Fifty-one players who have started their career in a non-affiliated league or have gone there for a second chance have invitations to one of the 30 major league camps, according to records compiled exclusively by www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, and, if history repeats, that number may even climb a little more as teams make last minute decisions.
The count is exactly the same as one year ago, with pitchers once more dominating in that they have 41 of the slots. Three catchers, four infielders and three outfielders complete the list.
Twenty-three of the players are on 40-man rosters while the others have non-roster invitations.
The American Association can claim 20 of the 51 spots with the Atlantic League next with 18, followed by the Frontier League with nine and the former Can-Am League (it is now part of the Frontier) accounting for seven. Some players have been in more than one of the Indy circuits. Ten leagues are represented in all, including three that no longer are active.
While the list includes established major leaguers such as Washington ace Max Scherzer, Toronto starter Tanner Roark and Arizona hitting star David Peralta, decisions to be made between now and Opening Day (March 26) include whether Randy Dobnak can nail down a starting mound role with Minnesota, will first baseman John Nogowski (St. Louis) and lefty Mike Kickham (Boston) prove themselves ready and whether Tampa Bay will end up with four Indy leaguers among its 26-man active roster.
The entire list of players with Independent Baseball playing experience who are due in major league spring training camps, including the team and the Indy leagues and teams where they played: