Independent Baseball Insider: Vol. 11, No. 19, June 13, 2013
By Bob Wirz
Mid-June may seem a bit early for All-Star games, but several affiliated minor leagues play their so-called mid-season games next week. Newcomer Brandon Sinnery (pictured) is one of the former Independent Baseball players chosen to participate. Sinnery, who started his pro career in Indy ball last season played for Lincoln, NE (American Association) and was purchased by Arizona before this season started. The right-handed pitcher has made the Midwest League All-Star Game with his play for South Bend, IN where he is 4-2, 2.87.
Darren Byrd, who played for Fargo, ND when the current American Association team was in the Northern League, has been targeted by OaklandClubhouse.com Managing Editor Chris Biderman as one more possible Oakland understated bullpen find now that he has been promoted to Triple-A (Sacramento) although his frequent walks may be an issue. He has won his only decision and has a 4.60 ERA for 12 appearances.
Production Continues out of Independent Leagues
The constant search for that next Independent Baseball player who may be developing to a point where the major leagues could be within reach has turned up some new and intriguing stories.
Mark Minicozzi, Brandon Sinnery and Darren Byrd are a few names worthy of mention.
Minicozzi, a onetime East Carolina University standout, needs to figure it out soon because he has already turned 30, but he was such an offensive presence in May that he was selected Eastern League Player of the Month and has zoomed to second in the league batting race (.344) while posting a .433 on-base percentage. Some apparent changes in his work habits may be paying off.
Some may have barely recognized the former Winnipeg and Kansas City first baseman when he reported to San Francisco Giants’ minor league spring training camp in a trimmed down body. At 6-foot-1, Minicozzi had adopted a modified diet, taken up yoga and worked with a personal trainer, according to The Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch.
“I’m not surprised that he’s doing well, but I am surprised at how well he’s doing,” praised Richmond Manager Dave Machemer, who had urged the Giants to re-sign their 17th round draft choice of 2005. Minicozzi hit a blazing .427 with five home runs and 27 runs batted in to earn the May award. He has hit seven homers and driven in 38 runs for the Flying Squirrels .
A Quick Trip Around the Bases
Bryan Pounds has continued to drive in runs for Sioux City, IA (American Association). Two Kansas City, KS (American Association) players have reached important milestones with Ray Sadler picking up his 1,500th career hit and Matt Padgett his 900th RBI…Sadler has three major league games to his credit (Pittsburgh, ’05), Padgett has topped out at Triple-A.
(Bob Wirz also writes about Independent Baseball on www.IndyBaseballChatter.com. Fans may subscribe at newly-reduced rates to this Independent Baseball Insider column, which will be published 40 times in 2013, at www.WirzandAssociates.com or comment to RWirz@aol.com. The author has 16 years of major league baseball experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners, and lives in Stratford, CT.)
Photo courtesy of Saltdogs.com