Thank Goodness for the Atlantic League
mlbtraderumors.com reported today that two-way talent Micah Owings signed to play with the York Revolution of the Independent-A Atlantic League this season. I hope he gets and takes the opportunity to both pitch and play in the field there.
Owings is 33 this season, and the odds of him making it back to the Show are slim. However, I still have dreams of him becoming the successor to Brooks Keischnick as MLB’s next true two-way player.
Meanwhile, former Oakland A Nate Freiman (29) and now former Miami Marlin Chris Narveson (34) were released today. If either of them can’t secure a minor league deal from an MLB organization, both, but Freiman in particular, should consider trying to catch on with an Atlantic League team.
The odds of Freiman obtaining an MLB organization offer, after his horrible 4 for 26 start at AAA Syracuse, depend almost entirely on whether another AAA or AA team needs to replace an injured 1Bman. However, Freiman is definitely young enough that his making it back to MLB in the future is well within the realm of possibility. In fact, Freiman might benefit by getting more regular at-bats in the Atlantic League, and building his confidence back up against lesser pitching.
In entirely unrelated news, NPB’s Yomiuri Giants signed 24 year old Cuban 2Bman Jose Adolis Garcia. At ages 22 and 23 Garcia had .851 and .869 OPS numbers in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, which are just fine for his position. The Giants have the money (if they’re willing to spend it) to compete with MLB teams on players of Garcia’s not quite Grade-A talent level, and Garcia looks well-suited to become a star in Japan.
It will all depend on how quickly Garcia can adjust to playing in Japan, because NPB teams are way too short on patience when it comes to foreign players. This may, in fact, be a problem, because Garcia is not a patient hitter, and NPB pitchers tend to have good command and an ability to pitch to a hitter’s weaknesses.
On the other hand, if Garcia’s Serie Nacional power translates to Japanese baseball, he could become a big star quickly. If this happens, he’s still young enough to be playing in MLB in a few years.