Photo Credit: Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images
Marion, Ill. – The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have signed catcher Toby DeMello for the 2015 season.
DeMello comes to the Miners following three seasons in the Seattle Mariners’ organization. Originally drafted in the 29th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, DeMello advanced as high as Class A-Advanced High Desert in 2014. Over his three seasons, the 6’3”, 220-pounder has hit .236 with a .296 on-base percentage and has excelled as a defensive catcher, making just three errors in over 450 chances for a career .994 fielding percentage. He has also thrown out 40% of runners trying to steal against him.
A native of Roseville, California, DeMello played his college baseball at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California, where he competed against some of the best college baseball programs in the country in games against Arizona State and Stanford. During his time with the Gaels, he was named to watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, given out annually to the top catcher in college baseball. He also topped the West Coast Conference caught-stealing rate, throwing out 58% of potential base-stealers.
“I have had really great reports about Toby’s defensive skills as a ‘catch-and-throw’ catcher,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “We think that with consistent, daily at-bats that he can help our team on the offensive side as well. He has thrown runners out consistently and successfully, and we think he’s the kind of guy that can shut down an opponent’s running game.”