Getting to CHS Field

Saints Add Bullpen Help In Trade With Milkmen

ST. PAUL, MN August 8, 2019

The St. Paul Saints were looking to bolster their bullpen and they found a willing trade partner.  In a deal with the Milwaukee Milkmen the Saints receive rookie right-hander Tanner Kiest in exchange for two players to be named later and the reversionary rights to catcher Adrien Nieto.


          The 24-year-old Kiest is the top reliever on the Milkmen and is having an incredible season.  He is 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA in 31 relief appearances.  In 31.1 innings pitched he’s walked 17 and struck out 41 while opponents are hitting .214 against him.  Kiest has only allowed a run in five of 31 appearances and went 15 consecutive relief appearances, 14.0 innings, without allowing a run from June 22-July 24.  He’s also had seven perfect relief appearances of 1.0 inning or more.  He has struck out at least one batter in 24 of 31 appearances.


Kiest was originally selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 27th round of the 2013 draft out of Riverside (CA) Community College, but did not sign.  He attended Chaffey (CA) College in 2014 and was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 28th round that year.  Kiest was assigned to the Gulf Coast League and went 1-0 with an 8.22 ERA in nine relief appearances.  In 7.2 innings pitched he walked 16 and struck out six while opponents hit .172 against him.


He went back to the GCL in 2015 and improved going 2-0 with a 4.67 ERA in 12 relief appearances.  In 17.1 innings pitched he walked 17 and struck out 18 while opponents hit .210 against him.


Following his release from the Phillies, Kiest spent 2016 with three separate Independent League teams in three different leagues.  He began with the Sussex County Miners of the Can-Am League and didn’t accumulate a record with a 7.50 ERA in three relief appearances.  He was released in early June and signed by the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association on June 13.  He pitched in just two games allowing just a hit and not giving up a run in 2.0 innings of work.  He was released by the Saltdogs and signed by the Florence Freedom in the Frontier League at the end of June.  He pitched in eight games for the Freedom going 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA in 9.0 innings while walking eight and striking out 15.


In 2017 Kiest pitched in the United Shore Baseball League for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers.  He went 0-1 with a 3.43 ERA in 10 games.  In 42.0 innings pitched he walked 35 and struck out 78.  While there he caught the eye of the Minnesota Twins when he threw the leagues fastest pitch, at 99 miles per hour.


The Twins purchased Kiest’s contract and assigned him to the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2018.  He went 0-1 with a 7.98 ERA in seven games (two starts).  In 14.2 innings pitched he walked 14 and struck out 14 while opponents hit .288 against him.


The Saints roster stands at the league maximum 23, 11 pitchers and 12 position players.