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Miners continue to stockpile talent ahead of spring training

updated: 4/15/2018 11:54 PM

MARION -- The Southern Illinois Miners announced they have once again added to their roster for the upcoming season, signing pitchers Ryan Askew and Ross Achter along with infielder Joe Dudek.

Askew pitched last season in the Tampa Bay Rays organization after being selected in the 29th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. In 17 games at Rookie-level Princeton and one contest at Double-A Montgomery, the 6-6 righty was 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA, striking out 22 and walking only six in 41 2/3 innings. The Suwanee, Georgia native played four seasons in college at Mercer University in his home state, and earned a Second Team All-Southern Conference nod as a junior in 2016 with a 6-3 record in 16 starts along with a 3.90 ERA, 65 strikeouts and just 18 walks in 101 2/3 innings.

Achter comes to Southern Illinois off of a four-year college career at the University of Toledo. A 6-4 left-hander, Achter went 3-4 in 11 starts as a senior in 2017 with a 3.21 ERA, 60 strikeouts and 26 walks in 56 innings pitched. The southpaw from Oregon, Ohio was also a steady hand in the rotation for the Rockets in 2015 as a junior with a 3.10 ERA, 62 strikeouts and 35 walks in 90 innings pitched.

Dudek, a left-handed first baseman, is coming off of a two-year stint in the Kansas City Royals organization. Last year at Single-A Lexington, the 6-2 Wall Township, New Jersey native smacked 16 doubles and nine home runs with 39 RBIs in 77 games. The season before, at Rookie-level Idaho Falls, He batted a robust .346 with 11 doubles, six home runs and 29 RBIs in only 30 games played. Collegiately, Dudek played two seasons at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he played in 87 games before transferring to the University of Kentucky. After sitting out one year due to NCAA transfer regulations, Dudek turned pro, signing as a free agent with Kansas City in 2016.

"As we finalize our spring training roster, we were committed to bring in the very best competition to improve our roster this season," Miners manager Mike Pinto said. "Ryan is a strike-thrower and a high-ground ball percentage pitcher. Ross is coming off an injured season where he was expected to be a draft pick last year- he too is a strike-thrower who can get swings and misses, and he's healthy and ready to go. Joe provides us with a power left-handed bat that could make an impact in our lineup. I'm very excited to get all our guys in for spring training here soon."