32 ON 40-MAN ROSTERS MOST LIKELY A RECORD
Until the New York Mets outrighted reliever Greg Burke to Triple-A recently, no less than 32 players with experience in the Independent leagues were on major league 40-man rosters. That is believed to be an all-time high so take a bow, Indy leagues. Some more shuffling can be expected shortly after the World Series although newcomers needing to be protected from the Rule 5 draft in December could keep pace with those sent to minor league teams to open up roster slots.
Eleven of the 32, including Burke, had played their very first professional games in an Independent league. Eight of the 11 are pitchers with the exception of Drew, Nava and Minnesota Twins first baseman-outfielder-designated hitter Chris Colabello (Worcester, MA, Can-Am League).
ATLANTIC LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR ALREADY IN WINTER BASEBALL
Jake Fox, whose amazing production included three consecutive walk-off hits shortly before he was signed by Arizona, is among the Indy stars already playing winter league baseball. The first baseman-catcher-third baseman, who was selected as Atlantic League Player of the Year even though he missed the last month and a half of the season and the playoffs, is in Mexico now. Fox had 25 homers and 82 RBI for the Somerset (NJ) Patriots to earn the prestigious Atlantic League honor.
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