In the News

VERSATILE RHP KOPLOVE HEADS TO COLORADO

3RD MINER PITCHER FROM 2018 SQUAD TO GO TO MLB FFRANCHISE

November 21, Augusta, NJ — For the third time in the 2018 calendar season, the Sussex County Miners have sold the contract of one of their pitchers. The Can-Am League has announced that RHP Kenny Koplove‘s contract was sold to the Colorado Rockies. It is the third pitcher from this year’s Can-Am championship winning side that had their contract sold to an MLB ballclub.

Koplove was stellar in both relieving and starting roles for the Miners. As a reliever, the Duke University hurler posted a 5-3 record and a 3.19 ERA in 36 2/3 innings pitched over 22 appearances. In that span, he allowed 30 hits and 20 walks for a 1.36 WHIP, while striking out 41 batters—a K/9 ratio of 10.25.

But with the contracts of both David Rollins and Alex Demchak being sold to MLB affiliates, Koplove was put into the starting rotation and he excelled. The 25 year old from Philadelphia, PA started 9 games in the regular season for the Miners, posting a 2.17 ERA in 49 2/3 innings. His WHIP went down to a 1.05, as he surrendered just 31 hits and 21 walks, while striking out 37 batters. Remarkably, Koplove only posted a 2-1 record in his 9 starts, with a staggering 6 no decisions. The Miners, however, went 7-2 in games that Koplove started and 21-10 overall in games that he appeared in during the regular season.

Koplove then did the dual roles again in the MIners championship run. Koplove’s postseason saw him stat 2 games and proceed to win both, He had a 1.72 ERA in those two starts, a game 2 victory at Trois-Riviéres in the Can-Am League Semifinal Series, and a game  win at Québec in the Can-Am League Championship Series—the Miners only win in Québec in 2018. His lone playoff appearance saw him record a one out save in the game 5 Semifinal win over Trois-Rivières at Skylands Stadium.

This is now the 4th pitcher to have their contract purchased by a MLB affiliaate under the watch of Miners Manager Bobby Jones. One of the key points that the championship winning skipper pointed out was Koplove’s versatility. “Kenny’s versatility was one of the main keys to our season,” Jones would say. “He filled so many roles and was so consistent. He showed great poise throughout the season and this opportunity is well deserved.”

An extra bit of excitement for Jones comes in the fact that Koplove will be joining  the organization that the Miners skipper himself got his MLB debut with back in 1997. “He’s going to the Rockies which is exciting,” Jones added. “I know quite a few people in the organization still. Just a great organization that’s run with a ton of class and they’re certainly headed in the right direction.”

With more and more players signing with MLB affiliates, it gives the Miners a yet more prolific profile for the future. “Moving guys back to affiliated ball is why these players are playing still, to get another opportunity,” the Miners bench boss would go on to say. “A lot of times it’s a great place to grow as a player while also playing vs higher caliber players. It’s my main focus because if you’re successful at getting guys another opportunity, better players should and will want to play for you.”

Photo: Phil Hoops