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Indy Baseball Chatter

Indy Baseball Chatter is dedicated entirely to Independent Baseball Over 230 players have gained major league status since Independent Baseball started in 1993. Get a complete list for your private enjoyment for only $19.95. See link below, right.

Updated: 2017-12-14T20:16:27.743-05:00




A few thoughts as I head for the Winter Meetings in Orlando where I will be located at Trade Show Booth 1817 with talented Kentucky artist Gary Cieradkowski. DRAFT--It always is interesting to see which former Independent players get chosen during the Rule 5 draft, giving them a fresh start with a new major league organization. ADLEMAN--The biggest news in the Indy world in recent days is that



Aaron Wilkerson's recent promotion to the postseason-hopeful Milwaukee Brewers should have brought a double dose of happiness the everyone in an Independent league. First, it meant the non-major-league-affiliated leagues equaled the record set one year ago when 45 players who have worn one or more Indy league uniforms have been in the major leagues this season. But Wilkerson started his



When a record 45 players who had been in Independent Baseball leagues made their way onto major league rosters last season one had to wonder how high this number might grow because of the continued purchasing from the non-affiliated leagues at a rapid pace. The record has not been eclipsed as the end of the campaign nears, but when Philadelphia added veteran right-hander Henderson Alvarez to its



The All-Star Game performances of Max Scherzer (Fort Worth) and Brandon Kintzler (St. Paul and Winnipeg) gave the American Association some nice bragging rights, but Wilmer Font's showing in the Triple-A contest the night after the major league game should not be overlooked. Font, who is toiling in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system at Oklahoma City, got the start for the Pacific Coast League,



How times change! It was only a little over one month ago when the roster of former Independent Baseball players in the major leagues only added up to 15 players on active rosters with an unusually high seven more disabled. The active group now totals 24 (six more are disabled), with several new faces swelling the count. Five first-time major leaguers (four are pitchers) have pumped new life

12-Year Wait Is Over For Texas Pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx


It never gets old to write about a long-striving baseball player who finally gets that major league call. Think Daniel Nava.  Or Stephen Cardullo.  Or James Hoyt. The newest entry in this it-can't-happen-but-it-finally-does category is right-handed pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who turned 32 ten days ago and now in his 12th professional season.  He was added to the Texas Rangers' major league

20 Indy League Vets In Majors


It is always nice to see the Independent leagues getting more players to the major leagues. Sixteen onetime Indy players were active rosters on Opening Day last season with three more on disabled lists.  That number climbed to 20 in 2017, and still stands at that count with two players added recently although the DL list has grown to four and one health-challenged player recently was

Indy Baseball Numbers For Spring Training And WBC


It is time to look at some numbers.  Amazing numbers, really, which both MLB and Independent Baseball should love. **When spring training camps opened, a record 56 (one less than we originally reported) players who have been in Independent leagues were in major league camps.  Twenty-seven of them were on 40-man rosters; the other 29 were non-roster invitees.  The number has gone back with 27

Record 57 Former Indy Players In Major League Camps


What a jump! A record 57 players who have been in one or more Independent Baseball leagues are among those in--or heading to--major league spring training camps., which has been tracking Indy players for years, has identified 40 pitchers and 17 position players who are on 40-man rosters (27) or are non-roster invitees (30), a jump from the previous count of 52 two years

48 Indy Vets Due At Major League Camps


While a half dozen teams have not made their full non-roster contingents known for spring training, has identified 48 players with Independent Baseball experience who will be in major league camps this month. The list is top-heavy with pitchers, as usual, with three-quarters of those expected being moundsmen.  A number of leagues are represented with the Atlantic League

Spring Training Count Of Ex-Indy Players Likely To Top 2016


Most major league teams have not revealed the bulk of their non-roster invitees to spring training camps, but IndyBaseballChatter has been busy working through various sources and we can now say with confidence that the number of players who have been in independent leagues and will train with one of the 30 organizations almost certainly will top the 50 mark of last February. We can identify 42

Although Different, Hernandez And Runzler Both Headed To MLB Camps


Ariel Hernandez and Dan Runzler could not be much different except that both are pitchers. Hernandez is only 24, born in the Dominican Republic and is a right-hander who has not pitched above Class A, but is considered a major league prospect since he has averaged well over one strikeout per inning since his professional debut as an 18-year-old. Runzler is 31, a California-born southpaw, who

45 Former Indy Players In Major League Baseball


The story keeps getting better for Independent Baseball. When Toronto Blue Jays added right-hander Chris Smith to its roster Wednesday the record number of former independent players to wear a major league uniform during the regular season climbed to 45. That is four more than the previous high established two years ago, according to records maintained by Yes, two of

