(Bridgewater, N.J., Jan. 18, 2019) - The Somerset Patriots have announced the signing of right-handed pitcher James Pugliese for the 2019 season. His rights were acquired in a trade with the York Revolution for the rights to infielder Nate Coronado.
“I’m really excited to be coming home and playing for Somerset,” said Pugliese. “This will be the closest I’ve been to home while playing home games in my career, so I have a lot of friends and family that are excited to see me pitch again. I’ve enjoyed the Atlantic League and have heard great things about Somerset, so it should be fun.”
Pugliese enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and second in the Atlantic League. He joined the Revolution in late June last season and posted a 5-1 record with a 2.29 ERA and 36 strikeouts over 35.1 innings pitched as a reliever. This came after he began the year with Double-A Tennessee in the Chicago Cubs organization, where he struck out five batters over six relief appearances.
The Trenton, New Jersey native truly excelled in the second half of the 2018 season. Pugliese only allowed four runs over 28.2 innings of work after the All-Star Break, good for a 1.26 ERA. That included a stretch from August 6th through September 5th where he made 12 consecutive scoreless relief appearances with 17 strikeouts against just three walks. Additionally, the 26 year-old boasted the second-lowest ERA among all Atlantic League pitchers in the month of August (min. 10 appearances) and allowed just one run over his final 16 appearances of the season.
“We are proud to be joined by James this upcoming year,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Pugliese brings some versatility to our pitching staff, as he can start and relieve. He was extremely effective out of the pen with York last year in a variety of roles. He’s a New Jersey kid that pounds the zone with strikes and will be a great addition to our clubhouse.”
Pugliese spent the first seven seasons of his professional career in the Cubs organization, including four separate stints at the Double-A level. He was twice named a Mid-Season All-Star in his time as a Cubs farmhand; once with Low-A Boise in 2013 and a second time with Double-A Tennessee in 2017. That 2017 marked arguably his best in professional baseball, posting a 7-2 record with a 1.84 ERA with one save over 40 appearances (seven starts).
The Steinert High School standout played one year of college baseball at Mercer County College. He went 6-1 with a 1.27 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 56.2 innings at MCC before the Cubs selected him in the 18th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur draft.
Pugliese owns a 34-25 record with a 3.34 ERA over his eight-year professional career.
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)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 40 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 900 players and 70 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.