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Sep '18 13

Africans in the Minors through September 12, 2018

by DZ

Here’s a quick look at the South African natives who spent 2018 playing minor league baseball.

Tayler Scott, Texas Rangers.
Current team: Round Rock Express (Triple-A)
The Jo’burg native played the entire season for Triple-A Round Rock, pitching 60.2 innings in 44 games, with 5 wins, 5 losses, and a 3.26 ERA with one save. He walked 25 and struck out 52.

Dylan Unsworth, Los Angeles Angels.
Current team: Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A)
The 25-year-old from Durban spent most of his time in Salt Lake after joining the Angels organization this past offseason. He had a 6-4 record and 5.75 ERA in 103.1 innings and 24 games. He hit or walked 29 while striking out 73.

Kieran Lovegrove. Cleveland Indians.
Current team: Columbus Clippers (Triple-A)
The 24-year old pitched 10 games in High-A to start the year, 30 games for Double-A Akron, then he finished the season with a single outing for Triple-A Columbus. He as 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA in 59.1 innings, walking 36 and striking out 66.

Vince Deyzel, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Current team: Bristol Pirates (short-season A)
The 20 year old from Durban pitched his 3rd season in the Pirates system, throwing 26 innings in 19 games. He finished with a 4-2 record and 6.23 ERA, walking 27 and striking out 25. At the end of July, Deyzel’s ERA was below 2.00 for the year, but his season numbers exploded as he gave up 14 runs in his last 6 innings pitched.

Victor Ngoepe, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Current team: Bristol Pirates (short-season A)
Originally from Johannesburg, the 20 year old middle infielder hit .223 with a .299 OBP in 56 games for Bristol. He stole 10 bases and had 9 extra base hits while striking out 54 times.

Gift Ngoepe, Toronto Blue Jays
Current team: Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A)
Gift was released from Triple-A Buffalo in mid-August. He played 13 more games in the big leagues this year after becoming the first African to play in MLB with the Pirates last season. He got one hit in 18 at bats with the Blue Jays, and hit .168/.304/.252 in 48 games at Triple-A. Ngoepe will now head to Australia to play for Sydney this winter in the hopes of getting regular at bats and finding a new professional opportunity for 2019.

Anthony Phillips, Colorado Rockies.
Current team: Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A)
Phillips did not appear in a game after May 30th, and although his MiLB page lists him as active, he was playing shortstop for the independent St. Paul Saints late in the summer.

1 Comment

  1. Comment by fred4945
    September 14, 2018 | 6:12 am

    Let’s see…..

    2 of the first 3 you mentioned (Scott & Lovegrove) grew up in America and were drafted out of US high schools.

    Most of the rest are just like Europeans: White guys who were so under-developed they could not compete in the low minors. Deyzel with a 10+ ERA over several years. Phillips who his .230 over a decade.

    Having lost talented African-Americans to basketball & football, perhaps MLB should focus on attracting very athletic Black Africans like the Ngoepes and Ugandans to our sport.

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