Tag Archives: 2017 California Winter League

2017 California Winter League Signings Mid-Season Update

CWL

After the California Winter League concludes each year, the league uploads a list of signings for the 2017 season.  This year, 73 different players have been listed as signing at least a spring training contract for various independent leagues and major league organizations within the United States.

Some players have been listed more than once and are denoted by an *

Since all the leagues are now mid-way through their seasons, we have decided to do an update to see how many CWL players are still on active rosters around the country.

Here is a look at how those players have done through mid-July:

MLB (8)

Shao-Pin Ho Miami Marlins (Playing for the Batavia Muckdogs.  He has yet to appear in a game with the Muckdogs, but in 4 games in the GCL, he had a .429 avg).
*Danny Hoy New York Mets (Playing for the Kingsport Mets. In 7 games, he has a .154 avg).
Andrew Alvarez Arizona Diamondbacks (ST) (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
*Jose Flores Arizona Diamondbacks (ST) (DL. Currently on the 60 day DL with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League. He has not played in a game this season).
*Jarret Martin Texas Rangers (ST) (Playing for the Richmond Flying Squirrels – AA for the San Francisco Giants. He had a 0.98 ERA in 18 games with the York Revolution before his contract was sold to the Giants. With Richmond, he has a 3.52 ERA and 1-1 record in 13 games).
*Jose Flores Texas Rangers (ST) (DL. Currently on the 60 day DL with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League. He has not played in a game this season).
*Josh McAdams Texas Rangers (ST) (Playing for the Lake Erie Crushers in the Frontier League. He has a .235 avg in 41 games and 136 AB).
*Kyano Cummings Texas Rangers (ST) (Playing for the Evansville Otters in the Frontier League. In 25 games and 32.2 IP, he has a 1.10 ERA with a 2-1 record while picking up 5 saves. Earlier this season, he pitched for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the Atlantic League where he had an ERA of 15 in 3 games and 3 IP).

Frontier League (35)

