(Bridgewater, N.J., Feb. 9, 2016) – The Somerset Patriots have announced the signing of left-handed pitcher Matt Bywater. He enters his first season both with the Somerset Patriots and in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
“I’m extremely excited to get to Somerset and start playing again,” Bywater said. “Hopefully we will be able to repeat as champions this year.”
The southpaw began last year with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League, posting an 8-4 record with a 2.36 ERA (fifth best in the league), three complete games and one shutout over 16 starts. He also finished second in the league in strikeouts (123) against just 32 walks over 107 innings pitched.
Bywater was signed at the end of the 2015 season by the Atlanta Braves organization and placed in High-A Carolina. There, he earned two wins over five starts with 27 strikeouts in 24.2 innings of work.
The former Thousand Oaks, California native pitched with the Miners in 2014 as well, posting a near-identical line to his 2015 production: 8-4 with a 2.37 ERA and 114 strikeouts over a league-high 129.1 innings pitched. His ERA and strikeout totals each ranked third in the league, respectively.
“We are very excited to have Matt join our pitching staff. He is a young lefty with a great arm and a good idea of how to pitch,” Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie said. “Matt has pitched well at every level in which he has played. He is a strike-thrower with high strikeout ability. We look forward to having him suit up with the Patriots this season.”
Bywater spent the first three years of his professional baseball career with the Baltimore Orioles after he was selected in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. The Pepperdine University alum reached as high as Double-A Bowie in the Orioles organization in 2012.
The 26-year old owns a 23-20 record with a 3.07 ERA, 420 strikeouts and four complete games over 93 appearances (68 starts) in his five-year minor league career.
The Somerset Patriots won their Atlantic League leading sixth championship during the 2015 season. The schedule for 2016 has been released and can be viewed at www.somersetpatriots.com. For more information about the 2016 season, stop by TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.