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Atlantic League World Series connections

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Infamous super-agent Scott Boras advised his client Stephen Drew to reject the Diamondbacks offers in 2004 and start his professional career with the Camden Riversharks instead. It resulted in a four million dollar pay day for Drew, and now the Riversharks have an alum playing in the World Series.

Three former Atlantic League players have significant ties to this year’s World Series. The only active player participating who is an ALPB alum is Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew, who spent 19 games with the Camden Riversharks in 2005, where he hit a robust .427 with four homers and 18 RBI.  Drew was drafted 15th overall out of Florida State by Arizona in 2004, but came to a negotiating impasse with the organization on his signing bonus.  At that time, once a player was drafted, that organization retained his rights until a deal could be reached.  Now, there is a strict deadline just weeks after the draft.  If the player isn’t signed by August, he becomes eligible for the June draft again the following year.

After his 19 games in Camden in ’05, Drew did come to terms with the Diamondbacks and was awarded a $4 million dollar bonus, eventually making is Major League debut a season later in 2006.  Drew also played in last year’s playoffs with Oakland.  He’ll attempt to match his brother, the now retired J.D. Drew, who was part of a World Series champion his first season in Boston in 2007, where he was teammates with future Revolution outfielder Bobby Kielty.  You may remember Kielty hitting a somewhat important home run in that series against Colorado.  The eldest brother, pitcher Tim Drew, made 12 starts for Bridgeport in 2008 before retiring, after 35 appearances and 11 starts in the Majors.

Brock

It’s special when any Atlantic League player returns to the Majors, but even more special when an alum makes his MLB debut, as former Bridgeport Bluefish outfielder Brock Peterson did for the Cardinals this season after a decade in the minors.

Former Bridgeport outfielder Brock Peterson made his Major League Debut with St. Louis earlier this season, playing in 23 games.  Peterson was with the Bluefish in 2011 and 2012, before being picked up by the Cardinals late that season, finishing the year at Triple-A Memphis where he stayed until the call-up.  While Peterson was left off all postseason rosters, if St. Louis was to win the World Series, a championship ring would be his since he appeared with the team in the Majors this season.  In 2009, former Revolution pitcher Brett Tomko was in the same situation…after 15 big league games in relief with the Yankees Tomko moved to Oakland, where he’d start six more, win his 100th career MLB game, but ultimately injure himself in that game before shutting it down for the season.  However, as the Yankees dispatched the Phillies four games to two, a rehabbing Tomko was watching the World Series from his San Diego home rooting hard for New York as they delivered him his only World Series ring in 14 Major League seasons.  It would’ve been two had it not been for the Cardinals incredible comeback(s) down 3-2 against Texas in the 2011 World Series…Tomko appeared in eight games out of the Rangers bullpen that season, his return to the Majors from the aforementioned injury in Oakland.

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Jamie Pogue

There is one former Atlantic Leaguer “on the field” for St. Louis however, even if he isn’t active.  Former Atlantic League catcher Jamie Pogue, mostly of Long Island Ducks fame before retiring after the 2008 season, is the Cardinals bullpen catcher as a part of the team’s Major League coaching staff.  Pogue was a Cardinals minor leaguer between 2000 and 2002.  It’s the same position former Revolution catcher Octavio Martinez has with the Washington Nationals.

Regardless of how the series turns out, at least one former Atlantic League player is coming out of the Fall Classic with some bling.

-Paul Braverman

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