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February 14, 2008 – Josh Pressley Talks February 14, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Pressley Talks About Marlins Deal: Somerset Patriots 1B Josh Pressley was all set to return to the place that helped him get his reputation back. But that all changed when the Florida Marlins came calling about a month ago.

“I have mixed feelings about it, it’s a fortunate situation and an unfortunate situation,” Pressley said.

“Everybody plays baseball to get a chance to play in the big leagues, and hopefully I have that opportunity with the Marlins. But I really enjoyed playing in Somerset, it felt like home to me.”

Pressley said that the last time he was with the Marlins organization, he was brought in late in the year to fill in a veteran leadership role. He told me that he thinks his experience in Somerset might give him a better opportunity this season.

“I have a pretty good relationship with the Marlins GM, and he said that the Atlantic League is the premier league in independent baseball,” Pressley said.

“They don’t really look anywhere else when they need someone.”

Pressley said that he was expecting to come back and had already been recruiting players to Somerset, telling them what a great place it is to play.

York Signs Three: York has brought in three people new to the Atlantic League: OF Matt Esquivel, P Reid Price and C Kevin Kotch.

Esquivel is a six-year minor league free agent out of the Braves organization. He reached Double-A in both 2006 and 2007 and is a career .268 hitter with 73 home runs and 335 RBI in 529 career games.

However, Esquivel has been suspended at least twice by the Braves organization for what was termed a “violation of team policy.” One was for an “undisclosed” incident in Charleston in 2004, while the other occured in 2006. Hopefully those incidents are behind him, and he can make the most of a second chance in the Atlantic League as so many other players before him have.

Or he could be the next Alhaji Turay

Price has two seasons of independent ball experience, having pitched for Sussex of the Can-Am League in 2006 and Aiken of the South Coast League in 2007. He had so-so numbers last season, going 5-4 with a 4.73 in 21 games — 17 of them starts. His most concerning stat to me would have to be his .300 batting average against.

Kotch is…wait for it, wait for it…a former Baltimore Orioles draft pick. Someone with an Orioles tie in York! Very hard to believe.

He attended Middlesex High School (about 45 minutes from my house) and was picked out of Cecil Community College in Maryland by the O’s in 2004. He got as high as the New York-Penn League (short season A-ball) in 2006, but is just a .177 career hitter with 2 home runs and 19 RBI in 74 career games. – Mike Ashmore

Esquivel Update: While everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt and a clean slate, I did some research into the Revolution’s latest signing. It appears he was suspended three times between 2004 and 2007. One of those times it had to do with a fight at an All-Star game dinner. At the event, some trash talking took place and reportedly Esquivel came to the aid of a teammate. I’ve read a lot of things that he’s a good guy and player, so it seems like a solid signing.

Kotch Update: Kotch used to workout at the Jack Cust Baseball Academy in Flemington, NJ — right near his Middlesex home. I wonder if the Patriots went after this guy since their ties with the academy are strong. Nevertheless, I think he will benefit more from playing in York, learning from one of the Orioles best catchers of all-time, Chris Hoiles. – Scott Stanchak

Ashmore – I’m trying to track Kotch down to include him in this week’s Democrat article considering his proximity to the area…when I do, I’ll pass along the quotes on this site as well.

Stevens Breakdown: Jason Guarente’s got a breakdown of Josh Stevens’ first and second halves in Lancaster last year. As I mentioned yesterday, Butch Hobson is interested in acquiring Stevens from the Barnstormers.

New Jersey Baseball Book: I was killing some time on Amazon this morning, and discovered that Bob Golon’s “No Minor Accomplishment” is available for order. It comes out some time next month, and the highlight of the book will clearly be my thoughts on the Atlantic League.

Ok, so maybe not, but in all seriousness I was extensively interviewed for the book. But check that link out to see if it’s something that might interest you.

Poll Results: Here’s how the vote totals looked for your favorite manager…

Tommy John (Bridgeport) 19 (10%)

Joe Ferguson (Camden) 21 (11%)

Von Hayes (Lancaster) 18 (9%)

Dave LaPoint (Long Island) 17 (8%)

Wayne Krenchicki (Newark) 33 (17%)

Sparky Lyle (Somerset) 46 (24%)

Butch Hobson (Southern MD) 22 (11%)

Chris Hoiles (York) 13 (6%)

There’s a new question up there for your voting pleasure. – Mike Ashmore

Southern Maryland Stadium Update: Southern Maryland Online has an update on the Blue Crabs stadium, which is being called Regency Furniture Stadium. I expect them to have nice clubhouses. The home opener is scheduled for May 2. – Scott Stanchak

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