It was intriguing checking out Baseball America's list of what it considers the top 10 prospects in Independent Baseball (among all players not signed by a major league organization by August 13) today, and learning that Colombian first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez ranked No. 1
Timing is very imperfect in these instances, and we had just written in Thursday's Independent Baseball Insider that the Red Sox have purchased the 23-year-old's contract after his summer at Yuma, AZ of the Golden League where he hit .335. BB-A's J.J. Cooper suggests Rodriguez probably projects best as a corner outfielder in affiliated baseball since he likely does not have the power to be an ideal major league first baseman.
While these veteran eyes see a number of Independent players getting an affiliated opportunity at a much more advanced age and even a big league look if they continue to progress, it is easy to see that Baseball America really concentrated on younger players in making its selections. No one on the team is more than 24, and only two of the 10 have reached that birthday. That also explains why the Atlantic League, which does not have many of the under-25 crowd on its rosters, did not land anyone on the list.
MAJOR LEAGUERS IN MINORITY
It was surprising that with so many former major leaguers in the Atlantic League only four of the 14 players on the circuit's postseason All-Star team have even one game at the highest level.
Carl Everett of Newark, NJ was the only major name tabbed, with his role as DH. Closer Bill Simas and southpaw starter Troy Cate of Long Island, NY both have major league time as does outfielder Charlton Jimerson, one of Everett's teammates.
Sure we have prejudice as a life-long baseball enthusiast, but Amarillo, TX may have the smartest people around. They have selected the hometown Amarillo Dillas the "Best Local Sports Team" for the fourth consecutive year in the Amarillo Globe-News's annual poll of the Best of Amarillo, which covers a variety of categories.
What a shame it is when some communities hardly know they have a professional baseball team even though the competition as well as the entertainment and the cost run fairly similar from ballpark to ballpark. If only these towns paid more attention.
FALL WORKOUT OCTOBER 24-25
It is not the normal tryout camp, but the Frontier League has a fall workout for college-eligible players as well as others looking for exposure scheduled October 24-25 at the Gateway Grizzlies' GCS Ballpark in Sauget, IL, near St. Louis. The indication is all of the league's managers will be on hand. Details can be found at www.FrontierLeague.com.