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May '17 05

Africans in the Majors & Minors through May 4, 2017

by DZ

All current African MAJOR & minor leaguers hail from South Africa.

Gift Ngoepe, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Current team: Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
In his 9th season in the Pirates organization, Ngoepe made his heavily-reported debut with the major league team on April 26th. Gift is the first African-born player ever in major league baseball. He has appeared at second base and shortstop, and is hitting .375 in 16 big league at bats (with an on-base of .545 after included his 6 walks). He has a double, a triple, 3 runs scored and 4 RBI.

Dylan Unsworth, Seattle Mariners.
Current team: Arkansas Travelers (AA)
Unsworth’s goal has now shifting to becoming the first African-born PITCHER to ever play in MLB. He’s made 5 starts on the season, 3 in Double-A and 2 in Triple-A. He’s 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA. In 25 innings he has allowed 29 hits and 6 walks while striking out 24.

Anthony Phillips, Colorado Rockies.
Current team: Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
Phillips has yet to appear in the 2017 season.

Taylor Scott, Milwaukee Brewers.
Current team: Biloxi Shuckers (AA)
We’ve been missing the 24-year-old Johannesburg native on this list, as he was signed out of an Arizona high school despite living in South Africa until his mid-teens. Thank you to the Mister Baseball facebook community for correcting our mistake! Scott has appeared in 11 games , pitching 16.1 innings for a 2.76 ERA and a 1-1 win-loss record. He has 19 strikeouts and 9 walks. Scott was a 5th round draft choice in 2011.

Kieran Lovegrove. Cleveland Indians.
Current team: Lynchburg Hillcats (High-A)
Another Johannesburg-born player who was drafted out of a US high school, the author’s research has proven inconclusive as to whether Lovegrove was involved in youth baseball in SA before moving stateside. Until proven/told otherwise, we’ll now include him as well! The pitcher has seven appearances for 7.1 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, and 5 strikeouts. He was a 3rd round draft choice in 2012.

Now in Extended Spring Training in Florida until the rookie league seasons begin in June:

Vince Deyzel, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Current team: GCL Pirates (rookie)

Victor Ngoepe, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Current team: GCL Pirates (rookie)

Callan Pearce, Minnesota Twins.
Current team: GCL Twins (rookie)

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