Eight year vet rises to the challenge, signs with Round Rock

04/24/2017 10:23 AM - Devo

It didn’t take long for Josh Wilson raise some eyebrows. After resigning with the York Revolution for a second season, the veteran infielder signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate (Round Rock Express) becoming the first Revs player to sign with a Major League franchise this season.

None of this is new for Wilson who’s entering his 19th pro season. He was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the third round of the 1999 MLB June Amateur Draft. While at Mount Lebanon HS, Wilson was named the State Player of the Year, and helped guide his team to a state championship.

The Rev’s loss is Round Rock’s gain. Wilson was to play a major role with the team this year, regardless, Revs manager Mark Mason didn’t expect anything less from someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty for any team he plays for.

“I’m really excited for Josh,” commented Mason. “I believed he should have had an infield job in the big leagues, and I’m very happy for him to have a chance to pursue that. He came here and was a consummate professional for us and put himself in position to have this opportunity. That’s what our league is all about.”

Wilson may not be your everyday household name, but after eight years at the MLB level (with nine different teams) and with over 431 games under his belt, his track record is stable enough that any team who claims him will get a guy who can play anywhere at any given time.

In just under 1,100 at-bats he’s amassed a career .229 batting average with 10 home runs and 84 RBI. You’ll even get a guy with who can steal a base when needed (14/18).

At 36 years old, the clock is winding down on his career, but the Indy’s have proven once again that despite everything that’s happened in the past, if you have talent someone will find you.

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

From one bird to another, Nolan Reimold signs with LI Ducks

04/15/2017 1:29 PM - Devo

Birds of a feather...

All but twenty nine games of Nolan Reimold’s eight-year MLB career have been spent with the Baltimore Orioles. After being granted free agency by the O’s in November of 2016, Reimold inked a deal with the Long Island Ducks of the Independent Atlantic League.

What the Ducks are getting is an established MLB calibre player with over 13 years of professional experience under his belt.

“Nolan has put together an impressive career in professional baseball and has extensive experience at the game’s highest level,” said Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “He is eager to help this team win as well as earn an opportunity to return to the Major Leagues. We look forward to having him with the club.”

Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft from Bowling Green State, Reimold has dealt with serious injuries over his career and has been used more of a utility guy than anything else. Despite never playing more than 104 games in a season, he’s got legit power and can drive the ball out of the ballpark at any given time; 56 home runs/61 doubles in 480 games.

The Ducks are one of the best teams in all of Independent baseball (three league championships), and have a rich history of current and former MLB’ers (Rich Hill) leveraging their time there as a platform to be seen.

By no means does 32 years of age mean Reimold is over the hill. On the contrary, this might just be the reboot he needs to help at team out come the trade deadline for a playoff run.

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

Luke Zoesch: Why the truth matters

04/07/2017 7:23 AM - Devo

Around mid-February I read a tweet from Outsports about a young man from Wisconsin who was, in his own words, at the lowest point in his life. He dropped out of graduate school as he struggled with the anxiety and fear of being gay.

I read the interview by Luke Zoesch and immediately knew I wanted to speak with him. To put this into context, we’ve never met and never talked before. But after exchanging a couple texts and emails we set up our interview time and the conversation started and finished almost as if we’ve known each for years.

Without even meeting Luke, he came across as genuine, compassionate, and someone who wanted to live life with no regrets.

The GM's Perspective: I’m a regular reader of Outsports and truly admire people for being so open and honest about their life and living how they want to live. What was the main reason you spoke with Outsports and having your story out there for everyone to see?

Luke Zoesch: For me it’s been a long journey of recognizing that when you hide parts of your life and you’re not open in all parts of your life, not only do people not get the chance to know you, but you you don’t necessarily get the chance to know other people.

When I’m being authentic or being vulnerable other people tend to be like that with me as well. I’ve learned that when people tell the truth, even if it’s something that they feel they should be ashamed of or something that they're proud of, it makes you care about people and love people more.

GMs: After reading your interview, your last statement was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever read.

“The single most important reason I am happy to be gay is because it has challenged me to look at people and see only someone who is deserving of compassion and kindness, even though the world may tell me to see something else.”

After reading that, anyone from any walk of life can feel your passion. Did you ever think your words could have so much meaning?  

LZ: I guess not. Maybe that’s some of the reason I finally decided to come out or share my story on a bigger level for a bigger audience. I’ve started to realize that people need to hear those things. People need to see those examples of people who can say “I struggled with this or am still struggling with this” and it’s OK.

The more visible you are about those types of things, the more other people can feel empowered to live their own life and in this instance, come out or share with their family their sexuality and they can do that in their own way.