Blair Beck Windy City ThunderBolts (Playing for Windy City where he also played in 2016. This year, he has a .241 avg and 3 HR in 48 games).
James Ball Traverse City Beach Bums (Playing for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers in the United Shore League. After being released from Traverse City on July 1st with a 1-2 record and 7.99 ERA in 13 games and 23.2 IP, he went to the United Shore League. In 2 games and 2 IP with the Diamond Hoppers, he has 3 K and a 0.00 ERA).
Mike McClellan Schaumburg Boomers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Lucas Hunter Traverse City Beach Bums (Released on June 23rd. In the 13 games and 27 AB before being released, he had a .111 average with 2 stolen bases).
Adam Falcon So. Illinois Miners (Playing for the Trinidad Triggers in the Pecos League. He has a 10.56 ERA in 23 games and 23 IP with a 2-3 record and 27 K).
Peyton Lobdell So. Illinois Miners (Playing for the Lake Erie Crushers. Between both the Miners and the Crushers, he has pitched in 10 games (all starts) with a combined record of 3-6 with a 7.44 ERA in 52 IP).
Will Krug Windy City ThunderBolts (Playing for Windy City. He has a .103 avg in 26 games and 58 AB).
Joe Webb Evansville Otters (Released on June 8th. Before being released, he had a 8.03 ERA with a 0-1 record in 3 starts and 12.1 IP).
*Jose Flores Florence Freedom (DL. Currently on the 60 day DL with the Freedom. He has not played in a game this season).
Nate Ferrell Lake Erie Crushers (Playing for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers. He was released after 2 games and 2 AB with no hits for Lake Erie. Signed with the Freedom on June 13th but was released on June 29th after batting .208 in 6 games and 24 AB. With the Diamond Hoppers, he is batting .286 in 3 games and 14AB).
D’Aundray Van Slyke Florence Freedom (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Scott Morton Windy City ThunderBolts (Suspended. Placed on the suspended list at the beginning of spring training).
Brandon Oliver So. Illinois Miners (Playing for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers in the United Shore League. He was released during spring training with the Miners, then signed to the Lake Erie Crushers. He was also released by the Crushers on July 1st after batting .213 in 14 games and 47 AB. He then joined the Diamond Hoppers and is batting .250 in 2 games and 8 AB).
*Josh McAdams Lake Erie Crushers (Playing for the Crushers. He has a .235 avg in 41 games and 136 AB).
Josh Falbo Washington Wild Things (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Brandon Maddern Normal Cornbelters (Released on June 7th. He played in 7 games with a 17.18 ERA before being released).
Tyler Hunt Windy City ThunderBolts (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Andrew Moralez Evansville Otters (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Nick Murphy Traverse City Beach Bums (Playing for Traverse City. In 28 games and 91 AB, he has a .231 avg with 10 RBI).
DJ Gee River City Rascals (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Zach Jones Joliet Slammers (Playing for Windy City. He was orginally released by the Slammers in spring training. He signed with Windy City on July 3rd and has no hits in 1 game and 3 AB).
Nigel Nootbaar Normal Cornbelters (Released on June 30th. He had a 5.57 ERA with a 2-1 record in 15 games and 21 IP). 
Joe Mello Evansville Otters (Playing for Traverse City. He has a 1.80 ERA with a 0-1 record and 20 K in 15 games and 25 IP).
Ryan Rinsky Florence Freedom (Playing for the Freedom. In 17 games and 43 AB, he has a .140 avg with 7 RBI).
Dillion Sprague River City Rascals (Playing for the Utica Unicorns in the United Shore League. He was released by the Rascals in spring training and went to the USPBL in July. In 4 games and 7 AB with the Unicorns, he has a .286 avg).
Cody Beck Gateway Grizzlies (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Richard England Schaumburg Boomers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Ryan Garvey Traverse City Beach Bums (Playing for Traverse City. He has a .174 avg with 7 RBI in 26 games and 86 AB).
Ozzy Braff Florence Freedom (Playing for the Freedom. In 28 games and 74 AB, he is batting .243 with 9 RBI).
Bobby San Martin Washington Wild Things (Playing for the Beavers in the United Shore League. After being released by the WildThings in the Frontier during spring training, he went to the United Shore. In 6 games and 18 AB, he has a .167 average).
Robert Maislin Lake Erie Crushers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Lance Montano Evansville Otters (Playing for the Otters. In 27 games and 83 AB, he has a .265 avg with 2 HR).
Nick Berger Washington Wild Things (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Justin Kovalsky Joliet Slammers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
*Brent Gillespie Gateway Grizzlies (Playing for the San Rafael Pacifics in the Pacific Association. After being released from spring trainings, he returned to the Pacifics where he was in 2016. This year, he has a .274 avg and 30 RBI in 31 games and 117 AB).

Atlantic League (2)

*Kyano Cummings So. Maryland Blue Crabs (Playing for the Evansville Otters in the Frontier League. In 25 games and 32.2 IP, he has a 1.10 ERA with a 2-1 record while picking up 5 saves. Earlier this season, he pitched for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the Atlantic League where he had an ERA of 15 in 3 games and 3 IP).
*Jarrett Martin York Revolution (Playing for the Richmond Flying Squirrels – AA for the San Francisco Giants. He had a 0.98 ERA in 18 games with the York Revolution before his contract was sold to the Giants. With Richmond, he has a 3.52 ERA and 1-1 record in 13 games).

American Association (11)

