Somerset Patriots Welcome Back NJ Native Pitcher James Pugliese to the Fold

James Pugs
James Pugliese with the Tennesse Smokies, the Cubs’ AA affiliated. 

Yesterday, the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) re-signed righty pitcher and Trenton, N.J., native James Pugliese for the upcoming 2020 season. 

“From day one, the entire organization made me feel like I was already a part of the family,” Pugliese said on “I can’t wait to play in front of the greatest fans in baseball and help bring a championship back to Somerset.”

Pugliese enters his second campaign with the Patriots and third in the Atlantic League. 

Last season proved to be a solid year for Pugliese, as he spun a 4-1 record with a 3.62 ERA, one save and 59 strikeouts against only 17 walks across 59.2 innings of work and the ALPB named him a Mid-Season All-Star.

Pugliese arrived with the York Revolution in late June of 2018 and recorded a 5-1 record with a 2.29 ERA and 36 strikeouts over 35.1 innings pitched as a reliever. This came after he began the year with Double-A Tennessee in the Chicago Cubs organization, where he struck out five batters over six relief appearances.

“We are proud to announce the return of James Pugliese,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “James is a very unselfish player that just wants to help the team win. ‘Pug’ will pitch, and can pitch, in virtually any role and is effective doing so. Pugliese takes pride in working fast, pounding the zone with strikes and keeping hitters off balance. He locates his fastball well and his changeup can be a difference-maker type of pitch. Pug is a great guy in the clubhouse and very important piece of our 2020 pitching staff.”

 Pugliese spent the first seven seasons of his professional career in the Cubs organization, including four separate stints at the Double-A level. He was twice named a Mid-Season All-Star in his time as a Cubs farmhand; once with Low-A Boise in 2013 and a second time with Double-A Tennessee in 2017. That 2017 season marked arguably his best in professional baseball, posting a 7-2 record with a 1.84 ERA with one save over 40 appearances, seven of which were starts.

The Steinert High School (Hamilton, N.J.) star played one year of college baseball at Mercer County College. He went 6-1 with a 1.27 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 56.2 innings at MCC before the Cubs selected him in the 18th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur draft.

 Pugliese owns impressive career numbers, registering a 38-26 record with a 3.36 ERA over his nine-year professional tenure.

— Jerry Del Priore 




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