Three Rivets Ink Professional Contracts
By Grant Montgomery
Three players from the 2019 Rivets have signed professional baseball contracts to pursue their playing career at a higher level. This is a big step for Rockford’s program, as it is great to see young talent show their skills at a more advanced level.
The first player to sign a contract was Dugan Darnell out of Adrian College in Michigan. He signed with the Gary Southshore Railcats of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Darnell posted a 2.64 ERA across 17 innings pitched while striking out 19 batters. His peripherals were also great as his K/9 was touching double digits sitting at 10.05. Rivets manager Josh Keim was pleased to hear the news of Darnell’s signing, saying, “He was one of the most fierce competitors we’ve seen on the mound. He was fun to watch. He deserved the opportunity to pitch at the next level and I’m happy to have been part of his journey.”
The next player to be signed was Trevin Eubanks, right handed pitcher out of Valdosta State in Georgia. In his final year at Valdosta State, he threw 25.1 innings, to go along with 34 strikeouts and only nine walks. He signed with the Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League of Professional Baseball. Josh Keim was impressed to see his signing as he said, “He’s a polished arm. He competes very hard, and I am happy to see him perform at the next level. Eubanks tossed 27 innings for Rockford in 2019 to the rune of a 3.00 ERA and 30 strikeouts.
The final player to sign a contract was a left hander out of the University of Dubuque, Nathan Schneiderman. He signed a professional contract with the Joliet Slammers, where he will be taking on his former teammate Trevin Eubanks. Schneiderman was outstanding during his time with the Rivets. His final year was perhaps his most impressive. He pitched to a 2.15 ERA while pitching 37.2 innings while punching out a staggering 50 batters. This is good for an 11.94 K/9. Keim was also high on praise for the 6’5” pitcher, saying, “I think he has been one of the best arms in this league for a while. He’s not a guy that is going to throw super hard, but he will fill up the strike zone, compete hard, and keep hitters off balance. I am excited for his opportunity.”
When speaking of the three players as a whole, Keim said, “I think Rockford has become a destination for guys looking to more on and get placed in professional baseball. It is a good opportunity for guys to be seen. As a whole, those guys worked hard, helped us win games, and I am thankful that we were part of the process.” Josh Keim emphasizes playing complete baseball while being part of the team, but to have three individual players be signed to professional baseball contracts is a huge step for Rockford’s program. They will join former Rivets John Rave, Bren Spillane, and Cole Bellair to earn the opportunity to play professional baseball.
The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.rockfordrivets.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rivets as your favorite team.