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Newest Long Island Duck: “This is like getting called up to the big leagues”

This post has decidedly nothing to do with the York Revolution, other than a reminder that although York doesn’t have a Major League Baseball team, having an Atlantic League club is pretty awesome.

The Abilene Prairie Dogs of the North American League  did what a lot of teams do in the lower-level leagues of independent baseball, they allowed one of their best players to leave for a chance to compete in the Double-Triple-A-ish Atlantic League.  It’s not uncommon for a team in the Frontier League to also let players spread their wings too, as that is a league for much younger players compared to the ALPB.

Needless to say Abilene’s best starting pitcher Adam Rowe, in his ninth minor league season, is a little excited about getting a chance in our league.  Read the official release from Abilene below.  I guess word has gotten around that we have a pretty good brand of baseball here.

-Paul Braverman

ABILENE, TX – There is little doubt that they are sad to see him go. There is less of doubt that they will miss his contribution on the field. But the Prairie Dogs have mixed emotions about watching Adam Rowe leave town. While they lose the ace of their staff, they are also ecstatic for the southpaw who has now pitched his way to the top of independent baseball. On Sunday, Abilene traded both their ace and pitching coach to the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, widely considered the best Independent baseball league in America. In return, the Dogs will receive cash consideration.

“It was great working with these guys”, Rowe said. “I enjoyed my time here as a member of this team and as the pitching coach, but I’m also excited for the next opportunity.”  Rowe, a nine-year minor league veteran, got the rare opportunity to serve both as the ace of the staff and as a mentor for many of the younger pitchers on the Abilene roster.

In 12 starts with the Prairie Dogs, Rowe posted a 2.75 ERA while firing at least six innings and allowing three earned runs or fewer in all but two of his starts. Perhaps the most impressive part of Rowe’s arsenal is his command. The lefty featured five different starts this season in which he did not walk a batter.

The move is a great opportunity for Rowe, 30, to advance his career. According to the team’s website, the Ducks have had more than 60 players signed to deals with major league clubs since the organization’s inception in 2000. Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 20th round of the 2004 Amateur Draft, the Rowe reached high A in the California League in 2006 before beginning his career in Independent baseball in 2007.

For the moment, Rowe’s spot will remain vacant as the Dogs have yet to announce who will serve as the team’s pitching coach through the final five weeks of the season.

“This is amazing”, said Rowe on Sunday between games of a doubleheader in San Angelo. “For me, this is like getting called up to the Big Leagues.”

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