Max Kepler returns to the big leagues, Dovydas Neverauskas gives up a run (his first since April 22nd), Danny Arribas goes 5-5 with a homer, and the Dominican Summer Leagues start their season. The 3rd and 4th players (Ciarla & Coveri – both by the Phillies) to sign from the Italian national academy this year are added to the “yet to appear” list. It was a busy couple of weeks for European baseball watchers! The MLB draft is later this week, which means extended spring training will soon end and the rookie leagues will begin play… so lots of the younger players will start accumulating stats. Let’s get to it.
Didi Gregorius, New York Yankees. Netherlands.
Current team: New York Yankees (MLB)
Gregorius had multiple hits in two of his last four games. He is hitting .264 with 4 home runs and two stolen bases for the year. He’s fending off Starlin Castro to remain the everyday shortstop in New York.
Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins. Germany.
Current team: Minnesota Twins (MLB)
Kepler spent the last week of May on the minor league disabled list, then was activated for two games (getting 3 hits) before being promoted to join the Twins in Minnesota. Kepler has played every day since his recall, with 4 hits and 7 strikeouts in 5 games. The 23-year old Berlin native is one of the Twins top prospects, and hopes to take advantage of the playing time to prove he deserves to remain in the big stadiums! In 30 Triple-A games this year, Kepler has slashed .282/.367/.455, and in 31 major league at bats he’s had 6 hits and 4 walks.
Triple A –
Roger Bernadina, New York Mets. Netherlands.
Current team: Las Vegas 51s (AAA)
Bernadina continues his consistent play in Las Vegas this season, with 9 hits in his last 10 games. He missed a week of play in late May, but has been back in the lineup regularly in June. He’s hitting .301/.373/.441 with 9 stolen bases and 14 extra base hits.
Double A –
Donald Lutz, Cincinnati Reds. Germany.
Current team: Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA)
Lutz has 2 hits in his last 6 games following a mini-hit streak that got his average above the Mendoza Line (.200). He’s currently sitting at .205 with one home run on the year.
Dovydas Neverauskas, Pittsburgh Pirates. Lithuania.
Current team: Altoona Curve (AA)
While the Vilnius native did give up a run last week, he hardly let up in his string of dominant outings. In five relief outings in the last two weeks he gave up a walk and a run in that one outing, while otherwise throwing up zeros and striking out two hitters in each appearance. Neverauskas has given up 12 hits and 10 walks in 26 innings, while striking out 30, giving him a WHIP of 0.85.
Andy Paz, Oakland Athletics. France.
Current team: Midland Rockhounds (AA)
Paz has 3 hits and 3 walks in four games played in the last two weeks. He also stole his second base of the season without yet being caught. Between High-A and Double-A, the 23-year-old is hitting .327/.426/.462. He has four extra base hits, 10 walks, and 6 strikeouts in 17 games.
Daniel Arribas, Pittsburgh Pirates. Netherlands.
Current team: West Virginia Power (Low-A)
See video of Arribas’ home run and the story of his 5-for-5 night here:
He hit .324 over his last 10 games. He has 16 extra base hits, including 6 home runs, for the year while slashing .273/.397/.448.
Martin Cervenka, Cleveland Indians. Czech Republic.
Current team: Lake County Captains (Low-A)
Cervenka has an active 7-game hitting streak going, raising his average 30 points in the last two weeks. He included home runs in back-to-back games during that stretch. He’s hitting .218/.270/.376 in 28 games, with 9 extra base hits, 8 walks, and 25 strikeouts.
Marten Gasparini, Kansas City Royals. Italy.
Current team: Lexington Legends (Low-A)
The Italian shortstop also had home runs in back-to-back games in late May, but followed that with hits in one of his last 5 games. He’s stolen 5 bases in 9 attempts, and has 12 extra base hits in 43 games. He’s hitting .166/.232/.305.
To begin play in rookie ball this month:
Pascal Amon, Los Angeles Dodgers. Germany.
Vadim Balan, Minnesota Twins. Moldova.
Paul Brands, Pittsburgh Pirates. Netherlands.
Sam Buelens, Toronto Blue Jays. Belgium.
Federico Celli, Los Angeles Dodgers. Italy.
Alessandro Ciarla, Philadelphia Phillies. Italy.
Taylor Clemensia, Minnesota Twins. Netherlands.
Nicolo Clemente, Boston Red Sox. Italy.
Leonardo Colagrossi, Philadelphia Phillies. Italy.
Ludovico Coveri, Philadelphia Phillies. Italy.
Rachid Engelhardt, Baltimore Orioles. Netherlands.
Federico Giordani, Los Angeles Dodgers. Italy.
Misja Harcksen, Los Angeles Dodgers. Netherlands.
Nadir Ljatifi, Cincinnati Reds. Germany.
Alberto Mineo, Chicago Cubs. Italy.
Ramon Rosso, Los Angeles Dodgers. Spain.
Sven Schuller, Los Angeles Dodgers. Germany.
Matz Schutte, Minnesota Twins. Netherlands.
Claudio Scotti, Pittsburgh Pirates. Italy.
Artur Strzalka, New York Yankees. Poland.
Ruar Verkerk, Minnesota Twins. Netherlands.