The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have re-signed catcher Arturo Nieto for the upcoming 2020 season.
Returning as a professional player in 2019 after a season in the major leagues as a bullpen catcher with the San Diego Padres, Nieto established himself as a veteran presence behind the plate for the Miners this past year. He finished with a .256 average in 56 games for Southern Illinois, adding nine doubles, three homers and 21 RBIs. He finished the year strong at the plate, batting .400 in his last 12 games (six of which were multi-hit contests) while adding five doubles.
Nieto was also outstanding in the field, as he committed just five errors, and posted a .988 fielding percentage at the catcher position. He has an identical fielding percentage for his career as well over 328 games, while Nieto has nabbed opposing baserunners at a 42% clip.
Like fellow Miner Gianfranco Wawoe, the Maracay, Venezuela native spent seven years in the Seattle Mariners organization from 2011-17, signing with them at the age of 18. He will enter his ninth year of professional baseball this summer with nearly 300 career hits in 377 games.
“Arturo did an outstanding job for us last year,” said Miners manager Mike Pinto. “He was a leader on the field and in the clubhouse with great experience in the game. He will be an impact guy again this year in helping our pitching staff to perform at their best this season. I am very excited to have him back with us.”
The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League’s most-successful franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.