Luke Hochevar (pictured), who threw his first professional pitches in the American Association one decade ago (2006) when the league debuted, received the ultimate honor for a baseball player last season when his efforts out of the bullpen helped the Kansas City Royals win the World Series.
He is back to work toward back-to-back honors, but Hochevar has 15 other American Association grads hoping this might be their season to get doused in champagne at the end of the fall classic. They represent an impressive Class of 2016 for the league in major league spring training camps.
Three other pitchers due in major league camps also started their pro career in the league. Ten of the 16 players hold 40-man roster positions with their teams while the other six are non-roster invitees. Still other former AA players likely will get brief exposure to major league play when they are brought over from minor league camps for a day or so.
The roster of those expected in major league camps fulltime with their major league and American Association affiliations. Those who started in the AA are identified with an asterisk (*) and non-roster players shown with an “n” before their name:
- n-Tim Adleman, Cincinnati (El Paso 2012, Lincoln 2012)
- n-Angel Castro, Oakland (Lincoln 2010)
- n-Junior Guerra, Milwaukee (Wichita 2011, 2013);
- *Luke Hochevar, Kansas City (Fort Worth 2006)
- John Holdzkom, Pittsburgh (Sioux City 2013, Amarillo 2013-14)
- n-James Hoyt, Houston (Wichita)
- n-Brandon Kintzler, Minnesota (St. Paul 2009)
- *James Paxton, Seattle (Grand Prairie 2010)
- Chaz Roe, Baltimore (Laredo 2012)
- *Tanner Scheppers, Texas (St. Paul 2009)
- *Max Scherzer, Washington (Fort Worth 2006)
- Bo Schultz, Toronto (Grand Prairie 2011)
- n-Chris Smith, Oakland (Wichita 2013).
- Ian Thomas, Los Angeles Dodgers (Winnipeg 2009-11)
Position Players (2)
- OF David Peralta, Arizona (Wichita 2012, Amarillo 2013);
- C n-Eddy Rodriguez, New York-AL (El Paso 2009, Sioux Falls 2010).
Satterwhite Moves to Angels System
Righthanded pitcher Cody Satterwhite, who pitched at Sioux City for part of 2013 and has gotten 10 games of major league spring training experience with Detroit and the New York Mets since 2009 (0-1, one save, 3.00), has a new organization, signing as a free agent with the Los Angeles Angels and being assigned to Class AA Arkansas.
The 29-year-old worked in 57 games for the Mets’ top farm club in Las Vegas last season, posting a 2-0 record with two saves and a 4.38 earned run average. He struck out 71 hitters in 72 innings.
Satterwhite sparkled with a 0.65 ERA in 19 relief appearances for Sioux City.
Searle, Phillips Star in WBC Qualifier
It would seem all but certain that onetime Grand Prairie hurler Ryan Searle will get to play in next spring’s World Baseball Classic.
The 26-year-old free agent helped his native Australia earn a spot in the championships by sweeping three games in the four-team qualifier held in Sydney. Searle saved two games, including the 12-5 clincher against South Africa, which the Aussies led only by a 6-4 margin when he entered in the eighth inning. He allowed one run, and struck out five in his three innings of work in his two appearances.
Infielder Anthony Phillips, who formerly played for the St. Paul Saints, hit .462 (6-for-13) and scored seven runs in South Africa’s four games. Angelo Songco, who starred for the Saints the last two seasons, went 1-for-7 in two appearances with the Philippines.
Previously the chief spokesman for Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, Bob Wirz has been writing extensively about Independent Baseball since 2003. He is a frequent contributor to this site as well as writing his own blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com.