LOVES PARK, IL — As players start to trickle into the Rockford stadium after a long off-season, the Rivets have announced their pitching roster including four players returning to represent the 815 for the summer.
With Jimmy Burnette, Jordan Nelson, Jarret Olson, and Mitch Rogers all returning to the mound for Rockford’s 2020 season, pitching coach Adam Carey will have a lot of options in reserve for the summer. The staff will also include some new faces such as Carson Seymour (Kansas State), Cam Baumann (University of Iowa), and Zach Kammin (Coe College).
A 2019 Great Lakes All-Star, Burnette appeared in 12 games and started in 10 last season for the Rivets, going 2-2 on the year with a 3.66 ERA. Burnette also accumulated 46.2 innings last year. Returning for his third season, the left hander hopes to bring back the heat with his mid 90’s fastball. Burnette spent three seasons at the University of lIllinois, where in 2020 he achieved 10 strikeouts in 8 innings pitched over 3 games and was announced the No. 20 prospect of D1Baseball Big Ten before the season was cancelled. Burnette will play his senior year at Saint Leo University.
With excitement to see players compete and improve throughout their time in Rockford, Carey said returning talent, such as Burnette, are good leaders to have in the clubhouse.
“Jimmy is very impressive, with a left handed arm and electric stuff. He’s fun to watch and has a ton of movement on every pitch he’s got,” Carey said. “He’s a good locker room guy and all of the guys love him.”
As a Spartan at the University of Dubuque, Nelson started 10 of the 12 games that he appeared in 2019 and had an ERA of 3.31 after allowing just 24 earned runs over 65.1 innings. After a solid junior season, Nelson for the first time in his collegiate career grabbed all conference honors for the American Rivers Conference. Nelson will return to the Rivets for his second season after posting a 4.16 ERA while starting 8 games out of the 17 he appeared in and racked up 46 strikeouts in 62.2 innings.
After his 2019 junior season, Olson started at the mound in 6 games of the 13 he played while accumulating 32.2 innings with a 4.96 ERA. Olson was named to the 2020 Big Ten Preseason Honors list and pitched his way to a 1.93 ERA, before the 2020 season was cancelled. For the Rivets last season, Olson recorded a 3.43 ERA in the 11 games he played in.
A Dyersburg Community College Eagle, Rogers is heading back to Rockford for his second summer with the Rivets. In Rockford, Rogers pitched 5 games where he went 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA over 6 innings. He continued his success from the Rivets at Dyersburg in 2020 where he recorded a 1.86 ERA with 11 strikeouts over 9.2 innings pitched.
COVID-19 has presented sports teams with challenges. While having to be more cautious with pitch counts and making sure the pitching staff stays healthy as possible, Carey is confident the staff will be able to work through any situations such as being flexible with the pitching rotations.
“It will take some critical thinking and problem solving skills to work through situations like that. However, I’m confident we will be able to work through those situations while also keeping arms fresh and healthy throughout the summer,” Carey said. “It is a hungry group and I’m really looking forward to seeing them compete and improve throughout their time here.”
The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods 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 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. 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.