FanPost

Keeping up with Ex-Royals in the Indy Leagues

The wonder of some Indy Leagues is the random guys who show up there. Even guys who have Major League Experience. Here are some of the former Royals whose names I have spotted in the American Association and the North American Baseball League.

First off, due to his profile pic, it's St. Paul Saints outfielder Shane Costa

The look could suggest a man who wonders where it all went wrong. Costa is hitting .333 for the Saints (21 for 63) with 9 doubles, a triple, and a homer. His most notable teammate is Chad Cordero, who is still pitching at the age of 29. 41 for some reason. (I swear, the Saints roster page on the American Association site lists him as being born in 1969)

The NABL has a lot more random Royals, including the manager of the Calgary Vipers, Morgan Burkhart (whose Royals stint seemed to be the Cardinals series at Busch in 2003). The Chico Outlaws have Chris Lubanski AND Brian McFall. Lubanski is 19 for 71. McFall is 13 for 68 with 3 HR. The Edmonton Capitals have Albie Lopez for some reason. Lopez has struck out 13 in 11 1/3 innings while allowing 7 earned runs. Also, he's 0 for 3 as a batter. Since the only thing better than Albie Lopez pitching is Albie Lopez hitting.

"How did I wind up in Edmonton?"

Lopez's teammates include Chad Blackwell (2004 draft pick, dealt with Jonah Bayliss to acquire all-star pitcher Mark Redman). Blackwell gave up 7 runs (2 earned) in 2/3rds of an inning on Thursday night, in a game where his manager may have fallen asleep. Another member of the Edmonton Capitals is Jorge Vasquez, who pitched in 2 games for KC and was traded for Eli Marrero. Edmonton's general manager must have been a huge fan of the Allard Baird-era Royals farm system.

The Yuma Scorpions centerfielder got some special praise from his manager Jose Canseco today:

"Our new centerfelder Joey Gathright is electric and reminds me of rickey"

Now, he did not specify which Rickey he was talking about. But Joey Gathright is 10 for 21 for Yuma so far. So that's helpful. The Scorpions don't just have Jose Canseco managing, DHing, and pitching.. they also have Ozzie Canseco as a player/hitting coach (after all, we all have something to learn from Ozzie Canseco).

So it's like if Pete Rose had an identical twin who also played for the Reds in the 1980s (not to be confused with Tony Perez). Gilbert De La Vara is also pitching for the Scorpions. De La Vara is a 2004 draftee who made it to Omaha in 2009 at 24, and was then released.

The American Association includes such notables as Alex Caldera (Fargo-Moorhead), Aaron Hartsock (Winnipeg), James Baker (Gary SouthShore Railcats), 2010 draft pick Cole Lohden (KC T-Bones), Fernando Garcia (KC T-Bones), Edwin Bellorin (Wichita Wingnuts), and Travis Metcalf (Fort Worth Cats).

But let's not forget about the Atlantic League.

Angel Berroa is playing for Bridgeport (.286/.312/.451, 4 HR). His teammate Adam Greenberg (286/442/471, 6 triples/3 HR) played for the Wranglers a few years ago. Greenberg is best known for being hit by a pitch in his only major league at-bat. The Camden Riversharks saw what Bridgeport was doing and brought in John Bale (17 K in 19 2/3 IP) to pitch for them. Bale's teammate is Pedro Feliz (242/315/354). Long Island decided to bring in Jeremy Hill (6 K in 10 2/3 IP) to up the ante. Long Island also has John Rodriguez and Lew Ford, and was unable to track down Bo Hart. Remember when I mentioned Jonah Bayliss? He's pitching for Lancaster now.

But the Somerset Patriots really went for it all by signing Justin Huber. Huber's line is a Huberriffic 295/395/417 with 41 hits in 139 AB. They also signed Fernando Cortez (the other half of the Gathright/Cortez for Howell deal) and Josh Pressley (who played for the 2005 Wranglers with Mike Aviles, Mitch Maier, Justin Huber, Shane Costa, Billy Butler, and Brian Bass. The York Revolution only had Corey Thurman as their obligatory former Royal, which is why they're only 20-19 while Somerset is 14-26 and Camden is 13-28.

Sometimes it's good to know that the guys who filled out the Royals farm system in 2005 are still in baseball.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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