Indy stars earning their MiLB stripes

07/24/2017 7:21 AM - Devo

Bridgeport's Moran K's his way to the Dodgers

07/16/2017 7:58 AM - Devo

29 games was all the Los Angeles Dodgers needed to realize that Bridgeport Bluefish LHP slinger, Brian Moran was their guy. The signed him to a minor league deal on July 15.

Moran’s been doing this for a long time and should be no stranger to the process. Since being drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 7th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of North Carolina, he’s spent the majority of his career within the Seattle Mariners organization making it all the way up to Triple-A.

From being picked up in the Rule 5 draft on three separate occasions, spending time in the Puerto Rican Winter League and now leveraging his time in Indy ball, Moran is headed back to affiliated ball and has been assigned to the Dodgers Double-A team; Tulsa Drillers.

Left-handers are always at a premium, and for a guy with a career 3.01 ERA in over 430 professional innings and a career SO/9 of 10.2, it makes you wonder how and why guys like Moran slip through the cracks and can’t just get over that proverbial hump.

On the other hand, you can’t not root for someone who, obviously will not give up on his dream, and is willing to do whatever it takes and go wherever he has to.

In 29 games for the Bluefish, Moran did what he usually does; put up numbers that no one could ignore. In 19 innings, he surrendered 8 hits, gave up five runs while striking out 33! Yup 33 equating to 15.4 SO/9 and a .879 WHIP.

Only time will tell how far Moran will go, but if history is any indicator, Moran has all the tools to make it as far as he wants.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here

Former Jays draft pick makes ATL All-Star team

07/09/2017 6:04 PM - Devo

At 26 years old its tough to say someone is in rebuild mode, but that might be exactly where Michael Crouse is at this point in his career.

BC’s own, Crouse was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 16th round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft from Centennial SS. The speedster was with the Jays’ Gulf Coast League team at 17 years old and by the time he was 25, he was in the Independent Atlantic League stealing a league leading 61 bases.

25 years old and out of affiliated baseball? It's a harsh reality, but Crouse never gave up and that’s why Indy ball is an option and an outlet for players starting out or trying to climb back up that ladder.

After missing the 2015 season due to an injury, Crouse’s 2016 season was a coming out party so to speak. He put together, arguably his best overall season; 10 home runs, 67 RBI, 25 doubles, five triples, 61 stolen bases and a .287 batting average.

This year has been nothing more of the same for the multi-medal winning member of the Canadian National Baseball team (Gold, 2008 World Junior; Bronze, 2011 Baseball World Cup; Gold, 2011 Pan American Games). At the midway point of the season, Crouse is killing it. His .264 average may not be where he wants it, but he’s right on track with 11 big flies, 37 RBI, and 20 stolen bases, hence why he was named to the Liberty Division All-Star team.

It’s numbers like this that keeps those in the front offices interested. It’s also the heart and determination that these players show year in and year out to continually deal with the ups and downs, but ultimately striving to make it to the next level.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here

Blake Gailen defies all odds, signs minor league deal with Dodgers

07/02/2017 5:18 AM - Devo

11 years, over 1,000 games, and over 3,700 at-bats. If Blake Gailen hasn’t seen it, done it or experienced it, I’d be very surprised.

The Atlantic League’s Lancaster Barnstormers announced that Gailen has signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, making this the fifth time he’s signed a contract with a MLB organization and third time within the state of California (LA Angels 2011/2015). Incredible!

In 2012, Gailen produced one of the greatest Indy seasons we’ve ever seen, ranking up there with Daniel Nava’s 2004 campaign with the Chico Outlaws of the Golden League.

“In 72 games, Nava batted .371, with 12 home runs, 59 RBI, had an OBP of over .470, and slugged nearly .630.  Over one-third of his 95 hits went for extra bases. Nava became the first GBL rookie to win MVP honours and Baseball America ranked him as the No. 1 Indy prospect in America.”

As an undrafted free agent out of UNLV, Gailen put together numbers that rival the best Playstation stats; .338/.415/.534, with 26 doubles, three triples, 22 home runs, 89 RBI, and 25 stolen bases. Those numbers translated into a trifecta of accolades; voted the team's’ MVP by the fans, earned the Atlantic League MVP award and Baseball America’s Independent Player of the Year.

In his previous stints in the minors, he really hasn’t put up the numbers we are accustomed too, but that’s where the disconnect is. In 114 minor league games, Gailen’s hit .229 with 13 home runs and 64 RBI. In 11 Indy seasons, the numbers are substantially different; .328/.416/.513 coupled with 97 home runs and 438 RBI in 791 games.

Every single time Gailen gets to play a full season, he produces. There’s no question about that. His stint with the Arkansas Travelers in 2015 was the only occasion he saw significant playing time with an MLB affiliate (76 games), not nearly enough to say he can’t play at that level.

When Gailen was spotted by the Toronto Blue Jays in August of 2013, he was in the midst of another great season and good enough that the Jays assigned him to Triple A Buffalo where he hit .286.

There’s nothing different about 2017. Gailen is still crushing the baseball and making believers out of all the naysayers. He even collected his 500th hit with the Barnstormers this June. After posting some of the best numbers of his career at age 32 (.323/.408/.521), it’s no wonder the Dodgers scooped him up.

Barnstormers manager Ross Peeples couldn’t be more thrilled for the Gailen who departs as the team's all-time leader in hits (524), runs (309), homers (72) and doubles (108). And according to a Barnstormer's press release, his final home run tied him with Jutt Hileman as the team’s career RBI leader with 273.

“Blake has been very valuable to us from day one,” said manager Ross Peeples.  “We are proud of him, but we will miss him.  He is well deserving of this opportunity.”

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here
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