Somerset Patriots Add Three Including Former MLB Pitcher


Former MLB pitcher Zach Kroenke has joined the Somerset Patriots.

Bridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced the signings of left-handed pitcher Zach Kroenke and Matt Zielinski and utility player Dennis Raben.

Kroenke has Major League experience with the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he pitched in seven games in 2010 and 2011.

In addition to his Major League time, Kroenke has six seasons of Triple-A experience with the New York Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Milwaukee Brewers organizations, including 32 games last season.

Kroenke has a minor league career 53-42 record, a 4.26 ERA, and 568 strikeouts in 826.1 innings pitched in 289 games.

“We are excited to have Zach in our rotation.  I think he will bring a lot of veteran leadership.  In talking with Zach he seems to have a very good idea of how he wants to attack hitters and he also possesses a good overall feel for the game.   I think we added a great guy to our clubhouse and a much needed lefty to our rotation,” said Brett Jodie, manager of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club.

Zielinski has three seasons of independent minor league experience with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League.

Last season he was 9-7 with a 3.40 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 124.1 innings pitched in 20 games.

He has a career record of 18-16 with a 3.61 ERA and 226 strikeouts in 279.1 innings in 45 games, all as a starter.

“Matt is a guy I am ready to see compete in camp.  He is a young lefty that has really done a good job in the Frontier League.  Through my research it seems that Matt is a strike thrower that loves to compete and has great mound presence.  He will be competing for a rotation spot on our pitching staff and I think he is excited and ready to go for this opportunity,” Jodie said.

Raben has experience in the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals organizations, including four seasons at the Single-A level.

Raben spent most of last season in the Royals system at Wilmington and finished with a .272 batting average, 33 runs scored, 69 hits, 12 doubles, 12 home runs, and 41 RBI.

He has a minor league career .299 batting average, 392 hits, 86 doubles, 10 triples, 74 home runs, and 265 RBI in 345 games played.

“Dennis has the rare combination of power along with a very high on base percentage.  He has hit everywhere he has been, but has not had an opportunity at a high level.  We will provide a high level of baseball for him and I fully expect him to come in and do what he has done his entire career.  Dennis will add much needed lefty pop to our lineup and play some first base,” said Jodie.

For information about the Somerset Patriots 2014 Season presented by Ford, beginning at home on Friday, April 25th, stop by the Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit the Patriots on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

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