The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have signed catcher and former Seattle Mariners prospect Arturo Nieto for the upcoming 2019 season.
Nieto comes to Southern Illinois after working as a bullpen catcher in the major leagues for the San Diego Padres in 2018. Prior to that, he spent seven years with the Mariners, advancing as high as class A-Advanced Modesto in 2017 where he helped the Nuts to the California League championship and was teammates with fellow Miners signee Gianfranco Wawoe.
Originally from Maracay, Venezuela, Nieto signed with the Mariners at the age of 18 in 2011, and hit .237 with five homers, 12 doubles and 27 RBIs over 78 games with Modesto in 2017, adding a three-run home run in the deciding game of the California League Championship Series that proved to be the decisive blow. Over 316 career professional games, he has batted .240 with 95 RBIs, 37 doubles and eight home runs. He has shined on defense behind the plate as well, with 27 errors in over 2,200 chances for a .988 fielding percentage. The 6'2" backstop has also been very effective at shutting down opponents' run games, nabbing 46% of potential base-stealers for his career.
"Arturo comes to us with a wealth of experience behind the plate," Miners manager Mike Pinto said. "He has had the opportunity to catch some of the very best pitchers in baseball, showing exceptional defensive skills and a game-changing throwing arm. We are excited that he has chosen to continue his professional career with us in Southern Illinois."
Be sure to follow the Miners online at southernillinoisminers.com and on social media as they prepare for the 2019 season!
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.