Independent Baseball Insider by Bob Wirz, Vol. 12, No. 16, June 19, 2014

American Association players purchased by major league organizations do not often get to jump to Triple-A if their previous high was Class A, so Eric Brooks’ (pictured) first start in the Arizona chain at Reno, NV deserves a special look.

Only 23 and two years removed from being an 11th round draft choice of the Texas Rangers, the right-hander started twice for Lincoln, NE in the American Association (12 innings, nine hits, eight strikeouts) in May, reported to the Diamondbacks’ complex in Arizona, then worked four nearly perfect innings in a pitch-controlled start in the Pacific Coast League, allowing only one hit and one walk.


James Hoyt, who came right out of Centenary College (Hackettstown, NJ), to become a strikeout thrower in the American Association (Wichita, KS, 2012), closed out the South Division’s 6-4 victory in the Class AA Southern League classic although I imagine the hulking 27-year-old might not feel he was at his best.

Hoyt has 42 strikeouts in 29.2 innings, allowing only 18 hits and nine walks for Atlanta’s farm club in Mississippi (Pearl, MS), and he had to wiggle out of a testy ninth inning when hot Chicago Cubs prospect Kris Bryant sent a one-out drive to deep center that could have turned into a two-run homer.  Then O’Koyea Dickson of the Los Angeles Dodgers and host Chattanooga, TN went yard and Hoyt gave up a single before collecting the final out.

Fans may subscribe to this Independent Baseball Insider column, which will be published 36 times in 2014, at Bob Wirz provides supplemental stories about Independent Baseball on his blog, The author has 16 years of major league baseball experience with Kansas City and as chief spokesman for two Commissioners, and lives in Stratford, CT.