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April 8, 2007 April 8, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

I made a pretty big deal about Camden’s signing of Chad Bentz yesterday, but another kid you should be rooting for is Bridgeport’s Garrett Berger.

Berger was the Marlins first pick (second round) in the 2001 draft, and seemed to have a pretty big future ahead of him. Florida certainly agreed, inking him to a $795,000 signing bonus. But it was what happened in his past that seems to have taken that future away from him.

According to a 2004 blog entry from a Texas Rangers site, Berger was the workhorse on his high school team as a senior, pulling himself after a 155-pitch outing that ended up upsetting his coach. Berger’s parents opposed the way he was being used and there were a few disagreements with the coach.

Unfortunately, Berger’s parents were on to something, and he had Tommy John surgery just a few months after being drafted.

He wasn’t ready to pitch again until 2003, and he’s never been the same pitcher.

He’s appeared in just 24 minor league games, posting a 1-2 record with a 10.85 ERA in just 34 innings of work. He’s walked 60 guys, compared to just 26 strikeouts. He has 22 wild pitches.

While there are some inspirational stories that are obvious, such as Chad Bentz, there are others you have to dig a little bit harder for. Garrett Berger is one of those stories, and make sure you root for him just as hard to turn everything around.

The Handy-Dandy Who’s Signed Where Chart:

Bridgeport: Matt Beech, Garrett Berger, Shaun Boyd, Bobby Darula, Evan Fahrner, Sean Fesh, Luis Figueroa, Jesse Hoorelbeke, Bucky Jacobsen*, Milko Jaramillo, Albie Lopez, Pat Mahomes*, John Nathans, Franklin Perez, Mike Porzio, Jeremy Ware

Camden: Denny Abreu, Caleb Balbuena, Chad Bentz (!)***, Cristian Berroa, L.J. Biernbaum, Ryan Costello, Brendon Davis, Matt DeMarco, Randy Dicken, Bryan Edwards, Chris Fussell, Mark Ion***, Ramon Linares***, Dwight Maness, Randy McGarvey, Ramon Nivar, Angel Pena, Greg Powell, Justin Singleton***, Brad Strauss, Jamal Strong***

Lancaster: Eric Ackerman, Clayton Andrews, Rene Aqueron, Lance Burkhart, Dario Delgado, Derrick DePriest, Jeremy Dietrick, Brett Evert, Quincy Foster, Danny Gonzalez, Bo Hart, Rob Henkel, Justin Hileman, James Lira, Gustavo Martinez, Jason Norderum, Ross Peeples, Todd Pennington, Manny Santana, Scott Sobkowiak, Josh Stevens, Jeremy Todd, Steve Van Note, Chris Van Rossum, Manny Vazquez-Santiago, Clyde Williams, Michael Woods

Long Island: Pat Ahearne, Edgardo Alfonzo, Rob Cafiero, Tim Cain, James Garcia, Kevin Haverbusch, Randy Leek, Ray Navarrete, Jamie Pogue, Pete Rose, Jr., Travis Wade

Newark: Edwin Almonte, Erick Almonte**, Josh Arteaga, Jake Brooks, Matt Brunson, Ramon Castro, Javier Colina, Jason DiAngelo, Joey Gomes, Jose Herrera, Aaron Ledbetter, Carlos Mirabal, Marcus Nettles, Delvis Pacheco, John Pachot, Pat Peavey*, J.J. Trujillo

Road Warriors: Julio Guerrero, Cody Harkcom, Damien Myers

Somerset: Brian Adams, Travis Anderson, Elliott Ayala, Dave Elder, Danny Garcia, Todd Leathers, Sam Marsonek, Tony Mounce, Jeff Nettles, Phil Norton, Teuris Olivares, Brian Peterson, Ryan Radmanovich***, R.D. Spiehs, Josh Stewart

York: Rayner Bautista, Peter Bergeron, Chris Cooper, Luis Cotto, Matt Dryer, Nate Espy, Matt Ford, Wayne Franklin, Vic Gutierrez, Travis Hake, Charlie Hessletine, Matt Hirsh, Darin Kinsolving, David Maust, Jason Olson, Chris Steinborn, Kazunori Tanaka, Luis Taveras

*Not under contract
**Expected to stick with affiliate
***Not yet official

Breakdown By Position

Italics denotes that a player is being listed in his secondary position


INF: Luis Figueroa (3B/SS), Jesse Hoorelbeke (1B), Milko Jaramillo (SS)
OF: Shaun Boyd, Bobby Darula, John Nathans, Jeremy Ware
C: John Nathans
SP: Matt Beech, Albie Lopez, Mike Porzio
RP: Garrett Berger, Evan Fahrner, Sean Fesh, Franklin Perez

(Ashmore’s Updated Notes: There’s still work to be done here, but let’s hope Berger can stick with the club. He reminds me a lot of Josh Kalinowski, who I was big fan of back when he was with the Bluefish a few years back. All the potential in the world, but injuries held him back.)


