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southernleague.com | The Official Site of the Double-A Southern League

Southern League 2019 Umpires

Crew 1

Resides: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Bio: Clark has spent nearly two seasons in the Southern League, earning a promotion from the Hi-A Carolina League in April 2017. The South Carolina native also spent time in the South Atlantic League (2015) and Appalachian League (2014) after graduting from the MiLB Umpire Training Academy in early 2014. While in the Appy League, Clark was a member of the 2014 Championship Series crew. In his spare time he enjoys working out, being a dad to his daughter Leilani Jae, and playing music at his church.

Resides: Seminole, Florida

Bio: Sam Burch is entering his first season in the Southern League after an impressive pair of seasons in the South Atlantic and Carolina leagues. Burch was on the South Atlantic League's 2017 All-Star Game crew and worked both the All-Star Game and Championship Series in the Florida State League last season.

Born and raised in Turlock, California, Burch was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma at 18 months old. In his spare time he enjoies doing CrossFit training and Geocaching.

Resides: Clopton, Alabama

Bio: Wilson joined the Southern League on July 10, 2019; earning a midseason promotion from the Florida State League. He has worked in the South Atlantic League, Appalachian League, and Gulf Coast League, in addition to taking Instructional League and Extended Spring Training assignments. Wilson began his career with MiLB Umpire Development in the spring of 2015. He is a graduate of Auburn University.

Crew 2

Resides: Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Bio: Perez returns to the Southern League for his second straight AA season. He is a veteran of the Carolina League, South Atlantic League, and NY-Penn League. He graduated from the MiLB Umpire Academy in 2014. In his spare time he enjoys both golfing and disc golfing.

Resides: Conway, South Carolina

Bio: Brown joins the Southern League in 2019 following a successful season in the Hi-A Carolina League last year, where he worked on both the All-Star Game and Championship Series crew. He spent 2017 in the South Atlantic League and split 2016 between a pair of rookie assignments following his graduation from the MiLB Umpire Training Academy. In the offseason he enjoys golfing and spending time with family.

Resides: Lawrenceville, Georgia

Bio: A midseason promotion, Basner joins the Southern League following stints in the Hi-A Carolina League and Lo-A South Atlantic League. After graduating from MiLB's Umpire Development program, Basner began his professional career during the 2015 season with an assignment to the rookie Gulf Coast League. He also has experience in Florida's extended spring training and instructional leagues, as well as the New-York Penn League. Basner's brother, Toby, was an umpire in the major leagues from 2012-17.

Crew 3

Resides: Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Bio: Ballou returns to the Southern League for the third straight season, his first as a full-time Crew Chief. He previously spent time in the Carolina League, Midwest League, and Appalachian League after graduating from the Wendelstedt Umpire School in 2012. His hobbies include woodworking, grilling, and being a dad to his two children Brantley and Broxton.

Resides: Charleston, South Carolina

Bio: Jones is entering his first full season in the Southern League after earning a midseason promotion midway through 2018. A 2014 graduate of the Wendelstedt Umpire School, Jones made his way to the SL after stops in the Arizona, Gulf Coast, New York-Penn, South Atlantic, and Florida State leagues. His twin brother, Austin, is also a Southern League umpire.

Resides: Coro, Falcón, Venezuela

Bio: Jimenez is entering his first season in the Southern League after stints in the Florida State, South Atlantic, New York-Penn, and Gulf Coast leagues. In 2015, he graduted from MiLB's Umpire Academy. During the offseason he is an umpire in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Crew 4

Resides: Tampa, Florida

Bio: Sonntag enters his third straight season in the Southern League and his first as a Crew Chief. A 2014 graduate of the MiLB Umpire Academy, Sonntag previously spent time in the Appalachian, South Atlantic, and Florida State leagues. While attending the Umpire Academy, Sonntag met his wife Danielle. If he hadn't become an umpire, he would most likely be a firefighter.

Resides: Rock Hill, South Carolina

Bio: 2019 marks the first season in the Southern League for Austin Jones. Prior to his promotion to the SL, Jones spent a pair of seasons in the Hi-A Carolina League. He has also worked in the Midwest, Appalachian, and Gulf Coast leagues. His twin brother Tyler is also a Southern League umpire.

Resides: Largo, Florida

Bio: Robert Nunez enters his first season in the Southern League after spending 2018 in the Hi-A Florida State League. He is also a veteran of both the Midwest League (2017) and New York-Penn League (2016). He graduated from the MiLB Umpire Academy in 2016. He was the home plate umpire for Oddy Nunez's no-hitter on June 24, 2018 (no relation).

Crew 5

Resides: Harrison, Tennessee

Bio: Bates is entering his second season in the Southern League and his seventh overall in Minor League Baseball. The Tennessee native split 2017 between the Hi-A Carolina League and AA Texas League, and also has experience in the Midwest League, Appalachian League, and Gulf Coast League. In the offseason he enjoys hunting, fishing, and being a full-time dad to his two children Bryson and Elijah.

Resides: Lake Worth, Florida

Bio: Stewart joins the Southern League in 2019 for his first season at the AA level. Prior to joining the SL, he worked inthe Florida State League (2018), South Atlantic League (2017), and Appalachian League (2016). He is a 2016 graduate of the MiLB Umpire Training Academy. 

Resides: Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela

Bio: Jhonatan Biarreta joins the Southern League as part of a midseason promotion following nearly two seasons in the Hi-A Florida State League. The north Venezuela native worked this year's Florida State League All-Star Game along with umpire Dillon Wilson, who also joined the Southern League for the season's second half. Biarreta spent 2017 in the Lo-A Midwest League and split 2016 between the rookie New York-Penn League and Gulf Coast League following his graduation from the MiLB Umpire Academy in May 2016.