02/28/2019 9:56 AM
JUSTIN VERNIA JOINS ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS ORGANIZATION
RHP BECOMES 6TH X’S PLAYER TO HAVE CONTRACT PURCHASED BY MLB TEAM FROM 2018 SEASON
SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the Arizona Diamondbacks have purchased the contract of Explorers RHP Justin Vernia. Vernia will report to spring training with the Diamondbacks to earn a spot within the DBacks organization for the 2019 season. Vernia becomes the 6th X’s player from the 2018 season to be purchased by an MLB organization, joining fellow pitchers Tyler Fallwell (Phillies), Parker Markel (Mariners), Ian McKinney (Mariners), Eric Karch (Twins), and James Dykstra (Reds).
Vernia turned in a phenomenal 2018 campaign on the mound for the Explorers, going 12-2 in 20 starts, owning a 3.32 ERA. His 12 wins were not only tops for an impressive X’s pitching staff that finished the 2018 season ranked atop the league in several pitching categories, but also tied him for the most in the entire American Association. His impressive 3.32 ERA was also good for 6th best in the league. Vernia was a workhorse for the Explorers, making 20 starts in 2018 (T-1st on team) and tossing 119.1 innings (2nd on team). The righty racked up 91 strikeouts (2nd on team) while issuing just 22 walks, which was good for a team best 1.66 BB/9.
For his efforts, Vernia was named the 2018 American Association Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Explorer to win the award. That wasn’t the only award Vernia collected throughout the 2018 season, also being tabbed as the league’s Rawlings Pitcher of the Month for the month of June after finishing a perfect 4-0 in 5 June starts, compiling 31 strikeouts. Vernia was also named the Pointstreak Pitcher of the Week for the week ending August 5th after tossing 14 innings and allowing just 1 earned run over two starts during the week, including a dominant 10 strikeout performance against the Texas AirHogs, which was a season high for the righty.
Vernia began his professional career with the Explorers in the 2017 season, signing on August 5th. Vernia would finish the season with the Explorers in 2017 owning a 3-2 record in 6 starts.
With Vernia’s signing by the Diamondbacks organization, the Sioux City Explorers have now had 20 player’s contracts acquired by an affiliated organization since the completion of the 2015 season; Ryan Kalish – Chicago Cubs, Rob Wort – Boston Red Sox, Patrick Johnson – Pittsburg Pirates, Ryan Court – Boston Red Sox, Noah Perio – Los Angeles Dodgers, Tayler Scott – Milwaukee Brewers, Connor Overton – San Francisco Giants, Lindsey Caughel – Seattle Mariners, Reinier Roibal – Los Angeles Dodgers, Nelson Ward – Seattle Mariners, Kurt Heyer – Miami Marlins, James Needy – Miami Marlins, John Nogowski – St. Louis Cardinals, Kevin McCanna – Arizona Diamondbacks, Tyler Falwell – Philadelphia Phillies, Parker Markel – Seattle Mariners, Ian McKinney – Seattle Mariners, Eric Karch – Minnesota Twins, James Dykstra – Cincinnati Reds, Justin Vernia – Arizona Diamondbacks.