Friday, September 09, 2011


While I featured the 39 former Independent players who have worn major league uniforms this season and the nine who made affiliated minor league all-star teams in yesterday's Independent Baseball Insider column, I could not get to all of those who finished among the statistical leaders in those same minor leagues.

It was another impressive showing:

--Val Pascucci (Camden, NJ, Atlantic League) showed why the New York Mets are giving him a look in the National League this month by placing third among International League hitters in runs batted in (91) and sixth in homers (21) with Buffalo. Pascucci had a single in his only at-bat so far for the Mets.

--Timo Perez (New Jersey, Can-Am League) ranked fifth in the International in hits (144) and eighth in average (.304) while playing in the Detroit system, and Daniel Nava (Chico, CA, now in the North American League) was eighth in runs (69) playing in the Boston organization.

--In the Pacific Coast League, Andy Van Hekken (Somerset, NJ, Atlantic) ranked second in earned run average (3.40) as a Houston farmhand and Justin Christian (Southern Maryland, Atlantic, and River City, Frontier League) was fourth in steals (36). He is now with the parent Giants.

--Tim Bascom (Bradenton, FL, South Coast League) and Mike Spidale (Kansas City, KS, now in the American Association) showed why they made the Eastern League all-star team. Bascom had the third best WHIP (walks plus hits vs. innings pitched) of 1.13 and fourth lowest ERA of 3.11 while representing Baltimore. Spidale, a Philadelphia minor leaguer, was second in hits (161) and third in average (.326)

--All-star Will Savage (Wichita, KS, American Association, and Lancaster, Atlantic) ranked first in wins (12) and had the second best WHIP (1.25) in the Southern League. He pitches in the Dodgers system.

--All-star Anthony Seratelli (Windy City, Frontier) was third in both runs (91) and stolen bases (35) with the Kansas City team in the Texas League.

--In Class A, Atlanta farmhand Keenan Wiley's .285 average was fourth best in the Carolina League. His Indy experience was at River City. A rookie league player who distinguished himself was Ryan Bollinger (Windy City), whose 65 strikeouts were good for second in the short-season Appalachian League.


The Lincoln (NE) Saltdogs did not make the American Association playoffs this season, but they have stayed in the news in recent days.

General Manager Tim Utrup was honored as the league's Executive of the Year, an award he also received in 2006 which was the only other time it has been given out. He has been voted the top GM three times since Lincoln started playing in 2001.

The Saltdogs' Haymarket Park was named the top playing field in the league in a vote of managers, and it marked 11 consecutive times Lincoln has been No. 1, including the last six in the American Association.

And hitting coach Chris Miyake was promoted to manager for 2012, replacing Marty Scott, who returned to the major leagues as Vice President of Player Development for the Florida Marlins. Miyake, a former shortstop, managed Brockton, MA of the Can-Am League in 2007-08.

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