The Buchbinder Legionaere Regensburg sent out a press release on Wednesday that the 18-year-old right-handed pitcher Daniel Thieben will sign with the Seattle Mariners in early November, making him the sixth current German minor leaguer after Kai Gronauer, Donald Lutz, Max Kepler-Rozycki, Jennell Hudson and Markus Solbach. Mariners Vice President for International Operations, Bob Engle, personally will travel to Regensburg on November 2, so Thieben can sign the contract.
Thieben, who played for the Dohren Wild Farmers until this Spring and made his Baseball-Bundesliga debut last year in the northern division, was only playing second-division ball for the Buchbinder Legionaere this summer. In 22 1/3 innings he managed an ERA of 2.01. He also played for the German Junior National Team at the European Championship in Gijon in July and was invited to the MLB European Academy in Tirrenia, Italy in August.
Before becoming a professional ball player Thieben will be part of the German Senior National Team during the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup next month. Greg Frady selected him for the 24-man final roster, which will compete against Cuba, Nicaragua, Italy, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Australia in Panama from October 1 to 15. It is going to be interesting to see him pitch against some of the best players in the world.
Photo: Walter Keller, www.catchthefever.de