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Jun '19 09

Europeans in the Majors & Minors through June 8, 2019



by DZ

Here is a much delayed first update of Europeans in MLB and affiliated minor league baseball. Only players partially or fully developed in the youth systems of Europe are included.

There has been a lot of activity since the end of the 2018 season. We’ll open with a list of players who have put pen to paper and joined the professional ranks, and we’ll close with the few whose major league dreams have been dashed. In between, Germany’s Max Kepler has a 3-homer day in Cleveland and a number of European players remain in extended spring training, as the rookie and short-season leagues begin in the next two weeks.

The new signings:

Samuel Aldegheri, Philadelphia Phillies. Italy.
The Italian left-handed pitcher signed this spring with the Phillies and he’ll presumably begin in either the Dominican or the Gulf Coast League in Florida.

Denzel Bryson, Atlanta Braves. Netherlands.
The catcher/utility player from the Dutch CTO (academy) accepted a contract after the MLB College Showcase last autumn.

Jiorgeny Casimiri, Toronto Blue Jays, Netherlands.
The righty from HCAW and the CTO recently announced his agreement with the Jays.

Daniele DiMonte, Detroit Tigers. Italy.
The Italian RHP, who also played outfield for the junior national team, agreed with the Tigers after the autumn MLB Showcase in Arizona.

Arij Fransen, Cincinnati Reds. Netherlands.
Another HCAW pitcher to have signed, Fransen agreed to join the Cincinnati Reds about one month into the season.

Sem Robberse, Toronto Blue Jays. Netherlands.
The RHP, having great success in the Hoofdklasse for Quick Amersfoort, had his agreement with the Blue Jays announced this past week.

Markus Solbach, Los Angeles Dodgers. Germany.
The 27 year old RHP, most recently of the German champion Bonn Capitals, re-joined the minor league ranks after signing from the Australian Baseball League this offseason. Solbach previously had 3 year stints in both the Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations.

MLB

Didi Gregorius, New York Yankees. Netherlands.
Current team: New York Yankees (MLB)
The Yankees shortstop injured his elbow last autumn, and he just returned to MLB action this week. He’s played two games, going 4-for-8 with a home run.

Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins. Germany.
Current team: Minnesota Twins (MLB)
Berlin’s Kepler is having a breakout of sorts, adding three home runs off Trevor Bauer in one game this week to bring his season total to 15. He’s also added 14 doubles, scored 42 runs, and knocked in 40 more while hitting .265 with a .341 OBP. He’s the regular right fielder and leadoff hitter for the AL Central leading Twins.

Triple-A

Dovydas Neverauskas, Pittsburgh Pirates.  Lithuania.
Current team: Indianapolis Indians (AAA)
The Lithuanian relief pitcher broke spring training on the disabled list with an oblique strain. Since regaining health, he’s had three separate stints with the big league team, while pitching for Triple-A Indianapolis in between. In his 5 big league appearances, he’s pitched 3.1 innings and allowed 7 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks. Neverauskas has had more success and consistency in Indy, with a 2.14 ERA in 17 games, striking out 29 in 21 innings.

Double-A

Martin Cervenka, Baltimore Orioles. Czech Republic.
Current team: Bowie BaySox (AA)
The Kotlarka catcher is on the 40-man roster of the Baltimore Orioles, although he’s been on the minor league injured list for the past 10 days. Through 37 games, he’s hitting an even .200 with two home runs and two stolen bases.

Alberto Mineo, Toronto Blue Jays. Italy.
Current team: New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
Mineo, a left-handed hitter originally signed by the Cubs out of the Italian academy in Tirrenia, is the regular catcher at Double-A. He’s played 44 games thus far after dealing with a minor injury to open the regular season. Mineo is hitting .247 with a .333 OBP. He has 12 extra base hits, 19 walks, and 55 strikeouts.

Single-A

Tom de Blok, Detroit Tigers. Netherlands.
Current team: Lakeland Flying Tigers (High-A)
The Amsterdam Pirate has 7 starts in the Florida State League, pitching to a 0-4 record and 4.04 ERA. In 35.2 innings, de Blok has 17 walks and 30 strikeouts while allowing 30 hits.

Sven Schüller, Los Angeles Dodgers. Germany.
Current team: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High-A)
The Wuppertal righty, signed from the Regensburg academy, has 20.2 innings pitched across 12 relief outings. He’s allowed 27 hits, walked 9, and struck out 12. He has a 2-2 record with one save.

Marc Civit, Toronto Blue Jays, Spain.
Current team: DSL Blue Jays
He allowed five hits, three runs and a walk through four innings, while striking out seven in his first two innings in pro ball.

Rookie – The short-season teams begin regular season play later this month.

Yoan Antonac, Philadelphia Phillies. France.
Current team: GCL Phillies East (rookie)

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

Donny Breek, Minnesota Twins. Netherlands.
Current team: GCL Twins (rookie)

Darryl Collins, Kansas City Royals. Netherlands.

Omar Hernandez, Kansas City Royals. Spain.

Anton Kuznetsov, Philadelphia Phillies. Russia.
Current team: GCL Phillies East (rookie)

Ernesto Wilson Martinez, Milwaukee Brewers. France.
Current team: AZL Brewers Gold (rookie)

Niklas Rimmel, Minnesota Twins. Germany.
Current team: GCL Twins (rookie)

Leonardo Seminati, Cincinnati Reds. Italy.
Current team: Billings Mustangs (short-season A)

These players are no longer active in affiliated minor league baseball:

Paul Brands, Pittsburgh Pirates. Netherlands.
The former Hoofddorp Pionier was released this offseason by the Pirates after 4 minor league seasons. The catcher/utility player hit .232 with a .325 OBP, playing his last season in the New York-Penn league.

Marten Gasparini, Kansas City Royals. Italy.
The shortstop-turned-outfielder holds the record for highest European signing bonus to date. He announced his retirement a couple weeks ago, topping out in A-ball. He played 429 minor league games, hitting .218 with a .274 OBP and stealing 82 bases.

Alex Liddi, Kansas City Royals. Italy.
Liddi, now 30 years old, played in the major leagues as a third baseman with the Seattle Mariners 2011-2013. He was released by the Kansas City Royals after the 2018 season, and he had signed this spring with a team in Taiwan. Liddi recently returned to the Mexican League, where he played in 2016-17 prior to his season in the Royals system.




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