X’s hurler signs with Twins

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SIOUX CITY (Courtesy S.C. Explorers) — The Sioux City Explorers announced that the Minnesota Twins have purchased the contract of Explorers RHP Eric Karch. Karch will report to spring training with the Twins when pitchers and catchers report in February to earn a spot within the Twins organization for the 2019 season. Karch becomes the 4th X’s player from the 2018 season to be purchased by an MLB organization, joining fellow pitchers Tyler Fallwell (Phillies), Parker Markel (Mariners), and Ian McKinney (Mariners).

Karch turned in a solid 2018 campaign for the Explorers, taking over as the teams closer in the beginning of June. Karch recorded 21 saves for the X’s, good for 3rd most in the American Association. The 21 saves are also good for 3rd most in Explorers single season franchise history. Karch had an impressive streak spanning from July 9th-August 9th where he recorded 12 consecutive saves in 12 appearances. Karch finished the season with a 2-3 record and an impressive 2.26 ERA in 41 games. He racked up 61 strikeouts in 43.2 innings pitched, good for a 12.6 K/9, while allowing just 16 walks.    

Karch was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 22nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft from Pepperdine University. Karch spent two seasons in the Pirates organization before being signed by the Los Angeles Angels in 2016. Karch would pitch the 2016 and 2017 seasons in the Angels organization, reaching as high as Double-A in 2017. The Fresno, CA native appeared in 19 games for the Double-A Mobile BayBears in 2017, posting a 2-2 record with an impressive 2.06 ERA. In his first four professional seasons in affiliated ball, Karch has accumulated 127 strikeouts to just 35 walks.

Prior to being drafted, Karch enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at Pepperdine University. As a senior in 2014, Karch made 30 relief appearances as the Waves’ closer, going 4-2 with 16 saves and a 2.12 ERA, while holding opponents to a .185 batting average. The 16 saves on the season rank as the third most in Pepperdine single season program history. For his efforts, Karch was named to the All-WCC First Team and to the All-WCC Tournament Team. Karch also won a 2013 Cape Cod Collegiate Baseball Summer League championship, pitching for the Cotuit Kettleers, posting a 3-0 record in 10 appearances.

With Karch’s signing by the Twins organization, the Sioux City Explorers have now had 17 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.

Brad Pautsch

Brad Pautsch

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