Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Where Are All The Position Players? Pitchers Dominate Non-Roster Invitations

A few major league teams have yet to announce their invitees for spring training, but pitchers continue to dominate when we look at all of the former Independent Baseball players who will be reporting to camps throughout Florida and Arizona on non-roster invitations this month.  In fact, hurlers dominate even more than in the past.

Nine of the 32 Indy non-roster invitees one year ago were position players.  Only one player is in this category today among the 18 hopefuls has tracked who have been tabbed so far by one of the 30 major league teams.

Emilio Bonifacio, hardly the typical Independent player in that he has played in 831 major league games in a career that started back in 2003, is the lone position player.  The 33-year-old is headed for the Tampa Bay camp after spending much of last season playing shortstop and center field for the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League where he hit .348 with 20 stolen bases in 70 games.

Bonifacio last appeared in the majors two years ago with Atlanta.

The 17 hurlers with non-roster invitations, including their major league team and the team(s) and league (s) where they got their Independent experience:

*Ryan Atkinson, Arizona (Evansville, Frontier League); Jeremy Bleich, Philadelphia (Somerset, Atlantic League); Ryan Bollinger, San Diego (Windy City, Frontier; Trois-Rivieres, Can-Am League; St. Paul and Winnipeg, American Association); Hunter Cervenka, St. Louis (Sugar Land, Atlantic); Tim Dillard, Texas (Lancaster, Atlantic); Ariel Hernandez, Texas (Frontier Greys, Frontier); Tyler Higgins, San Diego (New Britain, Atlantic); *James Hoyt, Cleveland (Wichita, American Association; Edinburg and Yuma, North American League); Mike Kickham, Miami (Kansas City, American Association); Brian Moran, Miami (Bridgeport, Atlantic); Vidal Nuno, Washington (Washington, Frontier);  Edward Paredes, Philadelphia (York, Atlantic); Alex Powers, Cincinnati (New Jersey, Can-Am); Bo Schultz, Baltimore (Grand Prairie, American Association); Tayler Scott, Seattle (Sioux City, American Association); *Chris Smith, Detroit (Lake Erie, Traverse City and Washington, Frontier; White Sands, Pecos League); Eric Yardley, San Diego (Trinidad and Taos, Pecos).

*First professional game was in an Independent league.

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