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Rockers Add MLB Vet, Triad Native Mitch Atkins

May 6, 2021 - Atlantic League (AtL) - High Point Rockers News Release

HIGH POINT, N.C. - Mitch Atkins, one of the premier starting pitchers in the Atlantic League and a veteran of Major League Baseball, has signed with the High Point Rockers for the 2021 season.

Atkins is a two-time Atlantic League All-Star, earning the nod in both 2018 and 2019. He went 12-7 as a starter with York in 2018 and followed that with an 11-6 mark and a 2.81 ERA in 2019. Atkins was second in the league in 2019 in both wins and ERA. In four seasons in the Atlantic League, including stints with Somerset in 2013 and 2017, Atkins has a 30-18 record.

"I couldn't be happier to have Mitch with us," said Rockers' manager Jamie Keefe. "He's been in the game a long time, including parts of three years in the big leagues. He is the ultimate professional on and off the field. He's been one of the top two or three starters in the league the last three years. We are excited to bring him back here and happy to give him an opportunity, especially in his hometown."

Atkins, 35, was a seventh round pick of the Chicago Cubs in the 2004 Major League Draft out of Northeast Guilford High School in McLeansville. He made his Major League debut on July 29, 2009 with one scoreless inning of relief against the Houston Astros. He made his first big league start for the Baltimore Orioles against the Texas Rangers in 2011.

During his career, Atkins has also pitched overseas in the Venezuelan, Mexican and Dominican Winter Leagues as well as the Chinese Professional League. He has 139 career wins over 16 seasons of professional baseball.

"This is going to be a different scenario for me because this will be the first time I've ever been able to stay home and pitch," said Atkins who lives in Gibsonville. "It is going to be special to be able to have all the people I know come out to the park. There's a lot of family and friends who have never been able to see me do what I've been doing my whole life."

The Rockers will begin their second season of play on Friday, May 28 when they visit the York Revolution. The home opener at Truist Point is slated for Tuesday, June 1 vs. the Lexington Legends, one of the two new teams to join the Atlantic League in 2021. High Point's schedule includes 120 games with 60 contests slated for Truist Point.

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