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May '17 05

Europeans in the Majors & Minors through May 4, 2017

by DZ

The big MLB/MiLB European news was the debut of Dovydas Neverauskas with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was called up on 24th April, arrived in the bullpen in the 6th inning that day and pitched the final two innings of the game. He returned to Triple-A two days later, where he has continued making his case on the field for a recall. Neverauskas is the first Lithuanian in the Major Leagues.

In other news, Stijn van der Meer of the Netherlands was released by the Houston Astros. This after being drafted from Lamar University just last summer and being promoted aggressively this spring. van der Meer has returned to his home country to play in the Hoofdklasse.


Didi Gregorius, New York Yankees. Netherlands.
Current team: New York Yankees (MLB)
Gregorius has played every game over the last week after a injury-delayed start to his season. He had four hits in his first two games back, and is hitting .333 with 5 RBI in 6 games.

Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins. Germany.
Current team: Minnesota Twins (MLB)
Kepler had a 5 game hitting streak broken Wednesday, and he also stole a pair of bases during that time. The Twins right fielder is hitting .262 with a .364 OBP. He has two home runs, those two stolen bases, and 14 runs with 11 RBI in 25 games.

Triple A –

Dovydas Neverauskas, Pittsburgh Pirates.  Lithuania.
Current team: Indianapolis Indians (AAA)
Neverauskas, whose native Lithuania lacks a true baseball diamond, pitched 2 innings with the big league club, giving up one run. He’s thrown 13 innings in Triple-A this season, and just gave up his first earned runs in a 3 inning appearance Wednesday. Even with those included, he has a 1.38 ERA with 2 saves.


Andy Paz, Oakland Athletics. France.
Current team: Midland Rockhounds (AA)
Paz is hitting .333 in his last 10 games with 4 runs and 5 RBI. He’s played 15 games on the year, and is slashing .278/.355/.296.

Single-A –

Daniel Arribas, Pittsburgh Pirates. Netherlands.
Current team: Bradenton Marauders (High-A)
Arribas is hitting .237 in his last 10 games, with 2 stolen bases. In 17 games overall he’s at .246/.347/.311 with 3 extra base hits and 4 stolen bases.

Martin Cervenka, Cleveland Indians. Czech Republic.
Current team: Lynchburg Hillcats (High-A)
Cervenka is hitting .265 with a home run in his last 10 games. He has 18 strikeouts versus 3 walks through 19 games, but he’s also got 21 hits (including 7 for extra bases) for a .304 average.

Tom de Blok, Detroit Tigers. Netherlands.
Current team: West Michigan Whitecaps (Low-A)
de Blok, recently signed after the World Baseball Classic, made his Tigers-organizational debut on May 2nd. He threw 3 innings and allowed one hit while also striking out one.

Marten Gasparini, Kansas City Royals. Italy.
Current team: Lexington Legends (Low-A)
The Italian switch-hitter has a .147 average in his last 10 games with 2 stolen bases. In 22 games, he’s hitting .179/.244/.231 with 3 stolen bases in 6 attempts with 25 strikeouts and 7 walks.

Alberto Mineo, Chicago Cubs. Italy.
Current team: South Bend Cubs (Low-A)
Mineo hasn’t played since April 20th after spending some time on the disabled list. He was activated 3 days ago, but hasn’t yet reappeared in a game. In 12 games, he’s hitting .263/.391/..421 with 4 extra base hits and 8 walks versus 9 strikeouts.

Sven Schüller, Los Angeles Dodgers. Germany.
Current team: Great Lakes Loons (Low-A)
The German right-hander has 4 consecutive scoreless outings, lowering his season ERA through 9 games to 1.62. He’s pitched 16.2 innings, with 12 hits, 7 walks, and 9 strikeouts. He has one save.
Yet to appear in 2017 (short season and rookie leagues begin in June). All these players are likely already playing on a daily basis in extended spring training games in Florida, Arizona, or the Dominican Republic, but there is not public access to those statistics/results.

Petru Balan, Minnesota Twins. Moldova.
Current team: GCL Twins (rookie)

Vadim Balan, Minnesota Twins. Moldova.
Current team: GCL Twins (rookie)

Paul Brands, Pittsburgh Pirates. Netherlands.
Current team: GCL Pirates (rookie)

Taylor Clemensia, Minnesota Twins. Netherlands.
Current team: GCL Twins (rookie)

Nadir Ljatifi, Cincinnati Reds. Germany.
Current team: AZL Reds (rookie)

Matz Schutte, Minnesota Twins. Netherlands.
Current team: GCL Twins (rookie)

Claudio Scotti, Pittsburgh Pirates. Italy.
Current team: GCL Pirates (rookie)

Pascal Amon, Los Angeles Dodgers. Germany.
Current team: DSL Dodgers 1 (rookie)

Sam Buelens, Toronto Blue Jays. Belgium.
Current team: DSL Blue Jays (rookie)

Alessandro Ciarla, Philadelphia Phillies. Italy.
Current team: DSL Phillies 2 (rookie)

Leonardo Colagrossi, Philadelphia Phillies. Italy.
Current team: DSL Phillies 1 (rookie)

Ludovico Coveri, Philadelphia Phillies. Italy.
Current team: DSL Phillies 1 (rookie)

Federico Giordani, Los Angeles Dodgers. Italy.
Current team: DSL Dodgers 2 (rookie)

Anton Kuznetsov, Philadelphia Phillies. Russia.
Current team: DSL Phillies 1 (rookie)

Oliver van der Wijst Severino, Houston Astros.
Current team: yet to be assigned


  1. Comment by johnclay3
    May 5, 2017 | 5:43 pm

    As a Cubs fan, I’m excited to see how Alberto Mineo continues to develop. It may be a small sample size, but the early returns show a disciplined approach at the plate.

    At a position where solid defense comes at a premium, it won’t take much for Mineo to rise through the Cubs’ farm system.

  2. Comment by fred4945
    May 5, 2017 | 7:25 pm

    This guy signed at 17 for something like $600,000. His career BA is .223 and never been above A ball in seven years.. I watched him in the European championships as a 20 yr. old and, based on several decades’ coaching experience, thought there were at LEAST 1,000 US college catchers who were better but had not been drafted.

    Sorry to say it will be a VERY long wait for this guy to become good.

  3. Comment by gbeaudette
    May 6, 2017 | 2:43 am

    Considering how well he’s pitched, I found it very odd to see that Schüller’s apparently been reassigned back to Extended Spring Training. The only logical reason I can come up with is maybe to stretch him out to start.

  4. Comment by Bucco
    May 7, 2017 | 11:09 pm

    Mineo signed for $225.000 and that is publicised. I don`t understand why you are making up a bonus of $600K Fred. Furthermore, he signed when he was 16. You really should do some better research before posting wrong facts.

  5. Comment by fred4945
    May 9, 2017 | 4:09 am

    Well, Gucci, it matters little whether he signed at 16 or 17 — or how many hundreds of thousands an MLB team wasted on yet another European.

    The fact remains: the kid can’t compete. A .223 average over 7 years. Something like 75% who steal against him succeed. I was not exaggerating:. at least 1,000 college catchers — who were NOT drafted — are better than what I saw of him in the European championships as a 20 year old. Three years later and there are no indications he is better.

    Face it: yet another European who cannot cut it in baseball.

  6. Comment by johnclay3
    May 8, 2017 | 8:09 pm

    It’s always going to take European players longer to work their way through the minors. The quality of the coaching and feeder programs in Europe isn’t up to the level of the United States and the Carribbean, so naturally there’s a bit of a learning curve. The important thing is that he continues to show progress each year.

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