Independent Baseball Chatter – by Bob Wirz
Seattle southpaw James Paxton (Grand Prairie 2010) has made two appearances so far in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 1.42 ERA for 6.1 innings.
In early Venezuelan League action, Junior Guerra (Wichita 2011, 2013), who recently moved from the Chicago White Sox to Milwaukee’s 40-man roster, has started very strong with 22 strikeouts over 17.1 innings in three starts. He has a 2.08 ERA.
Catcher Jose Gil (Lincoln) is doing well with the bat, hitting .444 (12-for-27) with three doubles, a homer and six RBI in eight games. He is in the Los Angeles Angels minor league system. Outfielder Brian Burgamy (St. Paul) is hitting .257 (9-for-35). He played at Double-A Tulsa for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.
After Time With T-Bones, Alex Gordon’s Brother Excels for Royals Rookie Club
Big brother Alex, the superb left fielder of the Kansas City Royals, is not the only member of the Gordon family drawing praise in baseball these days.
Derek Gordon, 24, after the 2014 season with the Kansas City T-Bones (1-1, 6.49), was Pitcher of the Year for the Royals’ rookie league team in Idaho Falls this summer. The 6-foot-6 hurler had a 2-3 record and ranked third in the Pioneer League in both earned run average (3.47) and strikeouts (65 in 70 innings).
Two Former American Association Hurlers Headed to Taiwan, Japan
Onetime Grand Prairie right-hander Aaron Wilkerson‘s season did not end when the Double-A Portland (ME) Sea Dogs campaign ended. He is in the Arizona Fall League for the parent Boston Red Sox (one start, 3.1 innings, two runs), but come October 28 will report to the USA Baseball team as it preps for the inaugural WBSC Premier12 tournament in Taiwan and Japan.
Wilkerson will be joined by another former American Association righty, the New York Mets farm system’s Cody Satterwhite (Sioux City) on the 27-man roster made up of players not on major league 40-man rosters. A third former Independent Baseball pitcher, Jarrett Grube, now in the Cleveland farm system, also will be on the team for the November 9-21 competition.
Fuenmayor Gets New Contract
Slugging first base prospect Balbino Fuenmayor (Laredo) has received a new contract from his parent organization, Kansas City. He put up big numbers for NW Arkansas and Omaha, the Royals’ top two farm clubs, in the first half of the ’15 season before injuring a knee. Baseball America’s choice as Independent Baseball Player of the Year one year ago seems certain to be invited to the Royals’ major league spring training camp unless he is traded elsewhere with his path to the majors pretty well blocked by Royals stars Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales.
A Happy Hochevar
Luke Hochevar, who started his pro career in the American Association (Fort Worth) and now is an important part of Kansas City’s powerful bullpen, was only a spectator in the postseason one year ago as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.
How does he feel about the experience this postseason: “It’s awesome,” Hochevar told The Kansas City Star. “There’s really no other way to put it (but) like I’ve said a thousand times before, I’d rather experience that last year (while) hurt than never experience it.”
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 as well as writing his blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com.