Independent Baseball Insider Vol. 11, No. 34, October 3, 2013
By Bob Wirz
The St. Paul Saints have had 18 of their players, including current Minnesota Twins LHP Caleb Thielbar (pictured), reach the majors by our unofficial tally, five more than Somerset (NJ), Newark (NJ) and Long Island (NY). Nashua (NH), now with a team in a summer collegiate league, produced 11 major leaguers, while Camden has had nine, Bridgeport, eight, Sioux Falls and Winnipeg seven apiece. Sioux City had five.
With 12 Names Added, 187 Have Now Reached Majors
Records maintained by this Independent Baseball Insider column show major league lightning has struck for at least 187 players since the Indy game cranked up in 1993, with a dozen of them getting the first time call to the majors just this season, including three whose very first professional games were played for an Independent team. That trio standing tall today are Minnesota Twins first baseman Chris Colabello, who labored for seven years in the Can-Am League, and two pitchers who were so outstanding in September they seem certain to get a long look as possible starters next season, Tanner Roark (Southern Illinois, Frontier League) for Washington and James Paxton (Grand Prairie, American Association) for Seattle.
That’s roughly the same ratio, ironically, as the entire 187 with 117 pitchers (76 right-handers) making the jump to the majors along with 70 positions players. Colabello is one of a dozen whose primary position has been first base and there have been 15 at other infield positions, 27 outfielders and 16 catchers.
(Bob Wirz also writes about Independent Baseball on www.IndyBaseballChatter.com. Fans may subscribe 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.)