INF: Cristian Berroa (SS), Matt DeMarco (3B/SS),Ramon Nivar (2B), Brad Strauss (3B/DH)
OF: Denny Abreu, L.J. Biernbaum, Dwight Maness, Ramon Nivar, Justin Singleton, Jamal Strong
C: Randy McGarvey, Angel Pena
SP: Ryan Costello, Brendon Davis, Greg Powell
RP: Caleb Balbuena, Chad Bentz, Brendon Davis, Bryan Edwards, Chris Fussell, Mark Ion, Ramon Linares

(Ashmore’s Updated Notes: Camden is looking really, really good. I just wonder if they have too many outfielders — I’d assume Abreu, Maness and Strong are the three starters at the moment. Their bullpen looks really good too…I heard they signed some guy named Chad Bentz.)


INF: Rene Aqueron (3B), Dario Delgado (1B/3B), Danny Gonzalez (SS), Bo Hart (2B), Jeremy Todd (1B), Steve Van Note (3B), Mike Woods (2B)
OF: Quincy Foster, Jutt Hileman, Jeremy Todd, Chris Van Rossum, Clyde Williams, Mike Woods
C: Lance Burkhart, Jeremy Dietrick, Manny Santana, Jeremy Todd
SP: Clayton Andrews, Brett Evert, Gustavo Martinez, Jason Norderum, Josh Stevens
RP: Eric Ackerman, Derrick DePriest, Rob Henkel, James Lira, Jason Norderum, Ross Peeples, Todd Pennington, Scott Sobkowiak, Manny Vazquez-Santiago

(Ashmore’s Updated Notes: Outside of Aqueron, there’s nothing new to report here. At least five of these guys won’t be on the Opening Day roster — your guesses are as good as mine.)

Long Island

INF: Edgardo Alfonzo (3B), Rob Cafiero (1B), Kevin Haverbusch (1B), Ray Navarrete (SS/3B), Pete Rose, Jr. (1B/3B)
OF: Kevin Haverbusch, Pete Rose, Jr.
C: Jamie Pogue
SP: Pat Ahearne, Tim Cain, James Garcia, Randy Leek
RP: Rob Cafiero, Tim Cain, James Garcia, Travis Wade

(Ashmore’s Updated Notes: The Ducks are letting a lot of teams steal their patented PR thunder. What gives?)


INF: Erick Almonte** (3B/SS), Josh Arteaga (3B), Matt Brunson (2B), Ramon Castro (SS/3B), Javier Colina (2B), Pat Peavey* (3B/1B)
OF: Joey Gomes, Jose Herrera, Marcus Nettles
C: John Pachot
SP: Aaron Ledbetter, Carlos Mirabal, Delvis Pacheco, J.J. Trujillo
RP: Edwin Almonte, Jake Brooks, Jason DiAngelo, Delvis Pacheco, J.J. Trujillo

(Ashmore’s Updated Notes: The Mirabal signing, I like. The Nettles signing, eh. If the scouting reports on this guy are accurate, he’s got a Henri Stanley-like hose…which, at best, is leaky.)

Road Warriors

RP: Julio Guerrero, Cody Harkcom, Damien Myers

(Ashmore’s Updated Notes: The fact that I actually know a few of the names that will be on the Road Warriors before I see them for the first time this season is shocking. I’d be immensly disappointed to see Mike Huggins back on this team, he absolutely deserves to be somewhere else.)


INF: Elliott Ayala (SS), Danny Garcia (2B) Todd Leathers (DH/1B), Jeff Nettles (3B), Teuris Olivares (SS/2B)
OF: Elliott Ayala, Ryan Radmanovich***
C: Travis Anderson, Brian Peterson
SP: Dave Elder, Tony Mounce, Phil Norton, Josh Stewart
RP: Brian Adams, Dave Elder, Sam Marsonek, Phil Norton, R.D. Spiehs

(Ashmore’s Updated Notes: The infield looks really good, but they’re still short a first baseman. They’ve been on the cusp of making an announcement in that regard, but it’s yet to happen. I’m a little surprised that Leathers won’t be at first, although that could certainly still happen. Ayala is going to be used as a reserve, and Radmanovich’s status is up in the air, so they still technically have zero outfielders. That needs to change.)


INF: Rayner Bautista (2B), Luis Cotto (SS), Matt Dryer (3B/1B), Nate Espy (1B), Vic Gutierrez (SS), Travis Hake (2B), Darin Kinsolving (1B)
OF: Peter Bergeron, Matt Dryer, Darin Kinsolving, Kazunori Tanaka
C: Luis Taveras
SP: Matt Ford, David Maust
RP: Chris Cooper, Matt Ford, Wayne Franklin, Charlie Hesseltine, Matt Hirsh, David Maust, Jason Olson, Chris Steinborn

(Ashmore’s Updated Notes: Hmmm. York fans will love Matt Dryer. He works hard every day, and wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s a fiery, emotional player that has a shot to get picked up. York still needs starters, although there’s been speculation that both Ford, Framklin and Olson will all be in the rotation. The Tanaka signing has me absolutely baffled. It’s great that Adam Gladstone is starting to tap into resources that AL teams haven’t used, but this guy doesn’t seem to be an AL-caliber guy.)

