Independent Baseball Insider – by Bob Wirz

It won’t be long now (February 2) when the winter baseball season wraps up with the start of the eagerly-awaited Caribbean Series, and it appears almost certain the American Association will have considerable representation.

In some cases, it might even be a final showcase for players who still are free agents.

Catcher Jose Gil (Lincoln 2013) and right-handed pitcher Mark Serrano (Laredo 2013), both still believed to be free agents, were part of Caribes’ triumph in the Venezuelan round robin series along with corner infielder Balbino Fuenmayor (Laredo 2013) and Quebec (Can-Am 2013-14).  Fuenmayor was signed during the offseason by Kansas City.

Outfielder Brian Burgamy (St. Paul 2013, pictured) and catcher Jose Yepez (Pensacola 2006) are both with Gigantes in the Dominican League championships.  Burgamy recently signed to play in the Los Angeles Dodgers system while Yepez still is with Atlanta.

In the Puerto Rican championship series, Fargo righty Tyler Herron (Fargo-Moorhead 2012) a free agent, is with Mayaguez while Can-Am (Rockland 2011-12) right-hander Jon Velasquez is with Santurce.  Velasquez will report to the New York Mets’ major league training camp next month.

Admittedly, we have to stayed tuned because rosters get altered quite a lot as some players leave to get ready for spring training and the Dominican, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan and Mexican champions often load up with players from other teams.

The Australian League is not part of the Caribbean Series, but a trio of American Association players are continuing to put up solid winter numbers.  Morgan Coombs (Gary 2012-14) has a 7-1 record, one save and a 2.03 ERA in extensive work for Adelade, and Gary teammate Dustin Crenshaw (Quebec 2012-13, Gary 2014) is tied for the league lead with seven saves for Canberra.  He has a 3.32 ERA.  Grand Prairie’s Ryan Searle (Grand Prairie 2014) continues to lead the league in strikeouts with 64 in 54 innings along with a 3-3 record, one save and a 4.17 ERA.



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