Marion, IL (April 22, 2021) – The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have selected left-handed pitcher Gunnar Kines, right-handed pitcher Justin Ferrell, and catcher Tyler Sandoval in the 2021 Frontier League Dispersal Draft. The draft was held to disseminate non-Canadian players from the rosters of the Trois-Rivières Aigles and Ottawa Titans, who will not play in 2021 due to uncertainty regarding the reopening of the United States-Canada border.
Kines, a 6’4” southpaw from South Carolina, comes to the club after spending the last four seasons as a mainstay in the rotation for the Schaumburg Boomers. He most-recently posted a 6-6 record in 17 starts with a 2.36 ERA in 2019, along with 112 strikeouts and just 20 walks and 85 hits allowed in 103 innings. He ranked fourth in the circuit in ERA and eighth in strikeouts that season, while also surrendering only three home runs.
In 2018, Kines had another very good year, going 6-4 in 16 starts with a 4.34 ERA, 81 strikeouts, and just 26 walks in 93 1/3 innings pitched. The previous summer in 2017, he went 5-1 in seven starts with a miniscule 1.30 ERA, 53 strikeouts, and just 13 walks in 41 1/3 innings with the Boomers before being picked up by the New York Mets, and finishing the season with their short-season affiliate in Brooklyn, New York.
Overall in his time with Schaumburg, the veteran left-hander has made 58 starts, going 22-17 with a 2.95 ERA, 350 strikeouts, and only 96 walks and 288 hits allowed in 350 1/3 innings. He is the Boomers’ all-time leader in career strikeouts, and is also tenth in Frontier League history in that category.
Ferrell comes to the Miners by way of the Houston Astros organization, where he played six seasons from 2014-19. The tall, 6’7” right-hander made 24 appearances in 2019, striking out 31 in 36 2/3 innings while pitching primarily for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. He also made five appearances in Triple-A at Round Rock in 2019.
The Wagoner, Oklahoma native also saw a majority of his action in Double-A in 2018, and combined with seven appearances at Class A-Advanced Buies Creek posted a 7-3 record in 34 games, a 2.92 ERA, 82 strikeouts, and just 25 walks and 45 hits in 64 2/3 innings pitched. Originally a 36th-round selection by Houston in 2014 MLB Draft out of Connors State College in Oklahoma, Ferrell comes to Southern Illinois with 140 career appearances and 33 starts, a 3.89 career ERA, and 338 strikeouts against 160 walks in 351 2/3 innings pitched.
Sandoval is a rookie catcher who played five seasons at Division-II Colorado Mesa University. As a senior in 2019, the Delta, Colorado native batted .282 with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 31 games. The previous season as a junior, Sandoval hit .313 with five homers and 32 RBIs in 43 games. The 6’3” backstop also participated in the California Winter League in 2020.
“I am very happy with our draft choices,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “We have watched Gunnar have great success in this league for years, and Justin is coming off some very successful years with the Astros. Both are top-of-the-rotation guys that made us better today. Tyler is also coming off a great college season, and will add to our catching mix this year.”