Tracy McGrady takes the bump against Alvin Community College

04/18/2014 11:27 AM - Devo

Tracy McGrady Baseball.jpgOn Wednesday night, Alvin Community College got the first glimpse of Tracy McGrady, the baseball player.

In his lone inning, McGrady gave up three hits on one run, according to The Sporting News. Of his 15 pitches, nine were for strikes.

Whether or not you like the idea of McGrady getting this opportunity to participate, he's followed through on everything up to this point. Some people may say that he is using his celebrity to take a roster spot away from another worthy player, and they might be right. But this is independent baseball and the Sugar Land Skeeters have a knack of bringing the best out of their players, and bringing in huge crowds.

There wasn't a legitimate reason Scott Kazmir was on the roster in 2012, unless you count the fact that Sugar Land is located near his hometown of Houston. That move, probably done in large part to draw fans to the game, was the beginning of his return to a major league contract.

McGrady, in all estimations, is a long shot to make the Skeeters' roster. The odds on him advancing beyond independent baseball is astronomical. If McGrady, a seven-time NBA All-Star, makes the team, you better believe the fans will flock to the games.

The Atlantic League must cut their rosters from 34 to 27 by April 24. McGrady might get two more shots to make the grade between now and then.

I really want to see what he can do against professional hitters. And why not? He has a dream and wants to play baseball. Some other basketball player did this before, and it didn't work out to bad!

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.

Indy Ball Weekly Perspective: Skeeters sign MLB veteran Ryan Langerhans

04/14/2014 4:55 AM - Devo

Ryan Langerhans.jpgWelcome to the latest edition of the Indy Ball Weekly Perspective

Ryan Langerhans is returning to the Sugar Land Skeeters for the second time, according to a press release by the Sugar Land Skeeters.

Prior to spending part of 2013 with the Toronto Blue Jays' minor league affiliate, Buffalo Bisons, he appeared in 47 games for the Skeeters batting .287. In 150 at-bats Langerhans hit five home runs driving in 28. His .920 OPS was good for fourth on the team.

The Sugar Land Skeeters are undeniably one of the crown jewels of independent baseball. For the second consecutive season, the Skeeters have led all of indy ball in attendance, per Ballpark Digest. Their line-up has consistently featured major league calibre players like Roger Clemens, Scott Kazmir Jason Lane, and Koby Clemens to name a few. His return is nothing out of the ordinary.

Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 3rd round of the 1998 MLB June Amateur Draft, Langerhans is no stranger to the ins and outs of the game. He's played in over 1800 games, nearly 600 at the MLB level. During that time, the left-handed swinging outfielder has hit .226 with 33 home runs and 125 RBI.

Langerhans's been a starter, a utility guy and a player to be named later, but just when you think he's out of options, he pops up on another MLB roster with the ability to fill a need.

Without a shadow of a doubt, 2005 was his best season. He appeared in 128 games for the Braves, went deep eight times and drove in 42. Spitting time in the outfield with Andruw Jones, Jeff Francoeur, and Kelly Johnson, Langerhans was a main cog in the Braves run to their 14th consecutive division title.

Over the next eight years, Langerhans played sporadically for a multitude of organizations, which include the Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Blue Jays.

He's never likely to start again, but is a fourth or fifth outfielder in an emergency situation or if you need that veteran presence on the bench. If history is any indication, his time with the Skeeters will be productive, but short lived.

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.

Bluefish sign ex-Yankee reliever D.J. Mitchell

04/11/2014 4:53 AM - Devo

DJ Mitchell.jpgThe independent Bridgeport Bluefish have signed former New York Yankee reliever, D.J. Mitchell, according to a Bluefish press release on April 9.

Mitchell, who was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 10th round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft from Clemson University, is entering his sixth professional season, and first with the Atlantic League.

According to Bluefish manager, Willie Upshaw, they are looking for him to be a big part of their team's starting five.

“D.J. is an excellent addition to our team this close to the start of spring training,” says Bluefish manager Willie Upshaw. “We expect him to be an important part of our starting rotation.”

Last year, Mitchell made two stops in Triple-A splitting time between the Tacoma Rainiers, affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, and New York Mets' affiliate, Las Vegas 51s. In 35 games, he went 6-6 with a 7.67 ERA. In 85 innings, he struck out 66 while posting a WHIP of 2.019. He's never had an ERA above 4.29 until 2013. Mitchell's best statistical season came in 2011 with the Scranton Wilkes/Barre Yankees going 13-9 in 24 starts.

During his six-year career, Mitchell made his only big league appearances with the New York Yankees (2012). Four games is not enough to gauge his full potential at the major league level, however his nearly 700 minor league innings sets the expectation. Mitchell has a career 53-32 record and a 4.04 ERA. Never a power pitcher, he's had to rely on others ways to get hitters out. FanGraphs had him clocked at 89.9 mph during his time with the Bronx Bombers, and his 7.0 SO/9 is indicative of that.

It's inevtiable that players come to a crossroads in their career, it's inevitable. This opportunity with the Bluefish is his second chance to get back to The Show.

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.

 

Indy Ball Weekly Perspective: April 6, 2014

04/06/2014 8:55 AM - Devo

DEVONTEEPLEINDYPERSPECTIVE.jpgWelcome to the latest edition of the Indy Ball Weekly Perspective

  • April 28 and 29 marks the 22nd annual Frontier League Tryout and Draft. All 14 teams will be in attendance, including Major League Baseball scouts who have been known to make an appearance at the two-day event. According to the league press release, "the workouts officially begin at 9:00 AM on April 28 and will feature a 60-yard dash, fielding and throwing drills for infielders, outfielders, and catchers, and batting practice for position players while pitchers will throw 15-20 pitch bullpens.  Following the first day, the field managers will post a list of players invited back for inter-squad games on April 29.  At the conclusion of the games, action will break for 30 minutes as clubs and prepare for the draft." On average, 35 players are selected each year in the draft. Last year, over 400 players attended the camp in Saguet, Illinois. Over 40 players signed spring training contracts, 28 appeared in regular season games.
  • Adam Berry is your Pecos Spring League MVP. In 11 games he batted .533 with four home runs and 15 RBI. Needless to say, he led the Galveston Sea Lions in every major offensive category.
  • Former Texas Ranger, Brandon Boggs, has signed with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League. In 11 professional seasons, Boggs has appeared in over 130 Major League games, and nearly 900 at the minor league level. His best season came in his first year at the MLB level. He hit eight home runs and drove in 41, while batting .226. Since 2008, he's played for a variety clubs including the minor league affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, and  Minnesota Twins. Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2004 MLB June Amateur Draft from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Boggs has a career .258 batting average and 413 RBI in the minors.

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.