With the 2012 Alaska League season in the rear view mirror, and the MLB playoff races building momentum, I’m doing some catching up on the professional players with ABL stints in their backgrounds. In order to do that, I have to update my list of who the guys are who are still out there in the game, and that means figuring out which draft picks from 2012 actually signed.
Taking a look at the list below, I think a trend in this year’s draft is obvious: signability. There were fewer players taken in the draft who have played up here (that is, almost all college players), and nearly all of them had signed by the deadline. Among those who haven’t, two of the three are seniors. They are not required to sign by the typical deadline; they can continue to negotiate through the winter and all the way up until the start of the 2013 draft. That leaves one lonely Junior — Colton Plaia — who will go unsigned and re-enter the draft next fall.
In addition to these, I know of one 2012 player who was drafted and spent part of the season in Alaska before signing and shipping off for pro ball: Andrew Ferreira (Bucs), who signed with the Twins. There are possibly/probably more, so I will continue to do research in that area but if you happen to know of any off the top of your head you can make my job easier and leave a comment below.
I have been doing some research on where these guys have been assigned, how they’re doing, etc. and have come across some good posts from fellow bloggers who follow the pro prospect scene. So I will get these guys punched into the database and then give some ink to our pro alumni in the Minors and Majors here shortly.
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Of course, there are typically a good haul of players who go undrafted and then sign pro contracts as free agents. These are usually harder for me to uncover; I have to scour the transaction wire looking for familiar names to pop up. But I’ve found a few. Some former ABL players in this category are:
- Stephen Branca (Miners, 2010) signed a free-agent contract with the San Francisco Giants. He got his feet wet in a short trip to the Arizona League before being promoted to short-season Salem Keizer of the Northwest League. His stat sheet at both levels features an even .300 batting average; he’s got two homers to his credit as well.
- Ryan McChesney of the 2011 Oilers signed with Tampa Bay. He’s been assigned to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Here’s an interesting point of discussion. McChesney graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. He’s giving up a $60,000 a year salary to play ball. Rookie ball pays about $1200 a month — which would be about $14,400 a year except it’s a seasonal job.
Keep checking back as 49thStateHardball will feature more pro alumni reports, as well as general news and scouting info on the 2012 players and 2013 draft prospects.