Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Big Numbers Posted By Indy Players Not In Majors

Since pitchers often dominate when onetime Independent Baseball stars break through--or even are on the verge of breaking through to the majors--it is refreshing to see what onetime Somerset, NJ (Atlantic League) first baseman-outfielder Chris Marrero is doing for Boston's top farm club in Pawtucket, RI.

It probably will be tough for the 28-year-old to break through to the Red Sox this season because of their big offensive roster, but he not only homered in the Triple-A All-Star Game but has 18 regular-season bombs for a share of second in the International League.  Marrero, who spent part of last season with the Patriots, also has 46 RBI and a .294/.352/.521 log.

The American Association's Wichita Wingnuts have gotten considerable attention this year because of Junior Guerra's terrific breakthrough with Milwaukee, and they also have potent (when healthy) outfielder David Peralta with Arizona. Now the Kansans have a trio of other pitching alums putting up big numbers.

Josh Lowey, who went 15-4 for the Wingnuts in 2012 (one of Guerra's years), is 13-3 with a 1.65 ERA in the Mexican League.  The 31-year-old, who came out of Mercer University in '08 and started a lengthy Independent run, has an amazing 61-21 record in the non-affiliated leagues without a sniff from the majors.  The right-hander also had a 14-8 year for Somerset and has spent considerable time with Windy City and River City in the Frontier League.

In bullpen duty, James Hoyt, another 2012 pitcher for part of the year at Wichita, leads the Pacific Coast League with 23 saves (4-3, 1.81) and continues to pile up strikeouts (78 in 44.2 innings) without getting called up by the parent Houston Astros.  He also worked in the North American League for Yuma, AZ and Edinburg, TX.  Derek Eitel, who pitched briefly for the Wingnuts last season, is 4-0, 2.91 with 52 strikeouts in 46.1 innings as a reliever for San Diego's top minor league team in El Paso, TX.

Lefty Andrew Albers (Quebec, Can-Am League, and Lancaster, PA, Atlantic) continues to do well at Rochester, NY, Minnesota's Triple-A affiliate, where his 8-3 record shares second for wins in the International League.  He has a 3.36 ERA.  And longtime Independent hurler Dustin Crenshaw is 8-2, 2.20 in Mexico.  Crenshaw won 14 of 16 decisions for the St. Paul (MN) Saints of the American Association last season.  The 6-foot-5 South Alabama product also has pitched for Sonoma County in the Pacific Association, Quebec and Gary, IN of the American Association.

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