Second time's a charm for Indy vet Darian Sandford

06/25/2017 8:56 PM - Devo

Back in 2012, Darian Sandford made history. In 2017, Sandford made history again becoming one of a handful of players who has signed a professional MLB contract for the second time out of Independent baseball. 

And don’t get me wrong, with the amount of information out there and the abilities of athletes in this day in age, it takes a lot to impress people. And that’s what Sandford’s done over and over again.

As a member of the Southern Illinois Miners and Washington WildThings, he stole 71 bases, a Frontier League Record (2012). The Chicago White Sox took notice and signed him to a minor league deal. Heck, how could you not?

Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 47th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Park University, this marked Sandford’s second stint in affiliated professional baseball. His first two seasons saw him spend time in the Arizona League and Rookie League where he put up good numbers, but nowhere near what he’s been doing the past few seasons.

Sandford has toiled in the Indy Leagues for six years and makes an impact everywhere he goes, but doesn’t necessarily light up the the stat sheet. His career batting average across all leagues is .267 and has two career home runs. However, 422 stolen bases in 526 games is more than impressive.

To say Sandford has paid his dues is an understatement! He’s had a taste of affiliated ball, but not enough. He’s played in multiple Indy league over the past five years (CanAm Association, the Pacific Association, the Frontier League and the United League) and never took his foot off the gas. As recently as 2016, he was a MVP candidate in the little known Pacific Association after batting .293 with 99 stolen bases in 78 games. 

Arguably, 2017 started off as his best overall season by far. Up until he signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals, Sandford was batting a career high .340, with a career best .411 OBP and .372 SLG. for the Atlantic League’s Lancaster Barnstormers. It’s no surprise the Nats signed him up and immediately signed him to Double-A Harrisburg where he’s continued that hot streak; .303/.410/.333 with six swipes in eight games.

These are the stories that fascinate me. The undenying will of a player to never give up on a dream. Playing whenever and wherever and continually setting the bar higher and higher for other players that come after. Kudos to you. All of us ex-Indy players salute 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

Is Wilin Rosario the next Eric Thames?

06/18/2017 7:45 AM - Devo

It doesn’t matter what Eric Thames does for the rest of the year, he’s proven everybody wrong. No one wanted him, so he did what he had to do and went overseas and created a legend.

Next up is former Colorado Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario.

Rosario spent five years with the Rockies and put up some great numbers. In 2012, his rookie season, he batted .270 with 28 home runs and 71 RBI; good enough for fourth in ROY voting. The next season he hit .292 with 21 homers and 79 RBI.

Offensively he was the man. His 28 home runs as a rookie ranks up there there with with some of the best offensive rookie campaigns in the history of baseball; 28: David Justice (1990 Braves), 29: Joe DiMaggio (1936 Yankees), 29: Mark Trumbo (2011 Angels), 30: Mike Trout (2012 Angels), 35: Mike Piazza (1993 Dodgers) to name only a few.

Defensively is where the was concern. From 2012-2014 he led the league in passed balls and over time his playing time dwindled considerably. The Rockies granted Rosario his release in December of 2015.

With very little interest after his release, Rosario went over seas and signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization. Some won’t necessarily say it's comparable to the talent in Major League Baseball, but anyone that hits .321 with 33 home runs, 31 doubles, and drives in 120 is doing something right regardless of where he’s playing!

So far this year, Rosario is putting up eyebrow raising numbers again; .325/14/46 after 54 games. At 28 years old he’s got plenty of time left. He’s in his prime and there’s nothing saying he can’t be a productive player in the bigs once again. Only time will tell, but if Rosario keeps putting up these numbers you can’t deny he deserves another shot.

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

Natan Levy's journey won't end till he's a champion

06/11/2017 10:53 AM - Devo

With international victories in tournaments all over the world and over 30,000 followers on social media, Natan Levy's name is becoming one you hear about in all the fight circles. Now he has three MMA wins under his belt and Levy is building a worldwide following like no other. 

Not everyone can step into the MMA game and be instantly credible. It's not about putting on gloves and throwing haymakers. It takes years and years of training and not just in one discipline. You must be extraordinary in multiple facets and that's what Levy is trying to do.

From a young age, he trained in Karate until he saw MMA and was instantly hooked. He's working his way up the ranks and not taking anything for granted. Levy wants to be great and he will make sure he takes advantage of every opportunity brought forward!

The GM’s Perspective: First I have to say social media is a great thing, through Instagram we were able to set up this interview. Tell me about Natan Levy! How did you get involved in MMA?

Natan Levy: When I was a kid I used to watch boxing or kickboxing and when I found out there was this other type of fighting with smaller gloves and different rules it was so exciting at such a young age.

I got seriously involved in Karate and wanted to compete. One day my Sensei told our class that they were creating a reality tv show/MMA tournament in Israel and anybody who want to try and join the show can. It was sort of a Ultimate Fighter style type of show. It sounded perfect to me, but unfortunately the show got cancelled and never happened. I was training and so enamored with it that I still had to find a way to get involved.

