The North American League has gone through some drastic changes this year, specifically attendance.
Since last year, they have seen a drastic 40% drop through the gates, and their reigning champions; Edmonton Capitals, did not even return for the 2012 season.
On a positive note, Baseball America has just released its Top 10 Independent League prospects under 25 and Kevin Gelinas of the NAL is this year’s premier player.
Gelinas stands at 6’5 and tips the scales at 250 lbs, throws in the mid-90s and is left-handed. He was drafted in the 45th round of the 2009 amateur draft out of Central Arizona College and also in the 44th round of the 2010 draft by the New York Mets out of the University of Southern California, Santa Barbara.
After completing his senior year, this former Gaucho joined the Abilene Prairie Dogs and put up some very good numbers.
His role was limited to mostly one inning per appearance. In 22 games, Gelinas totalled 23 innings, walked five, struck out 29, recorded two saves, and compiled a 3.13 ERA.
According to the San Angelo Colts, his velocity caught the eye of the New York Yankees, who subsequently purchased his contract. Unfortunately an injury shortened his stay in the Yankees system. Shortly thereafter, they sent him back to the Prairie Dogs.
Whether Gelinas continues in what looks like a future closer role, the ranking provided by Baseball America can do nothing but bring more attention him and the Indy game.
What more could a player ask for?
For the complete list, please see below (courtesy of oursportscentral.com)
*The list was limited to players who were 25 or younger on September 1.
The complete Top 10 follows:
1. Kevin Gelinas (Abilene)
2. Chris Cox (Quebec)
3. Jonathan Kountis (Lake Erie)
4. AJ Nunziato (Washington)
5. Alfonso Yevoli (Washington)
6. Jason Martin (Abilene)
7. Buddy Sosnoskie (Fargo-Moorhead)
8. Robert Coe (St. Paul)
9. James Hoyt (Edinburg/Wichita)
10. Brandon Sinnery (London/Lincoln)
11. David Peralta (Wichita)
12. Andrew Heck
13. David Bowman
14. Joe Weik
15. Gabe Zavala (Laredo)
16. Rick Devereaux
17. Chris Smith
18. Keith Cantwell
19. Kyle Mertins (Sioux Falls)
20. Michael Hacker
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.