Independent Baseball Chatter – by Bob Wirz

Edgar Corcino had not even turned 21 when he reported to the El Paso Diablos as a third baseman-outfielder to start the 2013 American Association season even though he had been playing professionally for four years after being drafted by the Detroit Tigers.

Fast forward nearly four more years, and Corcino seems to be strictly an outfielder in Double-A in the Minnesota farm system (Chattanooga), and he still talks highly of the experience he had in Independent Baseball (he also was in the Frontier League after El Paso):

“Well, this will sound kind of weird, but during those two years (of Indy play), I had a rough time in my life,” he explained recently to  “But at the same time, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.   I learned things to really help how to be consistent.”

Consistency has been obvious at the plate because Corcino, who grew up in Puerto Rico, has hit .273, .286 and .284 with three Twins farm clubs the last two years, and that .284 was for 50 games at Chattanooga, his highest level so far for any extended period and where it appears the 6-foot-1 right-hander will spend 2017.

Corcino, who hit .232 with two homers and 15 runs batted in during his 33 games in the American Association, has “been working to improve my stealing and adding a little more power”, he told TwinsDaily as he readies for the new year.

Nostalgia Time for James Paxton

Twenty-eight-year-olds do not always get looked at for their nostalgia although that clearly was the case for Seattle lefty James Paxton when the Mariners’ winter promotional caravan reached his hometown of Ladner, British Columbia.

“I come up here several times a year to visit with family and friends, but this is the first time that I’ve come back with the Mariners,” he told The Delta Optimist newspaper.  “I was telling the guys on the bus I remember playing soccer on the back field and telling them about the school and friends’ houses that are close by. It definitely takes me back.”

Paxton, who made his first four professional starts in the American Association (Grand Prairie) in 2010 when he was fresh from a college career at Kentucky and now is pretty well established with the Mariners (18-15, 3.43 for 50 starts), has had a busy offseason.  He got married in November, and after a quick honeymoon has gotten back to work to prepare for the season.

“I’ve been throwing and working out,” he told the hometown newspaper. “Feeling really good and excited to get the season started…I expect to be in a position to help this team win every time I take the mound.”

Indy Battle in Marlins Bullpen

The Miami Marlins have added depth to their bullpen during the offseason, but the slant is strictly righthanded.  Ironically, if they have any lefthander to start the campaign it likely will be settled in spring training between two veterans of Independent leagues.

The door could be open to Caleb Thielbar, starting what could be his second life in the majors after pitching for St. Paul a second time. His primary portside competition likely will come from Hunter Cervenka, who has spent time in the Atlantic League.

Previously the chief spokesman for Baseball 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, has a blog,, and his book, “The Passion of Baseball”, was introduced in October.


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