Albaladejo is Vegas bound, signs deal with Mets

07/30/2017 4:59 AM - Devo

The 2016 Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year is heading to Las Vegas. Jonathan Albaladejo signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets early last week and was promptly sent to their Triple-A Affiliate.

This isn't anything new for the 17-year professional. He's pitched at every level from the foreign leagues, to the Independent leagues and of course, all the way to the majors. But for Albaladejo, this is nothing short of a true redemption story.

His career started off as good as you could possibly ask for. Eventually released by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007 after spending six years in their organization, he was signed by the Washington Nationals and raised eyebrows almost immediately. When he made his MLB debut in that same season, his 1.88 ERA, 12 strikeouts, and .628 WHIP were stuff that dreams are made of. Unfortunately the Baseball Gods had other plans. The rest is history.

Everyone has a plan. We never know what it will be, where will we go, and have zero clue about all the people we will encounter which is why Albaladejo's journey is that much more fascinating. He's been to the top of the mountain, but also had to work his way back up to the top when so many others would've just given up. This mentality couldn't be any more evident than after hearing what Bluefish General Manager Paul Herrmann said about him and the confidence others feel when he's on the mound.

“Jonathan has been our ace the past two seasons and instills a confidence in his teammates that is unparalleled,” says Bluefish General Manager Paul Herrmann. “We are so happy for him to receive this opportunity and wish him the best of luck in his journey.”

Over the past two seasons Albaladejo has put together 22 wins against 12 losses. His ERA is still a little ballooned at 4.20, but over the course of 44 starts, he's been about as reliable as they come. With 8.8 SO/9 (a career high) against 2.0 BB/9 (a career low), there's little wonder why the Mets are taking are taking advantage of this opportunity.

Since inking the deal with the Mets, he's been as advertised. In two games, and in just over 11 innings, he's 1-0 (0.00 ERA) with 11 strikeouts.. 

So far so good if you ask me!

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 stars earning their MiLB stripes

07/24/2017 7:21 AM - Devo

With a plethora of independent players getting the call from MLB clubs, it's always a fun to take a step back and check up on their progress.

Josh Wilson, a veteran infielder with eight years of MLB experience and 19 total years under his belt, became the first York Revolution player to sign a minor league contract this year. After signing with the Revs to return for a second season, the Texas Rangers scooped up the sure handed infielder and assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock where he proceeded to hit .329 in 22 games. On June 1, his contract was purchased by the Cleveland Indians and immediately assigned to Triple-A Columbus. In 32 games with the Clippers he's batting .200 with two home runs and five RBI. Overall, Wilson's batting .258 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI.

Jarret Martin, another Revs players to sign with a MLB club, is cruising right along in Double-A Richmond (San Francisco Giants). Martin, who's spent the majority of his eight-year career within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, was putting up some of the best numbers of his career when the Giants signed him. In 18 games with York, he struck out 13.3 batters per nine innings while surrendering only two runs equating to a 0.98 ERA. Martin's tenure in Richmond got off to a bumpy start, but over his last 10 games he's 1-2 with a 2.19 ERA to go with 14 K's in 12 innings. In 19 total appearances, batters are only hitting .167.

Darian Sandford is a master of the stolen base, and it's no surprise opportunity keeps knocking. WIth 430 stolen bases to his name, Sandford has made his mark on the independent game. In 2017 though, it was his bat that did the talking. After batting .340 for the Lanscaster Barnstormers, the Washington Nationals signed him to a minor league deal, marking the second time he's inked an MLB deal after playing in the Indy leagues. While the numbers may be a little lower than expected, Sanford is toughing his way through one game at a time. Currently he's hitting .232 with stolen 14 bases.

You can say Blake Gailen is an Indy ball legend and you'd be spot on. On five separate occasions he's leveraged his time in the Indy's to a minor league contract. Year after year Gailen does what he has to do, and regardless of where he's playing, scouts take notice. In 2012, he put up numbers so big, they rivaled anyone's anywhere (338/.415/.534, with 26 doubles, three triples, 22 home runs, 89 RBI, and 25 stolen bases) earning team MVP as voted on by the fans, the Atlantic League MVP award, and Baseball America’s Independent Player of the Year. Since signing with the Tulsa Drillers (Double-A affiliate of the Dodgers), Gailen's continued to pound the baseball. After 17 games he's a tad under .285 (.283) with three big flies and 11 RBI. Not too shabby for someone undrafted out of university.

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

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
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