Independent Baseball Chatter – by Bob Wirz
American Association stock continues to rise with 20 of its former players expected in major league spring training camps over the next few days. This is the highest count for any Independent league in 2015, and is believed to equal the record for any league (Atlantic League, 2012) since non-affiliated play started in 1993.
“Wow, ” exclaimed American Association Commissioner Miles Wolff, who has seen the count increase from 12 just three years ago. “We know the league has good players, and it is great to see so many of them are getting a shot.” A few other league graduates are likely to be called over from minor league camps for an occasional major league appearance.
All but three of the 20 players are pitchers. Twelve are on 40-man rosters with the other eight as non-roster invitees. Nine of the 12 teams active last year are represented.
*Angel Castro, Oakland (Lincoln 2010)
Aaron Crow, Miami (Fort Worth 2008-09)
*Dane De La Rosa, Baltimore (El Paso 2009)
*Mark Hamburger, Minnesota (St. Paul 2013)
Luke Hochevar, Kansas City (Fort Worth 2006)
John Holdzkom, Pittsburgh (Sioux City 2013, Amarillo 2013-14)
*James Hoyt, Houston (Wichita 2012)
Brandon Kintzler, Milwaukee (St. Paul 2009)
Chris Martin, New York Yankees (Grand Prairie 2010)
James Paxton, Seattle (pictured, Grand Prairie 2010)
*Chaz Roe, Baltimore (Laredo 2012)
*Cody Satterwhite, New York Mets (Sioux City 2013)
Tanner Scheppers, Texas (St. Paul 2009);
Max Scherzer, Washington (Fort Worth 2006);
Bo Schultz, Toronto (Grand Prairie 2011)
Caleb Thielbar, Minnesota (St. Paul 2011)
Ian Thomas, Atlanta (Winnipeg 2009-11)
* – Non-roster invitee