The United Shore Professional Baseball League has sent another player one step closer to The Show.
Left-handed pitcher Kevin Marnon, a Shelby Township native and Sterling Heights Stevenson alum, has signed a minor-league contract with the Minnesota Twins, he announced on Twitter.
Marnon, 23, who played collegiately at Ball State, pitched briefly for two of the USPBL’s four teams this season, a third of an inning with the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beaves and an inning with the Eastside Diamond Hoppers. He struck out three in earning the save in his lone outing for the Diamond Hoppers.
“Want to thank all my family and friends and the @uspbl,” Marnon wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “I’m excited to sign with the Minnesota Twins and continue my dream.”
It’s not yet clear where Marnon will start with the Twins, though it’s likely to be at Single-A or lower.
The USPBL, which plays at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, had 15 players sign with an affiliated major-league team during its inaugural season in 2016. The USPBL had three teams last year, and have added a fourth this season.
Marnon had a 4.72 ERA in 36 appearances (28 starts) over two years at Ball State, with 109 strikeouts and 81 walks in 143 innings. Oppenents hit .261 against him, but just .241 in 2017.
He started his collegiate career at East Tennessee State, then transferred to Akron, only to watch that university drop the baseball program. He landed at Ball State for two years.
At Stevenson, he was a three-sport athlete, and took his baseball team to the state semifinals his senior season.