When I wrote Thursday's Independent Baseball Insider I had notes on many additional Independent Baseball players from the start of winter baseball than I could possibly fit into the column. Here are some of them:
--Scott Patterson, who was closing for Lancaster, PA (Atlantic League) as recently as the early weeks of this season before signing with Seattle, has a loss to go with a 2.67 ERA for his first six innings. The right-hander started his pro career at Gateway (Sauget, IL) in the Frontier League.
--Another 2010 Atlantic Leaguer (Southern Maryland, Waldorf), Jarrett Grube is 1-1, 1.64 and has not walked anyone in 11 innings covering two starts. He also played in the Seattle organization this season.
--Jon Huber (Lancaster) is off to a rocky start with a loss and a 7.71 ERA for 4.2 innings. He is in the Los Angeles Dodgers system.
--Catcher Jose Yepez, a Seattle minor leaguer who played at Pensacola, FL (American Association) and Gary, IN (Northern League), is 6-for-25 (.240) and getting considerable playing time.
--Right-hander Jon Hunton (Oakland farm system) is 1-0, 2.25 for four outings. He has been with five different Independent teams, including New Jersey (Little Falls) in the Can-Am League, Somerset, NJ and Lancaster, Atlantic League, and Fort Worth, TX plus Coastal Bend (Robstown, TX) in the American Association.
--Speedy outfielder Justin Christian, a New York Yankees farmhand, is flying out of the gate with a .344 average (11-for-32) with two home runs. Christian played briefly at Southern Maryland this spring and started his professional career in the Frontier League (River City, O'Fallon, MO).
--Infielder Jacob Blackwood, who made a solid bid for the Triple Crown while playing at Kansas City, KS (one of the teams transferring from the Northern League to the American Association), is at .241 (7-for-29) but has a homer and six RBI (7 games). Blackwood signed after the Indy season with San Francisco.
--Southpaw Nick Bierbrodt has been near perfect in four appearances (0.00 ERA), giving up just two hits and two walks in four innings. He has worked at Bridgeport, CT and Somerset in the Atlantic League and Long Beach, CA in the Golden League
and belongs to the Rockies.
--Outfielder Cory Aldridge, who got some time with the parent Angels this summer and remains on their 40-man roster, is off to a slow start (5-for-29, .172) although he has driven in five runs in his first seven games.
Friday, October 22, 2010
CATCHING UP WITH INDEPENDENT PLAYERS NOW IN WINTER LEAGUES
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.