THE GREAT BALBINO

THE GREAT BALBINO

Independent Baseball Insider by Bob Wirz

Corner infielder Balbino Fuenmayor’s first stop after a six-plus year stint in the Toronto farm system topped out at Class A was an 18-game stint at Laredo two years ago (.262-2-13), and now the 25-year-old seems to be on the brink of reaching the major leagues.

The Great Balbino, as he is being called, was Most Valuable Player in the Can-Am League (Quebec) one year ago and Baseball America tabbed him as its choice as Independent Baseball Player of the Year.

Fuenmayor’s latest exploits cannot be ignored. After signing with Kansas City, he went .354-15-51 in the first half of this season in Class AA (Northwest Arkansas, Texas League), continued his exploits when he broke into Triple-A a few days ago and he hit cleanup for the World Team in the major league Futures Game at the site of the All-Star Game (Cincinnati) on Sunday with a hard line single in two at-bats.

Fuenmayor’s bat exploded by going 11-for-26 (.423) in his first six games after being promoted to Kansas City’s top farm club, the Omaha Storm Chasers, prior to going to Cincinnati.

J.J. Picollo, the Royals’ assistant general manager/player personnel, told MLB.com: “Very interesting guy. He’s done a great job of cutting his strikeouts down and improving his two-strike approach. And obviously he’s got big power.”

While in Cincinnati, Fuenmayor told MLB.com: “My story is one example for other guys. You need to dream. You never know.”

 

Previously the chief spokesman for Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, Bob Wirz has been writing extensively about Independent Baseball since 2003. He is a frequent contributor to this site as well as writing his blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com.