Edinburg, TX has all but wrapped up the South Division (or United League) title with a four and one half-game advantage over Rio Grande Valley (Harlingen, TX). Fort Worth is another one-half game behind with the season ending this week.
TRACKING SOME ELITE INDY GRADUATES
It may be a long shot in most of the cases to follow with regard to a major league call-up, but we wanted to track how the season has gone for several players who have major league time or have been on the brink and are playing in Triple-A.
1B-3B Mike Cervenak is having another outstanding season with the bat for Miami's New Orleans club (we hope it stays reasonably dry this hurricane week), hitting .345 with 13 homers and 55 RBI. Not a youngster anymore, Cervenak has only a few major league games (Philadelphia) for his otherwise distinguished career that started at Chillicothe, OH in the Frontier League in 1999 and 2000.
RHP Brian Sweeney, who started at Lafayette, IN in the Heartland League way back in '96 and has some major league time with the Padres and Mariners, is 6-3 with a save and a 4.57 ERA for the M's Tacoma farm club. Sweeney has 54 strikeouts in 88.2 innings.
INF Michael Hollimon (Grand Prairie, TX, American Association), who toiled with the Minnesota Twins to the very end of spring training, has been bothered by injuries at Rochester, NY and has but a .213 average with five homers and 13 batted in for his 155 at-bats.
C Rene Rivera (Camden, NJ, Atlantic League), who spent much of the '11 season with the parent Twins and is better known for his defense, has a .215-8-29 season in 265 at-bats for Rochester.
RHP Eric Hamren (Joliet, IL and Kansas City, KS when both were in the Northern League) logged quite a bit of time with San Diego one year ago, and this season he has nine saves, a 2-5 record and a 3.88 ERA with Triple-A Tucson. Hamren has fanned 54 in only 46.1 innings.
LHP Mike O'Connor (Southern Maryland, Atlantic) went to spring training hoping to be one of the portside options in the Yankees' bullpen. He has logged a lot of innings (100) at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA and has a 3-6 record and 3.78 ERA.
FORECAST COMING ON SOLID CANDIDATES FOR SEPTEMBER IN MAJORS
We plan to devote a portion of Thursday's Independent Baseball Insider to predicting for subscribers the former Independent players we believe deserve an opportunity in the major leagues before the season ends. We feel several players could be in the mix based on their history, season performance and their team's needs.
Get the independent minor league baseball trivia question of the day by clicking this link: Independent Minor League Baseball Trivia Questions