Thursday, December 21, 2017

Rule-5 Draft, Spring Training invites highlight indy baseball week

This Week in Independent Baseball

Four Taken in Rule 5 Draft--Continuing to show their value to major league organizations, four players with Independent Baseball experience were selected by new teams in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft during the Winter Meetings in Orlando.  The first person to go was catcher Yermin Mercedes, who came out of the Pecos League (Douglas and White Sands) and who chosen away from Baltimore by the Chicago White Sox.  He was the No. 2 pick in the entire Triple-A portion.  Eight spots later the outfielder converted to pitching, Andrew Muren (Fargo, Sioux Falls and Gary, all in the American Association) went from San Francisco to Toronto.  Lefty Chris Nunn (Evansville, Frontier League) was chosen by Houston from the Chicago Cubs.  Another southpaw, Carlos Diaz (Gary) was a Round 2 choice from Miami to Oakland.

Major League Spring Training Invitations--Somewhere around 25 former Independent players will become non-roster invitees to major league camps, presuming the level of recent years holds.  Three pitchers were added in recent days joining Boston outfielder Jeremy Barfield (Sugar Land and Camden, Atlantic League).  They are RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx of Texas (Lancaster, Atlantic League, and Victoria, Golden League); and the Tampa Bay pair of RHP Cody Hall (Lancaster) and LHP Vidal Nuno (Washington, Frontier League).

New to 40-Man Roster--The biggest addition to a major league camp probably is RHP Chris Martin of Texas (Grand Prairie, American Association), who returns to the majors after two outstanding seasons in Japan.  Martin got his professional start in Grand Prairie.

Get the independent minor league baseball trivia question of the day by clicking this link: Independent Minor League Baseball Trivia Questions

Friday, December 08, 2017


A few thoughts as I head for the Winter Meetings in Orlando where I will be located at Trade Show Booth 1817 with talented Kentucky artist Gary Cieradkowski.

DRAFT--It always is interesting to see which former Independent players get chosen during the Rule 5 draft, giving them a fresh start with a new major league organization.

ADLEMAN--The biggest news in the Indy world in recent days is that Cincinnati's Tim Adleman has received a $100,000 bonus and a contract worth slightly more than $1 million to pitch for the Samsung Lions in Korea.  This right-hander, who spent 2012 and 2013 in Independent leagues (Lincoln and El Paso in the American Association and New Jersey in the Can-Am League), led the parent Reds in both innings pitched (122.1) and strikeouts (108) last season.

WELCOME BACK CHRIS COSTE--One of the best names ever to wear an Independent uniform, catcher Chris Coste, is going to be Fargo's (American Association) hitting coach next season, returning to the RedHawks for whom he played for four years ('96-'99).  Coste's story celebrates perseverance in that he was in the minor leagues for 11 seasons before finally reaching the majors with Philadelphia at the age of 33 in 2006.

SPRING TRAINING INVITATIONS--The normal count of former Independent Baseball players in major league spring training camps runs about 50 these days.  The records maintained by currently show 26 such players on 40-man winter rosters, and the first non-roster invitation that we have seen belongs to former Atlantic League outfielder (Sugar Land and Camden) Jeremy Barfield, who was signed by Boston last summer.  The son of former major leaguer Jesse Barfield, who is 29, hit 27 homers at Sugar Land one year ago, and bettered that mark by one in 95 games in the Red Sox system.  He hit 27 at Double-A Portland and one at Triple-A Pawtucket. More invitations will trickle in in the weeks to come.

Get the independent minor league baseball trivia question of the day by clicking this link: Independent Minor League Baseball Trivia Questions