Matt Silberman Cleburne Railroaders (Playing for the San Rafael Pacifics in the Pacific Association. Released by the Railroaders during spring training. He then signed with Windy City in the Frontier League on June 28th. He pitched in one game with 3 H and 2 BB without recording an out. He was released on July 11th. In 1 game with the Pacifics he has a 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP).
Casey Upperman Cleburne Railroaders (Playing for the Railroaders. In 17 games and 19.2 IP, he has a 2.29 ERA).
Thomas McGuckin Texas Airhogs (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
John Crank Texas Airhogs (Playing for the Beavers in the United Shore League. After being released by Texas in spring training, he went to the Beavers where he has a .148 avg. in 8 games and 27 AB).
Lance Van Noy Winnipeg Goldeyes (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Alfonso Reda Lincoln Saltdogs (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
John Menken Cleburne Railroaders (Playing for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers in the United Shore League.  In 21 games and 80 AB, he has a .338 avg with 14 RBI).
Casey Fletcher Texas Airhogs (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Dylan Thompson Sioux Falls Canaries (Playing for the Canaries – where he also played in 2016 For this season, he has a 0.34 ERA in 23 games and 26.2 IP with a record of 2-1).
Jake Luce Texas Airhogs (Released on June 8th. He had a .151 avg in 18 g and 53 AB before being released).
Quinton Alexander Texas Airhogs (Playing for the Utica Unicorns in the United Shore League. In 9 games and 22 AB, he has a .227 avg).

Can-Am League (1)

Jeff Watkins Quebec Les Capitales (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).

Pacific Association (5)

Elijah Briseno San Rafael Pacifics (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Matt LoCoco Sonoma Stompers (Playing for the Stompers. He has a .244 avg with 18 RBI in 30 games and 90 AB).
Dakota Freese San Rafael Pacifics (Playing for the Pacifics. In 7 starts and 41.2 IP, he has a 2-1 record with a 3.24 ERA and 57 K).
Tyler Garkow Sonoma Stompers (Playing for the Stompers. He has a 4-0 record and a 3.14 ERA with 49K in 7 starts and 43 IP).
Alex Sawelson Sonoma Stompers (Playing for the Bakersfield Train Robbers in the Pecos League. He was released by Sonoma during spring training, but with the Train Robbers, he has a .316 avg, 5 HR and 31 RBI in 29 games and 114 AB).

United Shore Professional Baseball League (17)

Thomas Roulis Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Beavers. He has a .284 avg with 10 RBI in 24 games and 81 AB).
John Kraft Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for Eastside. In 13 games and 33 AB, he has a .273 avg).
*Brent Gillespie Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for the San Rafael Pacifics in the Pacific Association. After being released from spring trainings, he returned to the Pacifics where he was in 2016. This year, he has a .274 avg and 30 RBI in 31 games and 117 AB).
Tanner Oymaian Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Shane Gonzales Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Released. In 5 games and 18 AB, he had a .167 avg before being released).
Mark Burnside Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Tanner Kiest Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for Eastside. In 2 games (1 start) and 5 IP, he has a 3.60 ERA with 7 K).
Tony Holten Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Kevin Matthews Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Rome Braves, A ball for the Atlanta Braves. After going 2-1 with a 1.60 ERA in 6 games for the Beavers, he signed with the Braves organization. In 4 games and 6.1 IP with Rome, he has a 0.00 ERA with 5 K).
Nick Buckner Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Beavers. He has an average of .269 in 25 games and 93 AB).
Cameron MacKenzie Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Beavers. In 11 games and 13.1 IP, he has a 2.77 ERA).
Louis Johnson Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Beavers. He has a .212 avg in 14 games and 33 AB).
Brian Heldman Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Beavers. In 9 games and 10.1 IP, he has a 1-2 record and a 111.32 ERA).
Jeremy Scott Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for Eastside. He has 7 RBI and a .222 avg in 14 games and 27 AB).
Devin Alexander Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for Eastside. He has a 3-1 record with a 2.78 ERA in 10 games and 32.1 IP).
Jordan Pannell Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for Eastside. In 13 games and 23 IP, he has a 1.96 ERA with a 3-0 record).
Myles Richard Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Released. Started 2 games and pitched 8.2 innings with a 9.34 ERA and 0-1 record before being released).

 

Out of the 73 players, 43 of them are still currently active on a roster and playing somewhere.

Of those 43 players, 19 of them are now on a different team than the one they originally signed with. Many that signed with the Frontier League or American Association are now in the Pacific Association or United Shore League.

Despite having a deal with the Frontier League to offer contracts, only 11 of the 35 players signed to Frontier League contracts are still playing in the Frontier League. Three of those 11 are currently on a different Frontier team than the one they signed to out of the CWL.

