(Owings photo courtesy of Joe Doll)
(Denver, CO, Oct. 25, 2016) - Three players who spent time in the Atlantic League during the 2016 season have signed with Major League organizations. Somerset Patriots left-handed pitcher Nik Turley has signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins organization, Lancaster Barnstormers first baseman K.C. Hobson has been signed by the Chicago White Sox, and York Revolution right-handed pitcher Micah Owings has been signed by the Seattle Mariners.
Turley joins the Twins organization after a standout 2016 season with the Somerset Patriots. The southpaw went 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA over 10 appearances (eight starts) in the regular season before dazzling in his lone postseason start in which he tossed seven shutout, three-hit innings with an Atlantic League postseason-record 14 strikeouts. In his second appearance with Somerset, Turley tossed three perfect innings of relief against the Long Island Ducks in which he struck out eight of the nine batters he faced. All eight strikeouts occurred consecutively, setting a new Atlantic League record for most consecutive strikeouts thrown in a game.
Overall, the La Canada, California native struck out 66 batters against 12 walks over 49 innings of work in the regular season. Turley’s signing marks the second-straight offseason in which a Somerset Patriots’ pitcher has signed with the Twins organization. Last year, Atlantic League Reliever of the Year Buddy Boshers signed with the Twins after posting a 3-1 record with a 1.50 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 54 innings with Somerset.
Hobston, recently named the league’s All-Star first baseman for the 2016 campaign, batted .320 with 24 home runs and 65 RBI in 98 games for the Lancaster Barnstormers after joining the club on June 3. The former Toronto farmhand ended the season third in on base percentage and second in slugging percentage with an overall OPS of .964. He homered in consecutive games on six different occasions and homered twice in a game in two different contests. Hobson connected 14 times in 30 games from August 13-September 2.
Before joining the Barnstormers, the son of Lancaster manager Butch Hobson, spent seven seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, peaking at Class AA New Hampshire. Hobson, 26, became the first member of the 2016 Barnstormers to sign with a Major League organization this off-season. Last year, six members of the previous year’s club returned to Major League organizations during the fall and winter.
Owings, a six-year Major League veteran, returned to professional baseball for the first time in two years with York last season, logging his most innings and starts since 2009, and his most strikeouts since 2008. Owings went 7-6 with a 4.30 ERA in 23 outings (19 starts) for the Revolution, striking out 81 while walking just 38 in 106.2 innings, and becoming a workhorse for the club during the second half. Owings was often dominant, such as in a 10-strikeout performance over six scoreless innings in a win at Long Island on August 27. It was his second-highest strikeout total of the year behind an 11-whiff outing on August 5 at Southern Maryland.
The 2016 season was Owings’ 11th as a pro. One of the most accomplished hitting pitchers of all-time, Owings has enjoyed tremendous success both on the mound and at the plate at the big league level. The 34-year-old is 32-33 with a 4.86 ERA in 138 Major League outings (68 starts), to go with a 30-11 minor league record and a 3.52 career ERA. At the plate, Owings has batted a combined .283 with nine home runs in the big leagues, and .274 with 10 round-trippers in the minors.
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 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 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 to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.