Short Season Minor Leagues to Start: While the upper levels of Minor League ball have concluded the first half of the regular season this weekend, short season Rookie league ball is getting under way this days. Today marks opening day in the Pioneer, Gulf Coast and Arizona Leagues, while Tuesday the Appalachian League gets under way. As usual we’re going to check in from time to time, what our European players are going to do. Expectations are especially high for German teenage outfielder Max Kepler-Rozycki, who signed for a bonus of approximately $800,000 with the Minnesota Twins organization. He will make his professional debut with the GCL Twins, which will kick off the season with two games against the GCL Orioles.
Chris Berset: Great Britain’s starting catcher at the 2009 Baseball World Cup and Michigan University graduate, Chris Berset, was chosen in the 20th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He already signed with the organization last week, but the British Baseball Federation still hopes he can play in the European Championships in Germany next month.
Alex Liddi: The Italian third baseman Alex Liddi was named Southern League player of the week on June 14 after hitting safely in five of seven games with twelve RBI.
Rick van den Hurk: Right-hander Rick van den Hurk only got two appearances out of the bullpen for the Florida Marlins in the big leagues before being sent down back to Triple-A. He gave up four runs (1 ER) on three hits and a walk in just 1 1/3 innings. In his most recent start with New Orleans he allowed four hits, five runs and four bb in three innings, elevating his ERA to 5.40 this season.
Hainley Statia: Infielder Hainley Statia probably would have been a candidate for call-up to the Los Angeles Angels after shortstop Erick Aybar strained his knee and was assigned to the 15-day dl. However Statia himself is currently sidelined and hasn’t played in June due to a right elbow strain. He is batting .260 (OBP .349/SLG .323) with ten runs and 14 RBI in 30 games in the Pacific Coast League this season.
Andrei Lobanov: Russian left-hander Andrei Lobanov is playing for the Fort Myers Miracle this season in the Florida State League. He has appeared in 13 games so far, going 1-0 with an ERA of 1.88, while striking out 21 in 24 innings, walking four.