The contingent of German players is about to increase during next year’s season. Here’s a look at what the guys did who are already in the States.
C Kai Gronauer (Las Vegas 51′s, AAA)
The demotion of Donald Lutz now makes Gronauer the highest ranked German player. Still he’s far from reaching the big league level. The catching situation with the 51’s looks a bit crowded and Travis d’Arnaud isn’t even in thie mix for now. He’s trying to make the most of it though, hitting his fiirst AAA home run on June 28th in a game at Tacoma. His numbers look decent (31AB, .258/.281/.419, 1HR, 1BB, 10K), it’s just that the other guy (in this case Juan Ceteno) is a bit better. Good to see he still finds time to care about his favourite football club in Germany.
LF Donald Lutz (Pensacola Blue Whahoos, AA)
Lutz finally was sent back to Pensacola to make room for Chris Heisey, whom he had originally replaced on the major league roster. It’s been a tough ride for Lutz over his last MLB games, but that didn’t seem to faze him. He’s been held hitless in his past two games at AA, but had been hitting well right from the start, riding a 4 game hitting streak. The most important thing is he didn’t sulk and is staying positive. That way he might earn a promotion again.
OF Max Kepler-Rosicky (Cedar Rapids Kernels, A)
Kepler is raking at Cedar Rapids and it shouldn’t be before too long that he ends up at a higher level in the Twins system. A 4-for-5 performance on July 4th raised his slash line to a whopping .333/.412/.617. In case you’re counting, that’s good for a 1.029 OPS. Maybe his walks number is a bit low (7BB in 60AB), but he doesn’t seem to strike out a lot (11K). And he even hits an occasional home run. Oh, and he seesm to have the right mindset.
RHP Daniel Thieben (Pulaski Mariners, Advanced Rookie)
Thieben earned his first win on June 28th and is still – fasten your seatbelts – sporting a 0.00 ERA. And it’s not that he’s a one out guy. The appearance that got him the W was a 2 inning effort. His WHIP is at a ridiculous .600, that’s all about to change over the course of one season. But for now he’s doing awfully fine.
Markus Solbach (GCL Twins, Rookie)
Markus Solbach had to take the loss in a game on June 29th and is now 1-1. He was able to get his ERA back to reasonable numbers (2.08), but hasn’t appeared in another game since. My guess would be that the weather cancelled a few games and because of that he didn’t appear in a game since last Saturday.
In case you missed it, German RHP Sven Schüller has signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers last week, making him the first German signing for the team. Just like Julsan Kamara he’ll be finishing high school in Germany before moving to the States in the summer of 2014.