Joseph Anthony Palumbo, Jr…transferred to St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip, New York as a senior, but was unable to play baseball due to eligibility rules…pitched for the Long Island Black Sox of the Long Island Men's League against former Division I and professional players prior to the draft.
Spent early portion of the season on the disabled list while recovering from 'Tommy John' surgery...began rehab assignment with AZL Rangers on 6/24, posting a 0.67 WHIP in 3 G/GS...allowed 2-or-fewer ER in 9 of 11 starts...in last 4 G/GS between Down East and Frisco, went 2-0 with a 0.92 ERA (2 ER/19.2 IP) and 6 BB/30 SO...opponents slashed .149/.240/.162/.404 with one XBH (2B) in that span...notched career-high 11 SO on 8/7 vs. Buies Creek (5.0 SHO IP, 2 H, 0 BB)...earned the win in Frisco debut on 8/22 at San Antonio (5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R-ER, 1 BB, 8 SO)...right-handed batters posted .454 OPS compared to .960 OPS mark by lefties.
Entered the season as the club's 9th-best prospect, but was limited to just 3 starts at Down East before undergoing season-ending 'Tommy John' ligament transplant surgery on 4/26…held opponents to a .087/.160/.130/.290 (4-46) slash line in the 3 outings with the Wood Ducks…whiffed 22 of 50 (44.0%) batters faced…had a career-best 10 strikeouts in his penultimate start on 4/12 vs. Winston-Salem.
Ranked 2nd among Texas farmhands and 13th in the South Atlantic League with 122 strikeouts despite logging the majority of his innings in a relief role…tabbed the 19th-best prospect in the SAL by Baseball America…tied for 3rd among Texas minor leaguers in saves, converting 8 of 11 save chances… was 6-3, 2.16 (14 ER/58.1 IP) as a reliever and 1-2, 2.37 (10 ER/38.0 IP) as a starter…opponents batted .202 (71-352), ncluding .149 (14-94) with 5 XBH (3 2B, 2 HR) and 37 strikeouts by left-handed hitters…compiled a 3.25 ERA (10 ER/27.2 IP) over his 1st 13 relief appearances before posting a 1.17 ERA (4 ER/30.2 IP) in his next 13 relief outings…joined the Hickory rotation on 7/23 and allowed 2 runs-or-less in 6 of 7 starts…did not allow an earned run in 17.0 innings over his final 3 starts with opponents batting .121 (7-58).
Fell 6.0 innings shy of qualifying for league leader status, but had the 3rd-lowest ERA in the Northwest League among pitchers with at least 54.0 innings…was 2-3, 2.53 (12 ER/42.2 IP) as a starter and 1-0, 3.86 (5 ER/11.2 IP) as a reliever…permitted 3 ER-or-less in all 9 starts, including zero-or-one ER in 6 outings…promoted to Hickory on 9/7 and made a spot start in the club's season finale (4.1 IP, 3 R-ER).
Earned a spot on the AZL Postseason All-Star Team, compiling a 2.00 ERA (4 ER/18.0 IP) with 23 strikeouts over 7 relief appearances…was 1-3, 2.55 (7 ER/24.2 IP) in 7 starts… held opponents to a .190 average (29-153), including .178 (8-45) by left-handed batters.
Averaged 10.1 SO/9 with AZL Rangers in first professional season.