USPBL pitcher, Tanner Kiest, signed by Minnesota Twins

The United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL), an independent league based in Metro Detroit, just had their 20th player signed by a Major League Baseball organization. The USPBL, which began in 2016, announced that pitcher, Tanner Kiest, has been signed by the Minnesota Twins, the fourth USPBL player to be signed by the Twin Cities.

Kiest is a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher out of Riverside Community College in Riverside, California. He pitched 48 innings in 11 games for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers, recording 87 strikeouts in those 48 innings. He also set the record for the fastest pitch ever thrown in the USPBL at 99 mph.

Justin Orenduff, Director of Baseball Operations for the USPBL had this to say on Kiest:

“Of all the pitchers that have been a part of the USPBL, Tanner is one of the most talented pitchers we have seen. When you combine his comptetitiveness, work ethic, and a mid-to-high-90’s fastball, you have a pitcher with a very high ceiling. During Tanner’s time in the USPBL, he learned how to make adjustments to his mechanics to help him become more consistent in games. This ultimately led him to pitch deeper into games, increase his strike percentage, and ultimately increase his value to become an MLB prospect.”

Kiest on his experience with the USPBL:

“The 2017 season was hands-down the best experience of my professional baseball career. I would like to personally thank the league for an unmatched opportunity to showcase my pitching ability and developing me into the person/player that I am today. I want to thank my manager, Paul Noce, for signing me early in 2017 and for his belief in me, as well as his support throughout the season. I’d also like to thank Ed Campanielo, the Hoppers assistant coach during the season, for his guidance. Lastly, and certainly not least, I’d like to thank Justin Orenduff and his first-class DVS (Delivery Value System throwing) program, which is something I will continue to embrace as I embark on the next chapter of my career with the Minnesota Twins organiation.”

The USPBL currently features four teams – the Utica Unicorns, the Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers, the Westside Woolly Mammoths, and the Eastside Diamond Hoppers. The upcoming 2018 season will begin on May 11th and run through September 9th. The league plays at Jimmy John’s Field in downtown Utica. For more information on the USPBL, contact Tom Wegehaupt at [email protected].

Written by Matt Bassin

Born in L.A., raised in Detroit and SoCal. Born Green and White, but am an Arizona Alumnus with my degree in Journalism. Have worked for newspapers as a writer/editor, and as an on-air talent for sports radio. Follow the Lions, Red Wings, Tigers, Pistons and Lakers. Go Green!

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