My life or lifestyle may not necessarily be the same as someone else’s, but they can look at that as “this is my story and this is what it means for me and this is how I can use it”.

GMs: You talk a lot about confidence and your struggle to be confident as a hunter and a gay man. From the outside looking in, what you’ve done and how you’ve opened up to the world shows that you have an enormous amount of confidence in my opinion...

LZ: It’s definitely been a very long journey. I have a lot of mentors and people in my life who have really helped me understand what authenticity and vulnerability means. Something that’s really important to me and what continues to snowball in the world is this devaluation of authenticity. I call it the Taylor Swift complex. There’s this idea that if you’re honest, vulnerable and say how you feel, somehow that makes you crazy.

I want to be confident in saying you are good enough and the more you’re like yourself, the more people are going to want to be around you.

GMs: Friends and mentors have been a huge support system for you. Is there anyone that’s been by your side since day one that you’ve leaned on for guidance or have you had a superior group of friends that have been there day in and day out?

LZ: I have a lot of good friends and one of the people who has been by my side since as long as I can remember is my friend Megan . She was the only person I’d speak to in Kindergarten. I’m 26 years old and she’s been my best friend for 21 years.

I started the process of coming out to my really close friends probably about a year and a half ago, but she actually told me very recently, that this is the first time that she really knows me. That was really powerful to me because I know how much we care about each other and how much we love each other. That was also very scary for me because that’s been a recurring theme I’ve heard since I’ve been living my true life.

My friends have said they’ve always known how much I cared about them and see how passionate I am about our friendships, but there’s always been this part of me they felt they didn’t know. Now they do.

I don’t want to have an unfinished life. I don’t want to reach the end and be that person who says I wish that I would’ve been more honest with people.

GMs: What was that feeling like when you went back out in the woods, a place you missed for so long when there was nothing holding you back?

LZ: It was exhilarating because you recognize all the opportunities that you have now that you are being honest. It was scary too. Once you know something, you can’t unknow it and I think that’s the thing that held me back for so long with being honest.

Once I told my family I was gay and was truly out 100 percent, you are  standing there naked so to speak. You give up that control of trying to live a life where you make other people think what you want them to think about you. It’s exhausting trying to do that.

GMs: What would you say to someone reading this that’s in that same place you were in? The place where the other persona “worked tirelessly in the gym on my appearance to make up for what I now know is just a perceived flaw: the gender of the person I will someday have a chance to love.”

LZ:  The people who you really want in your life aren’t going to care about those things. The question you have to ask yourself is why do you do the things that you do? I promise you, if you’re trying to create this image so people like you more, those aren’t the type of people you want around.

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

Kyle Drabek's rebuild starts in Sugar Land

04/04/2017 8:12 PM - Devo

Kyle Drabek, the former 1st round pick (18th overall) in the 2006 draft, has signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Independent Atlantic League.

The son of former National League Cy Young winner and current pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks Double-A team, has bounced around for the past six years never living up to the lofty expectations a first-rounder encounters.

For all you Toronto Blue Jays fans, Drabek was the centerpiece in the Roy Halladay trade that brought along Travis d'Arnaud and Michael Taylor. He was always that guy who had all the tools, but for whatever reason it never generated into wins or a sustained amount of time at MLB level.

With a cannon for an arm, 93 plus on the radar gun was a common sight at the Rogers Centre. Unfortunately, so were walks. His 5.8 walks per nine innings nearly matched his 6.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Drabek’s most extensive body of work came with the Jays. Over five seasons he appeared in 39 games starting 30. In 2011 he went 4-5 with a 6.06 ERA and struck out 51 in 78 innings. The following year, he put together a 4-7 record and compiled a 4.67 ERA in 71 innings.

 

 

Without a doubt the Skeeters are thrilled that another MLB calibre player will be joining the team. Even more fascinating is that Drabek may not spend all his time on the mound. After being released by the Chicago White Sox in July of 2016, the San Francisco Giants signed him to a minor league deal with the intention of using him at shortstop.

Grabbing a bat and taking the field is not foreign territory for him. In his senior year in high school Drabek hit .479 with six home runs. Over the course of his high school career, he belted 27 home runs and won USA Today and Louisville Slugger High School All-American honors.

On the surface it appears the experiment wasn’t successful; .167 with 4 RBI in 25 games, however, that doesn’t mean he’ll never step in the batter’s box again. The independent leagues are a great way for players to resurrect their careers and this is no different. Essentially Drabek has been written off like many before him, but as we’ve seen multiple times over, that’s not always how things end up.

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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