Indy Ball Weekly Perspective: D-Backs, Angels, and Reds scour indy leagues for arms

06/30/2014 5:00 AM - Devo

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

  • Former Toronto Blue Jay Kyle Anderson has had his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Anderson, who spent two years in the Jays' system, has been temporarily assigned to the Arizona League Diamondbacks. Anderson, a LHP for the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association, has been nothing less than spectacular for the first place Goldeyes. His record sits at 3-2 after seven starts and sits a top the leader board with a 1.64 ERA. He's given up one home run in 49 innings and he strikes out three batters for every base on ball.
  • The River City Rascals sold Ray Hanson's contract to the Los Angeles Angels after going 4-1 with a 3.53 ERA. He struck out 37 in 35 innings, good for 9.3 SO/9. Orginally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 47th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft from Cypress College, the 6'7" Hanson has 13 career wins in two professional independent league seasons. Hanson made his first appearance for the Inland Empire 66ers holding the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes scoreless for five innings.
  • Scoot Maine, LHP for the Bridgeport Bluefish, has had his contract picked up by the Cincinnati Reds. According to the Bluefish, Maine will start this ride in Double-A Pensacola of the Southern League. Maine has a lot of years under his belt. He spent the majority of his career in the minor leagues bouncing between Double A and Triple A. During that time he's spent time in the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, and Miami Marlins organizations. Over the course of eight professional seasons he's made 241 minor league appearances and has been called up to the big leagues for parts of three seasons. Maine hasn't put together spectacular numbers, and he doesn't throw all that hard (91.5mph), but his ability to get left-handed hitters out is his golden ticket. During his last year in the majors, Maine held them to a .188 batting average against (.200 over his MLB career) and didn't give up an extra base hit in 46 plate appearances.

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: Holdzkom signs with Bucs, Ottawa becomes Champions

06/24/2014 4:37 AM - Devo

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

  • The Pittsburgh Pirates have purchased the contract of John Holdzkom from the Amarillo Sox. Holdzkom, in limited action for the Sox, has been nearly unhittable. He's struck out seven in just under eight innings, giving up only one run. Drafted in 4th round of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft from Salt Lake Community College by the New York Mets, his best season came in 2008 as a member of the Savannah Sand Gnats and Kingsport Mets. That year he struck out 100 in 86 innings. During his time in the independent leagues, he's really put together some good numbers. According to the American Association, in 42 2/3 innings, Holdzkom has a career 2.89 ERA with 36 K's.
  • The Can-Am League and American Association will be available on TV for free! The have come to an agreement with InnovaTV, and according to a Can-Am press release, "will provide live streaming of every game across multiple platforms. Fans can view the games on www.independentprofessionalbaseball.com, which is compatible with desktop and laptop computers; a variety of Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; and Android mobile devices. InnovaTV is also available on ChromeCast, a Google product which allows direct streaming of a personal computer onto a television." You can always count on independent league baseball to think outside of the box to generate new ways for the fans to get involved and to promote the game.
  • The Can-Am League's newest team in Ottawa officially has a name. The Ottawa Champions will take the field in 2015. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Can-AM League commissioner Miles Wolff and Ottawa Champions president, David Gourlay made the announcement.

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.

NAIA graduates 37 more to the pros

06/22/2014 12:30 PM - Devo

2014 MLB Draft.jpgFor the second consecutive season, 37 NAIA players were selected by MLB teams in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, according to the NAIA.

Since 2008, the NAIA has averaged 41 players per year getting chosen, confirming that when you have talent scouts will continue to find you. And for the third time in the last four years, Major League Baseball has chosen a pitcher as the first NAIA selection.

There's a stigma that if you aren't playing NCAA baseball, the hope that playing professionally is out of your grasp. Perhaps it's just a lack of knowledge. Of course that's not true.

Every player choses their school based on a numbers of factors: academics, class size, and athletics. First and foremost, education should be your priority. The odds of playing professional sports at any level is very slim.

Those lucky enough to use sports as a springboard to the next level is an amazing accomplishment. When draft time comes around, and when that athlete gets selected in front of millions watching at home or gets that phone call saying they've been picked by a professional organization, there is nothing better.

The NAIA doesn't get near the exposure as their NCAA counterparts, yet the talent from these small schools does get noticed.

Taken off the board with the first selection was RHP Julian Merryweather, 158th overall by the Cleveland Indians out of No. 4 ranked Oklahoma Baptist. Merryweather went 12-3 on the year. He fanned 132 in 100 innings, while surrendering 12 runs all season.

The next player taken was LHP Brad Wieck (7th round, 205th overall) out of 19th ranked Oklahoma City. The 6-9, 240 pound Wieck went 5-5 in 19 games. He struck out 118 in 69 innings. He also saved five games and held opponents to .218 batting average against.

Congratulation to the well deserved 37 players who got drafted. All the best in your professional careers.

For a complete list of the 37, please see below, courtesy of the NAIA.

