Back in 2006, New Market’s Brandon Dickson signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of the summer, even though he still had eligibility at Tusculum. He has gone on to have a 13-year professional career, including the last 6 with the Orix Buffaloes in the Japan Pacific League.
We can hope that Kyle Arjona‘s experience will be similar, as the young man left the Harrisonburg Turks this summer to sign a pro contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, leaving New Orleans perhaps a little bit ahead of schedule.
One thing is for sure; no matter what happens in his career from this point, he was one of the best starters in the 2018 Valley League season.
Of pitchers on the top starter’s list, Kyle finished 3rd in ERA, tied for 10th in K’s, 10th in batting average against, 2nd in WHIP, 1st in BB/9, and 5th in K/9. He was named first team All-Valley as well. ATVL named him a top prospect, and he was listed at #5 for Baseball America, and #7 for Perfect Game.
Here are his stats:
His best start was on June 16 against Waynesboro, when he threw 8 innings with 5 hits, 3 runs (1 earned), 0 walks, and 9 strikeouts. He was also excellent on June 24 against Strasburg. In that one, he went 7 innings while allowing 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and struck out 9. He pitched a shutout inning in the All-Star game, and started a game at the Prospect Showcase as well.
I suppose it makes sense that he’ll be pitching in Philadelphia’s system in 2019, as he’s been a bit of a nomad in his college career already. Minor league ball will suit him! In 2016, he pitched at Jacksonville in the Atlantic Sun Conference. He moved to Florida Southwestern of the Suncoast Conference in 2017, and then to the Privateers of New Orleans in 2018. He was All-Academic in 2017, and made the Southland Conference All-Tournament team in 2018. His stats:
Congratulations, Kyle, and good luck in the minor leagues in 2019!