The games in the first Independent Baseball Prospect Tournament in St. Petersburg continued to be entertaining to the very end when the North American League rallied for five runs in the ninth inning and a 5-2 win over the Can-Am League to wrap up the championship. How fitting to see Bob Flori's name perpetuated through the championship trophy.
Bob loved Independent Baseball, and was one gritty manager, who I got to know through the Can-Am League.
The all-tournament team is to be announced later this week, and how nice it would be to see a signing or two follow in short order.
JEROME WILLIAMS INJURED, MIKE HOLLIMON MAKES A BID
The most meaningful performance I have noted by an Independent grad after the initial weekend of major league exhibition games was turned in by former Grand Prairie, TX middle infielder Mike Hollimon, a non-roster invitee with the Minnesota Twins.
Hollimon drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth innings as the Twins topped Tampa Bay, 7-3, on Saturday. Hollimon got into 11 major league games with Detroit in '08, but a shoulder injury the next year cost him most of the season as well as his spot in the Tigers organization. The onetime University of Texas star signed on with Grand Prairie in 2010, and hit .256 in 55 games with the American Association team.
Long showing decent power, especialaly for a switch-hitting middle infielder, Hollimon hit 18 home runs in 126 games split between Double-A and Triple-A for Minnesota last summer to earn the spring training look.
He walked and scored in his only at-bat in an 8-3 loss to Boston Sunday with his defensive innings at second base for the second day in a row. Catcher Rene Rivera (Camden, NJ, Atlantic League) went 1-for-2 as the Twins' starting catcher.
Jerome Williams has taken a blow with the Los Angeles Angels by straining his left hamstring, but Manager Mike Scioscia's comments do not rule him out of possibly winning the No. 5 starting job even if he misses the next two weeks. Williams landed with the Angels after a brilliant start at Lancaster, PA (Atlantic League) last season. The veteran right-hander also pitched for Long Beach, CA in the Golden League.
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