'Just A Great Feeling' For Can-Am Grads' First MLB Hit


If the Can-Am League had its own Hall of Fame, this would be a perfect souvenir for a player to donate. Less than a year removed from All-Star status in the league for his play with the Rockland Boulders (Pomona, NY), Stephen Cardullo gave himself an ideal 29th birthday gift two days early when his pinch hit single landed in left field to give the new Colorado Rockies outfielder-first baseman

Recent Indy Grads Impressing In MiLB


One constant in writing about Independent Baseball is the never-ending-opportunity to shed the spotlight on players who have not yet reached the major leagues, but are showing impressive strides after being signed out of the non-affiliated leagues and playing in the affiliated minors. Today's stories are absolutely juicy. One year ago Stephen Cardullo was an all-star outfielder in the Can-Am

Record Likely For Number Of Indy Players


With more than six weeks remaining in the major league season it seems virtually certain a record is going to be established for the most players with time in Independent leagues reaching baseball's pinnacle in any one year. The count has already reached 38, based on records maintained by, only three below the high-water mark reached two years ago. The final count last

Astros' James Hoyt Latest To Make Independents Proud


It finally happened! Strikeout machine James Hoyt, who pitched for three independent baseball teams before getting his first chance with a major league organization, has made his long-awaited major league debut with the postseason-hopeful Houston Astros. The 29-year-old right-hander is the first player who started in a non-affiliated league to reach the majors since Ian Thomas did so. Both

Reynolds, Sermo Capitalize On New Opportunities


Fortunes can change quickly in Independent Baseball.  Just ask Matt Reynolds and Jose Sermo, both enjoying triumphant returns to major league organizations. From Lancaster to SF Giants in a Month Matt Reynolds suddenly finds himself involved in the National League West pennant chase only a month and a few days removed from the Lancaster (PA) Barnstormers' bullpen in the Atlantic League.  The

Frontier League's Smoker 'Won't Forget' His Innings In Majors


One can only hope that Josh Smoker will not become the latest Independent Baseball grad to spend a brief (usually one day) time on a major league roster and never get into a game. But even if it turns out that way, the 27-year-old southpaw pitcher admitted to it is "one I won't forget." Smoker, who spent 2014 with Rockford, IL in the Frontier League before getting a second affiliated

Big Numbers Posted By Indy Players Not In Majors


Since pitchers often dominate when onetime Independent Baseball stars break through--or even are on the verge of breaking through to the majors--it is refreshing to see what onetime Somerset, NJ (Atlantic League) first baseman-outfielder Chris Marrero is doing for Boston's top farm club in Pawtucket, RI. It probably will be tough for the 28-year-old to break through to the Red Sox this season

With Success of Cuban Visit CanAm League May Do Again


Buoyed by the success of the three-week visit by the Cuban National Team to all of its six stadiums, the Can-Am League is hoping the experience can be repeated next year. The league saw a “pretty significant” attendance increase everywhere, commissioner Miles Wolff pointed out. “We are talking about trying to do it again next year”, he added, while admitting a considerable amount of work goes

Majors Picking Up Indy Players At Torrid Pace


While the track record over the past two decades shows it is going to happen, the pace of Independent Baseball players having their contracts purchased by major league organizations has been at a torrid pace this season. Records maintained by the Independent Baseball Insider, believed to be the most complete anywhere, have recorded 42 such transactions since the end of major league spring

Along with Ziegler, York and Guerra Earn High Marks


Brad Ziegler's numbers are getting insane with a 0.61 ERA in save situations this season and 43 consecutive saves overall, but I also tip my hat very high among the new products out of the Independent leagues; Washington's Tanner Roark (Southern Illinois Miners, Frontier League) and Junior Guerra (Wichita Wingnuts, American Association) of Milwaukee. Ziegler (Schaumburg, then in the Northern

Braves' Cervenka Latest To Make Majors After Time In Independent League


Want to guess what Atlanta rookie Hunter Cervenka and Kansas City’s Chien-Ming Wang have in common, other than being pitchers? Wang, the veteran on the comeback trail, and 26-year-old southpaw Cervenka are the first two players to be on an active major league roster this season for the first time after seeing some action in Independent Baseball. What may be most impressive it that it was only



Veteran lefty Wandy Rodriguez or power-pitching rookie James Hoyt? That seems to be one of the remaining questions in the Houston Astros’ spring training camp less than one week before the major league season opens. Hoyt has been exceptional for the second spring in a row for the Astros, but experience, especially from lefties, always seems to be a premium. If the 29-year-old Hoyt does make it