Yesterday the Minor League season has started. This is an overview of players from the Kingdom of the Netherlands at the various Minor League levels from AAA to A Full Season.
The son of a Curaçao born basketball coach who was assistant coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, will start the season where he finished the previous season; at the AAA Rochester RedWings. After a solid performance with the Chattanooga Lookouts (AA, Southern League), where he hit a solid .311 with seven home runs, Wiel was promoted to AAA. He played fifteen games for the RedWings in which he hit .196. Wiel belted three home runs and a triple for the RedWings in 2018.
As Carter Kieboom is in only his fourth year of his minor league contract, his promotion to AAA proves what an exceptional talent he is. The 21-year old shortstop debuted with the Fresno Grizzlies last night. It is clear that he has to get used to the level at AAA. Carter batted second in the lineup and went 0 for 4 and left three runners on base. Last year at AA, Spencer had a .262/.326/.395 slash line.
The 24-year old shortstop from Aruba also starts the 2019 season where he finished in 2018. After seventy-five games with the Florida FireFrogs (A-Advanced, Florida State League) he was promoted to the Mississippi Braves (AA, Southern League).
Strangely, Ray-Patrick had a better batting average with the Braves than with the FireFrogs, .275 compared to .209.
The 23-year old Profar (younger brother of Jurickson Profar) will start the season at AA Frisco for the third year in a row. His numbers in 2017 were considerably better than those of 2018 as he batted .268 in his first season at AA and just .232 in 2018.
Even though the Washington Nationals have not released the rosters of their two top minor league teams yet, it looks like Spencer Kieboom will start the season at AAA, which is rather surprising as he did a decent job at MLB level last year and as he is on the Nats 40-man roster. After Spencer was called up to the Bigs in May, he platooned behind the plate. As it is generally known that most catchers don’t hit, Spencer collected 29 hits in 125 at-bats (.232). Behind the plate, he did a fine job. In 49 games, Spencer committed three errors, resulting in a .991 fielding percentage. Next, to being a backstop, he also played three games at first base and 0.1 innings at third base.
Tom de Blok
Even though Tom is on the 7-day disabled list, the Detroit Tigers have appointed him to the Lakeland Flying Tigers (A-Advanced, Florida State League). After a disappointing first half with Lakeland in 2018, Tom was sent down to the West Michigan Whitecaps where his numbers improved dramatically. With West Michigan, Tom posted a 3.15 ERA but the batting average of his opponents was on the high side with .253.
Hendrik Clementina has been promoted to A-Advanced after a decent season at A Full season (Dayton Dragons). Halfway the 2017 season, Clementina was traded by the Dodgers to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Tony Cingrani. With the Reds’ organization, Clementina moved up quickly as he was promoted to a new level each year. Last season with the Dayton Dragons, the catcher from Curaçao batted .268.
After a season with the Clinton LumberKings in which he hit a modest .240, the 23-year old Aruban was promoted to the Modesto Nuts (A-Advanced, California League) nevertheless. The third baseman will start his sixth season in the minors after he broke into professional baseball in 2014 with the VSL Mariners.
After the 21-year old Curaçaoan batted .267 in thirty-two games, he was promoted to the Florida FireFrogs. With the A-Advanced team his batting numbers weren’t something to write home about but his defensive numbers stood out as he committed no errors at all outfield positions. 2019 will be Michel’s fifth season in the Minors.
After a season at A Full season, Kirvin was promoted to the Fredrick Keys of the Carolina League (A-Advanced). Last season, the 24-year old Curaçaoan batted just .251 with four home runs, two triples, and eighteen doubles. The 2019 season will be his fifth in professional baseball.
A Full Season
After having spent the previous three seasons at various rookie ball levels, the 19-year old shortstop from Tilburg in the Netherlands will make his first steps at A ball with the Columbia Fireflies (A Full Season, South Atlantic League). In 2018, Newton batted .280 with five home runs, two triples and sixteen doubles. At shortstop, he posted a fielding percentage of .961 (nine errors).
After the 20-year old Curaçaoan was promoted to the Billings Mustangs, his numbers made a sharp drop as he batted only .211. Nevertheless, the Cincinnati Reds decided to promote Willems to A Full Season and put him on the Dayton Dragons’ roster.
Even though Willems played forty-seven games at second base in 2018, he also played at all other infield positions but first base.
Isranel (Izzy) Wilson
The 21-year old from St. Martin will be the second player from the Dutch Kingdom in the outfield of the Florida FireFrogs. Wilson will start with the same team he finished the 2018 season with. Despite a .229 batting average with the Rome Braves, Wilson earned a promotion to A-Advanced. With the FireFrogs his numbers dropped a bit more to .211.
On the defensive side, Wilson was quite impressive as he did not commit an error in thirty-nine games.
Franklin van Gurp
After an outstanding performance at A Full Season level with the Augusta GreenJackets, where he posted a 1.77 ERA, Franklin van Gurp was promoted to A-Advanced San José in 2018. His numbers in the California League were rather contradictive as he posted a 6.95 ERA but kept his opponents to a batting average of .198. Last night Van Gurp did not come off a great start as he pitched two innings in which he allowed two runs on two hits and two walks and struck out one.