All-Indy All-Stars

Although it’s difficult for an independent league player to make it to the big leagues, it does happen. Here’s an all-star team of big leaguers who either began their careers in the independent leagues or were spotted in indy ball after being released from Class A ball or below. Draftees who went the independent route like J.D. Drew and Luke Hochevar are not included, as this is an all-star team of players who likely would not have made the majors without an independent league stint first. What becomes clear is how difficult it is for up-the-middle players to make it out of indy ball, because those guys are usually snapped up by Organized Baseball. At the same time, teams should definitely spend time searching indy ball for potential relievers. (Thanks to Bob Wirz for help assembling this list.)

Pos. Player Independent Team MLB Team
C Chris Coste Fargo-Moorhead (Northern) Phillies
1B Bryan Myrow Winnipeg (Northern) Padres
2B No candidate
SS Rey Ordonez St. Paul (Northern) Mets
3B Luis Lopez St. Paul (Northern) Blue Jays
OF Kevin Millar St. Paul (Northern) Red Sox
OF Jim Rushford Duluth (Northern) Brewers
OF Morgan Burkhart Richmond (Frontier) Red Sox
SP Brian Tollberg Chillicothe (Frontier) Padres
SP Bobby Madritsch Winnipeg (Northern) Mariners
SP Jason Simontacchi Springfield (Frontier) Cardinals
RP Edwar Ramirez Edinburg (United) Yankees
RP George Sherrill Winnipeg (Northern) Mariners
RP Kerry Ligtenberg Minneapolis (Prairie) Braves
RP Matt Miller Greenville (Big South) Indians
RP Brendan Donnelly Ohio Valley (Frontier) Angels
RP Ben Weber Salinas (Western) Angels
RP Josh Kinney River City (Frontier) Cardinals
RP Joe Thatcher River City (Frontier) Padres
RP Jeff Zimmerman Winnipeg (Northern) Rangers