Well, well, well… we are now down to 59 days till Seattle Mariners Opening Day. We are slowly counting down the days here at Sodo Mojo, and we cannot wait for Spring Training and the MLB season. Since we are at day 59 on our countdown, let’s learn a little more about #59, Joey Gerber.
Getting to know the Seattle Mariners reliever
The young 23-year-old grew up in Maple Grove, Minnesota, and graduated from Wayzata High School in 2015. He then went on to study and play baseball at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign).
Interesting side note, Tanner Roark and Scott Spiezio (two notable big leaguers) also attended the same college. Spiezio was with the Seattle Mariners in 2004 and 2005, before retiring in 2007 with the Cardinals.
While at U of I, Gerber studied accountancy, so he must be a pretty smart guy. In his freshman season, Joey made five appearances out of the bullpen. He pitched six innings with a 7.50 ERA.
In his next collegiate season, he took a big step forward for the “Fighting Illini.” Gerber was named the closer and pitched 33.0 innings, and saved eight games. NCAA baseball teams play around 50-60 games in a season, and Joey appeared in 27 of those games.
He posted a 2-1 record, 4.36 ERA struck out 43 batters, and held opposing batters to a .205 batting average. He was also selected to the Academic All-Big Ten.
Joey’s final season at Illinois was 2018, his junior season. He took another step forward again and made the All-Big Ten Third Team and Academic All-Big ten again.
During 2018, he posted a 3.14 ERA in 28.2 innings. He struck out 45 batters and saved 14 games. He tied the single-season save record at the school, and also became the third in Illinois history with 22 career saves. He also made the Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List.
Joey Gerber’s Seattle Mariners career
Gerber was selected in the 8th round by the Seattle Mariners after his junior season. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Jerry Dipoto and the staff drafted a college pitcher.
Because he went to college, Gerber was able to work up the minor leagues a lot quicker than a high school draftee. In his first professional season, he went straight to Single-A and pitched extremely well.
And then in 2019, he started in High-A Modesto and found his way to Double-A rather quickly. He had his best professional career in Double-A Arkansas which fast-tracked him to his MLB debut last season.
Gerber had a good season considering that he was only 22. He finished the season with a 4.02 ERA in 15.2 innings pitched. Not too bad for a guy that skipped Triple-A, right?
Joey hasn’t had a whole lot of hype while in the minor leagues. He had been considered a middle-bottom tier prospect but he has turned out to be very good, from what I can tell.
He will be a low-key part of the Mariners young core moving forward. Maybe he has the potential to be the future Mariners closer.
Joey Gerber is a must-follow on Twitter
For some reason, I am getting Charlie Furbush – Tom Wilhelmsen vibes from Joey. Maybe it’s his funky pitching motion that gives me the impression that he is quirky.
As far as I can tell, he seems to be a funny guy on Twitter. He recently took over Seattle Mariners Twitter as part of the Mariners Virtual Baseball Bash just like Taylor Trammell did.
I could go on and on with his funny tweets from the Twitter takeover. He really is a funny guy and I would not be surprised if he becomes a fan favorite out of the bullpen. You should follow his personal Twitter also, he posts some funny things: gerb_nation