2014 MLB Draft – NAIA Players Selected

Pick Round Team Player School Pos.
158 5 Cleveland Indians Julian Merryweather Oklahoma Baptist RHP
205 7 New York Mets Brad Wieck Oklahoma City LHP
277 9 Tampa Bay Rays Chris Pike Oklahoma City RHP
285 9 St. Louis Cardinals Daniel Poncedeleon Embry-Riddle (Fla.) RHP
286 10 Houston Astros Jay Gause Faulkner (Ala.) RHP
297 10 San Diego Padres Thomas Dorminy Faulkner (Ala.) LHP
304 10 Washington Nationals Matt Page Oklahoma Baptist RF
363 12 Kansas City Royals Emilio Ogando St. Thomas (Fla.) LHP
415 14 New York Mets Darryl Knight Embry-Riddle (Fla.) C
513 17 Kansas City Royals Brennan Henry Bellevue (Neb.) LHP
552 18 Oakland A's Michael Nolan Oklahoma City LHP
553 18 Atlanta Braves Jacob Webb Tabor (Kan.) RHP
555 18 St. Louis Cardinals Blake Drake Concordia (Ore.) CF
597 20 San Diego Padres Tyler Wilson Tennessee Wesleyan RHP
639 21 Los Angeles Dodgers Osvaldo Vela Oklahoma Baptist SS
646 22 Houston Astros Bryan Muniz Southeastern (Fla.) 1B
690 23 Arizona Diamondbacks John Fidanza Georgia Gwinnett C
691 23 Baltimore Orioles Zeke McGranahan Georgia Gwinnett RHP
730 24 Detroit Tigers Gabe Hemmer San Diego Christian (Calif.) RHP
749 25 Los Angeles Angels Tyler Carpenter Georgia Gwinnett RHP
763 25 Atlanta Braves Kyle Kinman Bellevue (Neb.) LHP
787 26 Tampa Bay Rays Cade Gotta San Diego Christian (Calif.) CF
793 26 Atlanta Braves Trevor Sprowl Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) 2B
798 27 Chicago White Sox Ryan Jones Arizona Christian (Ariz.) 1B
809 27 Los Angeles Angels Cody Lavalli Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) RF
858 29 Chicago White Sox Evin Enhardt Brewton-Parker (Ga.) RHP
880 29 Detroit Tigers Jacob Butler St. Francis (Ill.) RHP
905 30 Cincinnati Reds Josciel Veras Cumberland (Tenn.) SS
963 32 Kansas City Royals Timothy Hill Bacone (Okla.) LHP
976 33 Houston Astros Edwin Medina St. Thomas (Fla.) OF
1036 35 Houston Astros Keegan Yuhl Concordia (Calif.) RHP
1044 35 Toronto Bluejays Joey Aquino San Diego Christian (Calif.) RHP
1071 36 Seattle Mariners Spencer Hermann Fisher (Mass.) LHP
1079 36 Los Angeles Angels Brandon Gildea Westmont (Calif.) C
1086 36 Texas Rangers Cody Chartrand Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) RHP
1142 38 New York Yankees Andre Del Bosque Houston-Victoria (Texas) RHP
1213 40 Atlanta Braves Randy Santiesteban Peru State (Neb.) 2B

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: Lew Ford dominates Atlantic League, moonlights as coach

06/17/2014 4:35 AM - Devo

Lew Ford.jpgWelcome to the latest edition of the Indy Ball Weekly Perspective

Lew Ford, best known for his time with the Minnesota Twins, is dominating the independent Atlantic League. Ford has spent the past few years bouncing between Triple A and the indy leagues, but everywhere he goes a .300 batting average follows.

Ford last saw MLB action for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012, and although his career .268 average doesn't seem all that impressive, he continues to be a guy that teams need and want.

Since 2009, independent baseball has played a big part in Ford's development. You can say, that without indy baseball, many of these fringe players would be out of a job. It's the exact opposite. Ford has played everywhere (US, Japan, Mexico), and his five indy seasons are becoming, in my eyes, stuff of legend.

During that time, Ford's hit .343 with 34 home runs and and 167 RBI, never batting below .318. To put that into perspective, he hit .377 in 2013, though that was limited to splitting time with the Orioles minor league affiliates, Bowie and Norfolk. Now in 2014, Ford has taken his game to a whole other level.

After 49 games, the Long Island Ducks outfielder leads the league in every offensive category: .392, 11 home runs, 47 RBI. His OBP is reaching Barry Bonds territory (1.096). On top of that, Ford has also added another dimension to his game. He doubles as hitting coach.

In a May 24 interview with Newsday, he explains the benefits of the extracurricular activity.

"Has doubling as hitting coach helped, just in terms of watching each individual at bat during the game?

It hasn't hurt. I am trying to watch the pitchers so I can relay the information to the other guys on what they might have. Working with the other guys on their swing can help you. If you're playing, you're doing the same things."

At 37 Ford is unlikely to make a MLB Opening Day roster, but his trek through all ranks of professional baseball is a blueprint to every journeyman player.

There are options out there. The minor leagues is not the end, only a new beginning.

For has parlayed a very admirable career, one that spans over 14 years, into a new chapter. The Ducks have giving Ford a new outlook on the game, He's proving that if you can hit the ball, you can hit the ball. With that pedigree, he can now help others improve their game. Who wouldn't take advice from a hitting coach with a wealth of experience and has done everything and been everywhere?

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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