ERA of 1.25 in that span. Welsh turned pro after his junior season at Arkansas State University, where he went 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA in 14 starts while striking out 70 and walking just 19 in 82 2/3 innings for the Red Wolves.
"Bradey will be in the mix for our rotation this summer," Pinto said. "He is a guy with good command and a good mix of pitches. He finished his season strong last year, and had a good spring. We are looking forward to seeing him in a Miners uniform next month."
Be sure to follow the Miners online at southernillinoisminers.com and on social media as they prepare for the 2019 season!
The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League's most-successful franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.