The Atlantic League, Northern League and Can-Am League have plenty of reason to be interested in the second World Baseball Classic.
Twenty of the 31 players with experience in Independent leagues who were on the provisional rosters made the final cut for the March competition with the Atlantic League able to claim nine of its “alums”. The Northern League has seven participants and the Can-Am four. Counting overlap because some players were in more than one league, the Frontier League is represented by three players and the American Association one. Four Indy leagues no longer playing also have players in the competition.
(Editor's note: I originally had the Independent list at 21 players, but Jason Deans of the Can-Am and American Association office alertly pointed out Adam Blackley did not make the Australian team. It was another player with the same last name who is in the WBC competition. All corresponding numbers have been adjusted.)
The biggest name might be Toronto Blue Jays starting candidate Scott Richmond since he started his professional career at Edmonton when that city was in the Northern League. The Cracker-Cats are now part of the Golden League.
Eyes also will be on New York Yankees reliever Edwar Ramirez in that he has had tendonitis early in spring training. The Yankees have said he will miss at least three days, but potential injuries are one reason major league teams will be holding their breath during the WBC competition. Ramirez is scheduled to pitch for the Dominican Republic.
Canada’s roster has the most Independent players. It has six, two more than Australia. Italy, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico and South Africa have two apiece. The United States and the Dominican Republic each have one. Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler is on Team USA.
The Independent players on final WBC rosters with the country they represent and their Independent affiliations:
PITCHERS (15)—Craig Anderson, Australia (Brockton, MA, Can-Am League); Barry Armitage, South Africa (Atlantic City, NJ, Newark, NJ and Lancaster, PA, Atlantic League); Chris Begg, Canada (Johnstown, PA, Frontier League; Albany, NY, Northeast League; St. Paul, MN, Northern League; Quebec, Can-Am); Mark DiFelice, Italy (Somerset and Camden, NJ, Atlantic), Bryan Dumesnil, Canada (Quebec, Can-Am); Nelson Figueroa, Puerto Rico (Long Island, NY, Atlantic); Donavon Hendricks, South Africa (Brockton and Atlantic City, Can-Am, and El Paso, American Association); Mike Johnson, Canada (Somerset, Atlantic); Josue Matos, Puerto Rico (North Shore, Lynn, MA, Can-Am, and Alexandria, LA, United League); Damian Moss, Australia (Long Island, Atlantic, and Macon, GA, South Coast League); Chris Oxspring, Australia (Cook County, Crestwood, IL, Frontier); Vince Perkins, Canada (Joliet, IL, Northern, and Camden, Atlantic); Edwar Ramirez, Dominican Republic (Pensacola, FL, Central League, and Edinburg, TX, United League); *Scott Richmond, Canada (Edmonton, Northern); Brad Ziegler, United States (Schaumburg, Northern).
INFIELDERS(5)—Sharnol Adriana, 1B, Netherlands (Newark, Atlantic, and Calgary, Northern); Stubby Clapp, SS, Canada (Edmonton, Northern); Ben Risinger, 1B, Australia (Gary, IN, Northern, and Springfield, IL, Frontier); Jack Santora, 2B-SS-3B, Italy (Newark and Lancaster, Atlantic); Randall Simon, 1B, Netherlands (Newark, Atlantic).
WITHDRAWING OR ELIMINATED FROM PROVISIONAL ROSTERS (10)—Edgardo Alfonzo, Federico Baez, Eric Cyr, Tony Fiore, Wayne Lundgren, Brian Mazone, Juan Padilla, George Sherrill, Mike Spidale, R. J. Swindle.
*Started career in Independent Baseball