Friday, June 05, 2015


Independent Baseball has already seen 30 of its former players wear major league uniforms with the season about one-third gone and two others have been on the disabled list all year which certainly gives these leagues an opportunity to top the record of 41 who got to experience this thrill one year ago.

Pitchers continue to dominate with 26 of the 32 moundsmen. The list of players active or on major league disabled lists today, with their current team and their Independent stops:

Pitchers ( 17 + 3 on DL)—Craig Breslow, Boston (New Jersey, Northeast League); *#Aaron Crow, Miami (Fort Worth, American Association); Brandon Cunniff, Atlanta (River City and Southern Illinois, Frontier League); Steve Delabar, Toronto (Brockton, Can-Am League, and Florence, Frontier); Jon Edwards, Texas (San Angelo, North American League, and Alpine, Pecos League); Luis Garcia, Philadelphia (Newark, Can-Am); *Luke Hochevar, Kansas City (Fort Worth); Scott Kazmir, Oakland (Sugar Land, Atlantic League); #Brandon Kintzler, Milwaukee (St. Paul, American Association, and Winnipeg, Northern League); Vidal Nuno, Seattle (Washington, Frontier); *#James Paxton, Seattle (Grand Prairie, American Association); *Tanner Roark, Washington (Southern Illinois); Chaz Roe, Baltimore (Laredo, American Association); *Tanner Scheppers, Texas (St. Paul); *Max Scherzer, Washington (Fort Worth); Bo Schultz, Toronto (Grand Prairie); *Joe Thatcher, Houston (River City); Tom Wilhelmsen, Seattle (Tucson, Golden League); Jerome Williams, Philadelphia (Lancaster, Atlantic, and Long Beach, Golden); Brad Ziegler, Arizona (Schaumburg, Northern League).

Position Players (4 + 2 on DL) – 1B-OF Chris Colabello, Toronto (Worcester and Nashua, Can-Am); *2B Stephen Drew, New York-AL (Camden, Atlantic); OF-1B *#Daniel Nava, Boston (Chico, Golden); OF David Peralta, Arizona (Amarillo and Wichita, American Association, and Rio Grande Valley, North American); OF #Antoan Richardson, Texas (Schaumburg, Northern); C Rene Rivera, Tampa Bay (Camden).

Pitchers with major league time in ’15 who are currently in the minor leagues (6)–Andrew Albers, Toronto/Buffalo (Quebec, Can-Am); Angel Castro, Oakland/Nashville (Lincoln, American Association); *Chris Martin, New York-AL/Scranton (Grand Prairie); Drew Rucinski, Los Angeles-AL/Salt Lake (Rockford, Frontier); Caleb Thielbar, Minnesota/Rochester (St. Paul); Ian Thomas, Los Angeles-NL/Oklahoma City (York, Atlantic).

Notes: Crow and Richardson have been on the DL the entire season; #Indicates is currently on the disabled list; *Indicates first pro game was in Independent Baseball.


Nearly 200 former Independent Baseball players are in the affiliated minors today, every one of them hoping to get an eventual opportunity in the big leagues. One beginning to draw attention is outfielder Stewart Ijames, who was drafted twice but continued to play college baseball (Louisville) while trying for a higher selection that never came.

“It was the hardest thing I ever went through,” James told The Visalia (CA) Times Delta. “I can’t stress that enough. It was very hard. The one thing growing up that I was always good at was playing baseball, and I just assumed that it (being drafted again) was gonna be there, and I never thought that anything was gonna change. So that was the one thing that I learned from that–that baseball keeps going. Baseball does not need me. Baseball does not need Stewart Ijames. I need baseball to make myself feel complete.”

The former Frontier Leaguer (Washington, PA) is tied for second among California League players in home runs (12) and has 29 RBI and a .283 average for the Visalia Rawhide.

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