(All stats and rosters were found through PointStreak).

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Q & A with the California Winter League

CWL

Recently, the General Manager of the California Winter League (CWL), Peter Wagoner, reached out to me to discuss their upcoming season.

To clear up any questions and concerns potential players had, we decided to do a Q & A for Indy Ball Island.

Below are some frequently asked questions gathered from potential players along with the General Manager’s answers.

When did the league begin?

The first California Winter League season was in 2010.

Where is the league held?

The league operates in Palm Springs, California.

When will the league take place this year?

The 2017 California Winter League runs from January 16th until February 12th.

How many teams/players are there?

The amount of teams depends on how many players we have. We try to stay to about 20-22 man rosters. This year we will be around 250 players and therefore a 12 team league.

How many games does each team play (average amount of ABs or IPs per player)?

The number of games is also impacted by the amount of players/teams we have in the league. This year, we have 16 regular season games and at least one guaranteed playoff game. We do mix in off days during the league. This helps keep pitching fresh but also allows for instruction as well as networking between players and coaches/scouts.

What is the cost for each player?

The total cost of the league is $3500 (price has not increased in the 5 years I’ve been here). We do offer various discounts depending on player experience and when they register. For example, if a player registers before June, the cost is $2500.

What all is included in that cost?

The price includes housing (timeshare condos primarily and then hotels), two meals a day (breakfast and lunch), transportation while in Palm Springs (we hire a bus company to shuttle players to and from housing, the facility and…), a gym membership, equipment (bats, baseballs, uniforms, etc.). The price also includes field rentals, insurance costs as well as instructor fees since we do have to pay coaches and scouts to be a part of the league.

Who are some of your instructors and scouts and what teams/leagues are they affiliated with?

We have our 2017 instructor list posted on the website (you can see the list HERE). We work with every major independent league. That includes the Frontier League, American Association, Can Am, Atlantic League, the United Shore Professional Baseball League as well as the Pacific Association. We also have 10+ affiliated organizations here every year as well.

How many players are signed (on average) out of your league each year?

This number can change year to year depending on how many players are in the league and the quality of the players but we’ve been consistently between 75 and 100 players the last few years.

What exactly is the extent of your deal with the Frontier League?

Our relationship with the Frontier League (FL) is a mutually beneficial one. It provides the FL with a way to see a large number of players, particularly rookies, they might not otherwise. They have a rookie requirement of 11 players, which is a large portion of their roster. The majority of our players are recent college graduates, or have minimal professional experience, so it’s a good pairing for both the FL and the player. The FL has taken 98 players from the CWL in the last two years.

A lot of guys get signed to spring training contracts, but it’s much harder to stay on a roster afterwards. Is it really worth it as a player to spend the money to go to a winter league such as yours? Which players benefit the most from attending?

That is the nature of baseball for sure. Nothing is guaranteed. However, the CWL puts players in the best position to succeed. In 2015, the CWL gave you the best chance of playing in the FL. There were more guys from the CWL that played in a regular season game than players drafted at the FL open tryout or that were brought in by coaches. When our players do get released, they often get picked up by another one of the coaches that instructed in our league. And for the guys that do get released without playing a game, most likely they were afforded an opportunity that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. With that being said, we’ve had roughly 500 contract offers in 7 years from 18 different affiliated organizations and various independent leagues. We had 10 guys playing in affiliated ball last year alone. The league is worth it for anyone that is interested in playing professional baseball. We can be your foot in the door or the means to get you to the next level.

Winter ball is not for everyone. There are costs associated with putting on a league of this magnitude and not every player is going to be able to afford it. For those that can, we offer the best winter baseball experience in the country hands down. It’s run well and it shows. I know through the conversations I have with former and prospective players as well as indy and affiliated organizations that people believe in what we do, and more importantly, in how we do it.

Last year, Indy Ball Island followed players signed out of the CWL. You can see the original signings HERE and our Mid-Season update HERE

We also plan on following the 2017 signings in the upcoming months. Please subscribe to avoid missing out!