James Paxton will follow in Luke Hochevar, Max Scherzer and Aaron Crow's footsteps by becoming the fourth unsigned first-round or supplemental first-round pick in to pitch for a Texas-based American Association team in hopes of raising his draft stock.
But unlike the previous trio who all pitched for the Fort Worth Cats, Paxton will be pitching for the Grand Prairie AirHogs and manager Pete Incavilgia.
Paxton, the Blue Jays' supplemental first-round pick in 2009, failed to reach agreement with the team before last August's signing deadline. He originally returned to Kentucky, but the school decided to not allow him to pitch because of concerns about his eligibility. Paxton unsuccessfully sued to get back on the field with the Wildcats, then left school after his suit failed.
That's where the AirHogs enter the story. Mark Schuster, a member of Grand Prairie's ownership group, saw a story about Paxton and mentioned to Chris Carminucci, the team's director of player procurement, that it would be nice to get Paxton to Grand Prairie. Carminucci and Incaviglia both contacted people they knew with the Scott Boras Corporation (Paxton's agent) and made their pitch.
"There were a lot of different variables with the main one being the schedule," Carminucci said. "They wanted to see our schedule to make sure it was conducive to people seeing him pitch."
The AirHogs' regular season begins May 14 at home, giving Paxton roughly three weeks of playing time before the 2010 draft. Spring training will begin on May 2. Before spring training begins, the AirHogs and the Boras Corporation will map out a schedule for Paxton's appearances, but for now Grand Prairie is working to clear one final minor hurdle—getting Paxton a visa. As a Canadian citizen, Paxton can't come to work in the U.S. without it, although no one expects that to be an issue.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog