Independent Baseball Chatter – by Bob Wirz

The St. Louis Cardinals have not traditionally been a team that has often signed Independent Baseball players.  That might be changing now that outfielder Jose Martinez is batting cleanup most days as the Cardinals continue their quest to make the postseason.

Youthful first baseman John Nogowski is giving St. Louis another reason to look at the Independent leagues more often.

Nogowski, only 24, swung a lethal bat the first five weeks of the American Association season, hitting .402 (47-for-141) with a .482 on-base percentage and 28 runs batted in during his 34 games with Sioux City before the Cardinals purchased his contract.  The Florida State product continued his productivity with Double-A Springfield, hitting .295 and a .378 OBP and the Cardinals are sending the righty hitting, lefty throwing Tallahassee, FL native to the respected Arizona Fall League for more experience.

The stint with the Explorers really got Nogowski going after he had been dropped by Oakland, which drafted the 6-foot-2 athlete in 2014 and had him in its farm system for three seasons in which he did not hit above .286.

Corcino, Broussard Part of Co-Championship

Onetime American Association outfielder Edgar Corcino‘s trophy room will fill up this fall as a result of all he accomplished while playing for Minnesota’s Double-A farm club in Chattanooga.

Only 25, the switch hitter was named to the Southern League’s postseason all-star team, and the Lookouts reigned as co-champions when Hurricane Irma forced cancellation of the championship series leading to Chattanooga and Pensacola sharing team honors.  Corcino, who is from the Dominican Republic, played both third base and the outfield in the American Association (El Paso) in 2013.  He finished third in the Southern League batting race at .302.

Right-handed pitcher Geoff Broussard, who won eight of nine decisions with Sioux City four years ago, was on the Pensacola roster where he went 4-2 with five saves and a 3.20 ERA in 41 games for the Cincinnati farm club.

 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 a book about his life, “The Passion of Baseball”, is available at traditional book-buying sites, or at


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