16 FROM A.A. CITIES IN BIG LEAGUE CAMPS

16 FROM A.A. CITIES IN BIG LEAGUE CAMPS

By Bob Wirz, Independent Baseball Insider

Chris Jakubauskas, one of Independent Baseball’s best finds who got his opportunity toward the major leagues after a brilliant start to the 2007 season in Lincoln, has announced his retirement as a player, but the American Association still will have at least 16 of its former players in major league spring training camps when they start opening in a few days.  Six of the players made their professional debut in an the league.

Jakubauskas, 35, reeled off six consecutive wins for the Saltdogs before the Seattle Mariners purchased his contract.  The righthander was in the American League two years later, putting together a 6-7, 5.32 record in 35 appearances for Seattle, including eight starts.  He later pitched for Pittsburgh, where his career took a sidetrack when a line drive struck him on the head, and Baltimore, finishing with an 8-10 major league record for 69 appearances.  He was 23-16 in four plus seasons in Indy leagues before joining the Seattle organization.

The players ticketed for major league camps so far (others may be added) along with their major league affiliation and the American Association cities where they played:

Pitchers

Catchers

  • Jose Gil, New York Yankees (Lincoln 2013)
  • Eddy Rodriguez, Tampa Bay (Sioux Falls 2010, El Paso 2009)
  • #Jose Yepez, Atlanta (Pensacola 2006, #Gary 2005, 2007)

Infielders

*First professional game was in an Independent league; #Played for team before it joined the American Association