By Bob Wirz
Tyler Fallwell would seem to be a name worth remembering.
He is a tall (6-foot-5), right-handed pitcher the Sioux City Explorers picked up at the start of last season after two undistinguished summers in the lower end of the Kansas City Royals farm system after they drafted him out of Cochise Community College in his home state of Arizona.
Under Steve Montgomery in two months with the Explorers, Fallwell whizzed through 23 appearances in the American Association with an 0.64 ERA. He won twice in three decisions, saved two other games, struck out more than one hitter per inning and allowed only 18 hits and two earned runs in 28 innings.
Philadelphia purchased his contract mid-July, and after mediocre work in Class A (6.75 ERA) he has resumed his Sioux City level of results in Australia this fall. Pitching for Melbourne, Fallwell has not allowed a run in six outings, has the league’s best WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings) at 0.30 for his 10 innings with 13 strikeouts.
A far different success story belongs to Josh Lowey, who started a lengthy pro career in an Independent league 11 seasons ago and has continued through various non-affiliated leagues plus Mexico and Korea without ever pitching in a major league-affiliated organization.
Soon to turn 34, this highly-successful American Association righty back in 2012 when he was named the starting pitcher on the postseason all-league team for going 15-4, 3.57 at Wichita leads the Dominican Republic league this winter with six victories (6-2) and 10 starts, is second in innings pitched (46) and has the fifth best earned run average (2.54) for a team (Escogido) that is only 21-19.
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, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, and a book about his life, “The Passion of Baseball”, is available at Amazon.com or for signed copies at www.WirzandAssociates.com.