March 24, 2020, Bridgewater, NJ - The Somerset Patriots have signed right-handed pitcher Josh Almonte for the 2020 season.
“It’s a new start for me that I’m really excited about,” said Almonte. “Anytime you get to play for a new team, it’s a positive opportunity. I’m looking forward to getting to know the guys, helping the team win and playing close to my family.”
Almonte enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and his first in the Atlantic League. The 26-year old was originally a 22nd-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2012 MLB Draft as an outfielder, but will be positioning himself primarily as a pitcher with the Patriots. Almonte spent the first six years of his professional career as a position player in the Blue Jays organization, including two separate stints with High-A Dunedin.
The Wesley Chapel, Florida native has worked exclusively as a relief pitcher for the past two seasons - both still in the Blue Jays system. He struck out 24 batters over 26.0 innings across 21 relief appearances for Rookie-level Bluefield in 2018 in his first season as a pitcher. Last year, Almonte went 1-2 with one save and 32 strikeouts across 23.2 innings of work over 20 relief appearances for Low-A Vancouver.
“We are happy to be joined by RHP Josh Almonte,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Almonte is very interesting because he was drafted by the Blue Jays as a position player but is trying to covert to pitching. He has been working hard the last few years to become an effective pitcher and we are interested in helping him fine tune his skills. Josh is a big strong guy with an electric arm and he is also very athletic. Almonte has loads of potential as a pitcher and we can’t wait to get him in camp and hopefully unlock his ability.”
Almonte owns a 10.1 strikeout/nine innings ratio over his two seasons as a pitcher. He was drafted and signed out of Long Island City High School in New York City in 2012.
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