The 2019 Can-Am League Regular Season Champion Sussex County Miners announce the acquisition of right-handed pitchers Tyler Fallwell and Juan Aguilera and infielder Adam Sasser from the Sioux City Explorers (American Association) in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ryan Newell and infielder John Brontsema.
“We got a good return of talent in this trade, and as always in baseball, in order to get good players, you have to give good players. We got a couple of strikeout pitchers who don't walk a lot of batters, and that's what you want. Fallwell is more of a power guy and Aguilera has good swing and miss stuff and he pitched at the University of Arizona which is a good school," Miners manager Bobby Jones said. "Sasser is young and has a lot of power. When you hit 10 homers and hit for average at an SEC school, chances are you're a good player."
Fallwell is a four-year professional baseball veteran who spent two seasons with the Sioux City Explorers (American Association) where he was a vital contributor to the team’s formidable bullpen. The 24-year old Tucson, Arizona native authored a dominant 2019 season that propelled his being named to the American Association All-Star Team.
Along with ranking ninth in the league in strikeouts (104), he ranked among the club leaders in wins (8, tied for 1st), ERA (3.13, 3rd), appearances (36, tied for 3rd) and opposition batting average (.208, 4th). In 2018 he was third on the Explorers in appearances (23) and posted a 2-1 record and two saves along with logging a minuscule 0.64 ERA which ranked second on the team.
A fellow Tucson, Arizona native, Aguilera was signed by the Explorers after being released by the Detroit Tigers organization). He served in the bullpen and logged a 5.40 ERA over 16 appearances while 23.1 innings and walking 15 and striking out 23.
A left-handed-hitting infielder, Sasser is the second University of Georgia Bulldog on the Sussex County Miners roster. Fellow catcher Austin Biggar came over in a trade with the Kansas City T-Bones (American Association) on December 4. Loaded with power potential, the Evans, Georgia native made his professional debut with the Explorers last season and hit .223 (60-269) with four homers and 31 RBIs.
“Newell was great for us and I am very grateful to have had him. I admire how he always did the work and was one of the first guys at the ballpark and he was a leader in a lot of ways. And I was looking forward to having a classy guy like Brontsema in the locker room,” Jones said. “But when you run a good program with lots of good players, people [opposing teams] are going to want them.”
A cornerstone of the Miners bullpen, Newell was named to the 2019 Can-Am League All-Star Team and ranked second in the circuit with 19 saves. Overall, the Fairfax, Virginia native went 0-3 with a stingy 1.75 ERA with 60 strikeouts and only yielding 13 walks over 36 innings. An eight-year veteran, Newell was drafted by the Marlins in the 7th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Shorter University. He spent seven years in the Marlins system and another in the Diamondbacks organization and reached as high as Double-A for both farm systems. His best year in affiliated baseball was with the Marlins Single-A affiliate, the Greensboro Grasshoppers (South Atlantic League). As a member of the starting rotation, he tied for first on the club in shutouts and complete games (1) and ranked third on the team in wins (8), innings pitched (109.2) and strikeouts (94).
Owner of a .301 career batting average, Brontsema is having a busy offseason. The Miners acquired the 24-year old Santa Barbara, CA native from the Kansas City T-Bones on December 4. Ironically, two weeks before that, the T-Bones acquired Brontsema from the New York Boulders where he had an excellent 2019 campaign. The Can-Am League All-Star led the club with 18-doubles while ranking second in hits (83) and stolen bases (14) and placing third in on-base percentage (.370) and slugging percentage (.436).