MOORHEAD, MINN. – The Sioux City Explorers have sold the contract of RHP Justin Vernia to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the American Association announced. Vernia is the 14th American Association player to have his contract purchased by a Major League organization in 2019, and the 34th since the beginning of the 2018 regular season.
Vernia had a monster second season with the Explorers in 2018, which culminated with being named American Association Rookie of the Year. He was 12-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 20 starts for Sioux City. Vernia pitched 119.1 innings and allowed 46 runs (44 earned) on 122 hits. He recorded 91 strikeouts and walked just 22 batters. Vernia tied for the American Association lead with his 12 victories, and his 20 starts were tied for fourth best in the circuit.
Vernia was originally signed by Sioux City in 2017 after completing his college career at Gonzaga University in Washington. He was 3-2 with a 6.11 ERA in six starts as a true rookie. He is the sixth member of the 2018 Explorers pitching staff to have his contract purchased by a Major League organization.