Former Pioneer inks with White Sox, assigned to Winston-Salem

Former Pioneer inks with White Sox, assigned to Winston-Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --- Former Tusculum University pitcher Devan Watts has signed with the Chicago White Sox and has been assigned to the Winston-Salem Dash, the Sox' Class A Advanced affiliate in the Carolina League.

The 6-0, 205-pound right-hander joins the White Sox organization after spending three seasons in the Atlanta Braves organization seeing action in Danville (Rookie), Rome (Class A), Florida (Advanced A) and Mississippi (Double A).

He played 10 games with the Mississippi Braves to start 2018 and was reassigned to the Florida Fire Frogs where he played 10 more games before being released in June.  In his young professional career, he pitched in 79 games, posted a 5-5 record with a 2.82 earned run average and 18 saves.  He has pitched in 108 1/3 innings with 109 strikeouts against 37 walks and a WHIP of 1.17.

Watts was picked up by the York Revolution in the Atlantic League on June 18.  Over the past month he made eight relief appearances where he pitched in 9 2/3 innings with a 2.79 ERA and a WHIP of 1.24 to go along with 10 strikeouts.

Watts was selected by the Braves in the 17th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

In Watts' two seasons at Tusculum, the 2015 All-Region and All-South Atlantic Conference choice recorded 14 saves and a 6-7 record in his 99 2/3 innings of work in his 43 relief appearances. He posted a 2.98 career earned run average with 121 strikeouts and 25 walks. His 14 saves are the fourth most in Tusculum history.

In 2016, the Mooresville, North Carolina native accounted for six saves (T7th in TC history) and a 3.10 ERA in his 20 relief outings. He tossed 49 1/3 innings with 62 strikeouts and tallied a 2-4 worksheet. He earned a spot on the SAC All-Tournament Team coming through with two victories in two appearances during the SAC Championship, including the win in Tusculum's 6-5 rain-shortened victory over Catawba resulting in co-champions being named. Watts threw 8 1/3 innings in his two appearances, allowing seven hits while striking out five. Watts also earned the win in the Pioneers' extra-inning victory over Wingate with 5.1 scoreless innings of relief work in an elimination game.

Watts helped the Pioneers advance to the 2016 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional as Tusculum claimed third place honors.  He pitched four shutout innings in his two relief appearances in the NCAA Tournament.  He struck out four in 2.2 innings of work in the opener against 19th-ranked USC Aiken.  He retired all four batters he would face in a save in the Pioneers' 3-2 win over Mount Olive.

In 2015, he led the SAC with eight saves (31st in NCAA II) and finished his inaugural TU campaign with a 1.79 ERA and led the Pioneers with his 23 relief appearances and finished with a 4-3 record in his 50.1 innings on the mound. He did not allow an earned run in his first 25 innings, covering a span of almost 10 games. He pitched 8 2/3 shutout innings of relief in Tusculum's 13-inning win over Carson-Newman and for his efforts, was named the SAC Pitcher of the Week and Tennessee Sports Writers Association College Pitcher of the Week.