With an abundance of good holiday cheer already served up for Independent Baseball, it is difficult to cite any one happening as the pinnacle although Kyle Regnault certainly stands tall.
Have not heard of Kyle? The 6-foot-2 left-hander is typical of those who make the Indy game what it is in that he was not drafted when he came out of the University of Rhode Island, but made his mark during three seasons in the Can-Am League (Quebec and Worcester) before the New York Mets gave him an opportunity in their farm system.
He has pitched at every level in their minor league organization during the last four seasons with a 4.10 earned run average and well over a strikeout per inning in Triple-A. The only major league looks have come during brief spring training stints, but now the Rhode Island native has become the latest Indy product to turn overseas for a lucrative opportunity.
News reports indicate Regnault, who turns 30 on December 13, is getting a $125,000 signing bonus, a $400,000 base salary and the opportunity to earn more in incentives for Japan's Hiroshima Carp.
Go to work, Kyle, and more of your Indy brothers likely will get nice deals.
Major League Coaching Jobs Abound
It seems like more and more people who have proven themselves in Independent leagues are getting new or better major league coaching opportunities even without significant success at that level as players.
This list may be incomplete, but over recent weeks Andy Haines has moved from being assistant hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs to hitting coach with Milwaukee, Anthony Iapoce has taken on top hitting coach duties for the Cubs after being in a similar role at Texas, J. R. House has been named third base and catching coach for Cincinnati, Stubby Clapp has joined St. Louis's coaching staff and Shawn Wooten has become assistant hitting coach for the Los Angeles Angels.
Iapoce and Haines never reached the majors as players while the others reached that level but were far from becoming household names.
Some of the Independent ties of the quintet date back a number of years. Clapp and Iapoce were in the old Northern League, Haines in the Frontier League, Wooten in the defunct Prairie League and briefly in the American Association and House was in the Atlantic League.
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Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Lefty Regnault Latest From Indy Ranks to Find Financial Rewards in Japan
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.