GMs: According to your website, you said your karate training (seven years) was extremely difficult. Can you describe what that training's like for those who don’t understand your art.

NL: There's many different types of Karate and some of this doesn’t apply to all the disciplines, but the style I learned (Uechi-ryu) is very traditional and very old school. It’s real full-contact fights and self-defence. We would train three hours at a time till we were exhausted. We didn’t have an A/C and in Israel it’s already very humid, so you can imagine how tough it was. Our training made us stronger and got the body used to being hit and not being afraid of contact. This allowed us to not have any worries when we got in the ring.

GMs: Tell us about Syndicate MMA. What does that gym mean to you and how did you get started there?

NL: To me Syndicate MMA is my home away from home. My boxing coach, Jimmy Gifford took me there because it  was the place to be when I got to Las Vegas. He told me this is where you want to start your MMA training. People asked me why I didn’t go train at places like Team Couture or places where there are other UFC champions? To me it’s very simple and I have to do what’s right for me. Who’s going to pay attention to me as a new guy off the street. No one will give me the time or the support.

When I walk into the gym as a amatuer and I see other guys who are amatuers or amatuer champions, they’re doing something right. After a while guys start going pro and getting into the UFC. A lot of the fighters at Syndicate are younger and that’s who you want to be training with. They’re hungry, they’re competitive, and they want to get the next level.

GMs: A lot of people have different opinions about MMA; violent, barbaric etc...It’s actually the complete opposite; physical fitness, dedication, mental toughness, and accountability to not only yourself, but to the team.

NL: Exactly. People will tell you it’s violent and barbaric, but they’ve never done it. How can you speak of something you don’t understand?  

GMs: Is there any fighter that you mimic yourself after or one that you look up to?

NL: Not really. I think highly of a lot of people. I try to watch the fights as a fighter not a fan. It’s more of a study session if you know what I mean. I try learn from everybody and understand the ins and outs and rights and wrongs during their fights. I’m always asking questions and trying to be the best athlete I can be. 

GMs: You have some pretty notable credentials under your belt: 1st place-Gracie Worlds 2014, 3rd place-Israel National Jiu Jitsu Championship 2017, 1st place-ADCC Israel Submission grappling championship.

What does it take to place in these types of tournaments? What's the competition like? 

NL: At the end of the day there’s only one winner. When I won third place in Israel, I was proud of myself, but at the same time there's a sting to it. You’re so close to winning you know. And when 16 or 30 people are in the brackets, everybody’s gonna lose. 

You have to be a great shape, your stamina and recovery strategies must be top notch. And most importantly you must be mentally strong during the entire tournament. After four or five matches, you have to treat it like you’re in your first.

Every match you go into will be the most important one you’ll ever have. That’s the mindset you go in with. If you don’t win the first, you’re going home.

GMs: With three impressive fights under your belt, and two of those victories in under 60 seconds, what’s the plan going forward?

NL: Right now, I’m going to fight on Tuff-N-Uff, the biggest amatuer promotion in North America, specifically, Pack The Mack on June 17 in Las Vegas at the Thomas and Mack Center. Admission is free and you can watch it live on Natan-Levy.com/en/live/ It could be some of the best fights you’ll see. You can’t overlook anyone.

If you want to connect with Natan on social media, follow him on TwitterfacebookInstagram, and on his website.

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

Revs lefty inks minor league deal with Giants

06/05/2017 1:22 AM - Devo

Jarret Martin was having an All-Star calibre season with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League. His season was so good that the San Francisco Giants signed him to a minor league contract. He will start his Giants career at Double-A Richmond.

Martin's been in the game for over eight years. During that time he's spent the majority of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 18th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Bakersfield College, Martin was primarily a starter early in his early days. After being dealt to the Dodgers is when Martin was not used as a starter, but more as a relief pitcher. 

Overall, the numbers aren't spectacular, but that's usually the case. Not everyone can be a Clayton Kershaw or Mariano Rivera, but that doesn't mean they aren't durable players who posses a niche skill no one else does. After six years at the MiLB level and two at the Indy level, Martin has a 20-38 record with a 4.61 ERA. Standing at 6'3" and weighing in at 230 lbs, batters can't feel comfortable in the box when he's slinging it from the left side. With a career 9.4 SO/9 over 490 career innings, he knows how to get the punchout.

“He worked extremely hard and made significant strides since spring training to get better,” said Revs manager Mark Mason. “He has all the ability, and we are very happy for him to get this well-deserved opportunity. We wish him the best.”

Martin's second Independent season got off to a spectacular start and its no wonder the Giants scooped him up. In 18 games, he racked up 27 strikeouts (13.3 SO/9) and surrendered 2 earned runs (.098 ERA). Superior numbers with superior ability. And of course, this is another example showing how Indy ball is not a demotion, but an opportunity for something more.

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

Browse by Month »

August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010

Arizona Winter League
Jury Jiu Jitsu
Myles Jury
OMG Cleaning Services