Independent Baseball Chatter – by Bob Wirz

One of the best things that can happen for a baseball organization is to keep the pipeline filled. Major league players get the most attention although any good personnel director also likes to have quality players coming along at every level of the minor league system.

Almost like an ideal organization, the American Association also is keeping that pipeline stocked. No less than 11 pitchers who have worked in the league are on 40-man major league rosters at present, including Kansas City reliever Luke Hochevar (Fort Worth), one of the keys to the Royals’ powerhouse bullpen in this year’s World Series.
We can pinpoint three other AA pitching grads who are doing well in the early days of winter league play, and they are scattered through the various levels of organizations.
Junior Guerra, with Milwaukee now after getting some major league time this summer with the Chicago White Sox, has a tidy 2.78 earned run average for his first four starts in Venezuela. The right-hander by way of Wichita has worked 22.2 innings in Venezuela, allowing 21 hits and striking out 24.
Omar Bencomo (Laredo, Wichita), signed by Minnesota last summer and currently on the Twins’ Class AA Chattanooga roster, is at 3.60 for four starts with 23 hits allowed in 20.0 frames. A third right-hander, Lucas Irvine (Kansas City T-Bones) is only listed at Class A for Arizona, but he has won his only two decisions in Mexico and in four starts has given up 23 hits in 23.2 innings and posted a 3.42 ERA.
Catcher Jose Gil (Lincoln) is getting steady playing time in Venezuela, hitting .347 (17-for-49) with two homers and seven runs batted in. He has a .418 on-base percentage. He played at Triple-A after being signed by the Los Angeles Angels last summer. Outfielder Brian Burgamy (St. Paul) is at .333-3-11 with a .429 OBP in the same league. He played in Double-A for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season.
Twins Promote Corcino to Triple-A
Former El Paso third baseman Edgar Corcino has been promoted to the Class AAA Rochester roster by the parent Minnesota Twins, presumably to make it more expensive for another organization to take him away in the December draft.
Only 23 but a professional since 2009, the switch-hitting Dominican hit .273 with four homers and 41 runs batted in over 84 games in the Midwest League last season.

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.


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