Major Leaguers Who’ve Signed

Bridgeport: Matt Beech (PHI), Albie Lopez (CLE/TB/ARI/ATL/KC), Mike Porzio (CWS/COL)
Camden: Chad Bentz (FLA/MON), Chris Fussell (BAL/KC), Ramon Nivar (BAL/TEX), Angel Pena (LAD), Jamal Strong (SEA)
Lancaster: Clayton Andrews (TOR), Bo Hart (STL), Scott Sobkowiak (ATL)
Long Island: Pat Ahearne (DET), Edgardo Alfonzo (LAA/NYM/SF/TOR), Pete Rose, Jr. (CIN)
Newark: Edwin Almonte (NYM), Erick Almonte** (NYY), Ramon Castro (OAK), J.J. Trujillo (SD)
Somerset: Dave Elder (CLE), Danny Garcia (NYM), Sam Marsonek (NYY), Tony Mounce (TEX), Phil Norton (CHC, CIN), Ryan Radmanovich*** (SEA), Josh Stewart (CWS)
York: Peter Bergeron (MON), Matt Ford (MIL), Wayne Franklin (HOU, MIL, SF, NY, ATL)

(Ashmore’s Updated Notes: ZERO Red Sox? Let’s see which teams read the small print…I’ll make a small donation to the charity of the choice of the first team that signs a Red Sox Major League player that is new to the league on the condition that the team matches it. Seriously.)

(I won’t just dangle my money out there forever. AL PR departments, get this done by Monday 4/9, or the offer’s off the table…)

(Ashmore’s Serious Updated Notes: Somerset’s been signing big leaguers like it’s their job. The 2003 team was loaded with Major League guys, and they went on to win a championship…it seems like the team is attempting something similar this year.)

Familiar Faces

Bridgeport: Matt Beech, Bobby Darula, Sean Fesh, Luis Figueroa, John Nathans, Mike Porzio
Camden: Denny Abreu, Caleb Balbuena (AC), L.J. Biernbaum, Ryan Costello, Brendon Davis, Matt DeMarco, Chris Fussell, Mark Ion, Ramon Linares, Dwight Maness, Randy McGarvey, Angel Pena, Greg Powell, Brad Strauss
Lancaster: Eric Ackerman, Lance Burkhart, Jeremy Dietrick (AC), Dario Delgado (NWK), Brett Evert, Quincy Foster, Danny Gonzalez, Rob Henkel, Jutt Hileman, James Lira, Ross Peeples, Todd Pennington, Manny Santana, Josh Stevens, Jeremy Todd, Steve Van Note, Chris Van Rossum, Scott Sobkowiak, Clyde Williams (AC)
Long Island: Pat Ahearne, Edgardo Alfonzo (BPT), Rob Cafiero, Tim Cain, Kevin Haverbusch, Ray Navarrete, Jamie Pogue, Pete Rose, Jr., Travis Wade (NWK)
Newark: Erick Almonte** (LI), Jake Brooks, Matt Brunson, Jason DiAngelo (AC), Jose Herrera, Carlos Mirabal, Delvis Pacheco (CAM), John Pachot (CAM)
Road Warriors: Julio Guerrero, Damien Myers (RW)
Somerset: Travis Anderson, Elliott Ayala, Dave Elder, Todd Leathers (AC), Tony Mounce, Jeff Nettles, Phil Norton (BPT), Teuris Olivares (NWK/RW), Ryan Radmanovich***
York: Rayner Bautista (AC), Peter Bergeron (NAS), Matt Dryer (SOM), Vic Gutierrez (AC/CAM/LV), Travis Hake (LAN), Charlie Hesseltine (AC), Jason Olson (SOM), Chris Steinborn (RW)

New To The League

Bridgeport: Garrett Berger, Shaun Boyd, Evan Fahrner, Jesse Hoorelbeke, Milko Jaramillo, Albie Lopez, Franklin Perez, Jeremy Ware
Camden: Chad Bentz, Cristian Berroa, Randy Dicken, Bryan Edwards, Ramon Nivar, Justin Singleton, Jamal Strong
Lancaster: Clayton Andrews, Derrick DePriest, Bo Hart, Gustavo Martinez, Jason Norderum, Manny Vazquez-Santiago, Mike Woods
Long Island: James Garcia, Randy Leek
Newark: Edwin Almonte, Josh Arteaga, Ramon Castro, Javier Colina, Joey Gomes, Aaron Ledbetter, Marcus Nettles, Pat Peavey*, J.J. Trujillo
Road Warriors: Cody Harkcom
Somerset: Brian Adams, Danny Garcia, Sam Marsonek, Brian Peterson, R.D. Spiehs, Josh Stewart
York: Chris Cooper, Luis Cotto, Nate Espy, Matt Ford, Wayne Franklin, Matt Hirsh, Darin Kinsolving, David Maust, Kaz Tanaka, Luis Taveras



1. MorpheusDreamweaver - April 8, 2007

There may not be any former Red Sox in the league this year, but I’m thrilled to see three former Mets so far.

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