DURHAM, N.C.- Lincoln Saltdogs RHP Brian McAfee (pictured) is going home.
A native of Bothell, Wash., McAfee’s contract has been sold to the Seattle Mariners. He will be assigned to the Short Season Class A Everett (Wash.) AquaSox of the Northwest League, who will return to play from their All-Star Break to face the Salem-Kaizer (Ore.) Volcanoes at 8:35 p.m. Central time on Thursday night, August 3.
McAfee leaves Lincoln with an impressive 4-1 record and 1.67 ERA over six starts. He struck out 24 and walked just eight over 43 innings in a Saltdogs uniform, playing a key role in guiding Lincoln to the best record in the American Association heading into the month of August.
After taking the loss by allowing four runs on eight hits to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on July 1, McAfee reeled off four straight victories. He tossed seven shutout frames against the Cleburne Railroaders on July 7, scattering four hits and two walks and striking out two. Lincoln won 3-0. McAfee returned to the mound on July 12 to face the Salina Stockade at home, and allowed just one run on six hits and two walks over six innings. McAfee struck out three in a 3-1 Lincoln victory.
McAfee’s next start was arguably his best in a Lincoln uniform. Facing the Railroaders on July 17, McAfee threw a complete game shutout. Over the nine innings, he scattered six hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out three. The Saltdogs took a 7-0 win. McAfee was dominant once again on July 22, allowing a run on four hits and a walk over eight innings against the Wichita Wingnuts. He struck out five in a 10-1 Lincoln win. His final start for the Saltdogs came on July 29 at the Sioux Falls Canaries, when he allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks over eight innings. McAfee struck out five and took a no-decision as Lincoln won the game 6-3.
McAfee came to Lincoln from the Tampa Bay Rays system. Tampa Bay selected McAfee in the 38th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft from Duke University. Over 11 appearances and two starts with the Rookie-level Princeton (W. Va.) Rays in 2016, McAfee was 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA. He struck out 24 and walked just two in 28.2 innings. He began 2017 with the Class A Bowling Green (Ky.) Hot Rods, where he made 11 relief appearances. McAfee struck out 11 in 19.1 innings before his release.
At Duke, McAfee was 7-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 2016. He was tied for the team lead in wins and led the team in strikeouts with 65 as a fifth-year senior. McAfee helped Duke to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1961. Before pitching for the Blue Devils, McAfee spent four years at Cornell University and earned all-Ivy League honors in 2012 and 2015.
The Saltdogs will host the St. Paul Saints on Tuesday night at 6:45 p.m. Central time. The game can be seen at www.americanassociationbaseball.tv.