Draft aft: Indy time

No, not Indiana Jones. Nope, not talking independent film, either.

I’m talking Independent Leagues, which are playing a very big part in the draft this year.

Normally, we don’t do much on the indy leagues in these parts, but a pair of pitchers who will generate a lot of interests come draft day made their debuts in different leagues on Monday night. I haven’t talked to scouts yet who were at either outing, but I will eventually.

First, there was Aaron Crow, the 2008 first-round pick of the Washington Nationals who didn’t sign (that’s why the Nats pick at No. 10 as well). He threw for the Fort Worth Cats in the South Division of the American Association in their Spring Training opener. The right-hander went 1 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits while striking out three. The Grand Prairie Air Hogs hung the loss on the University of Missouri product.

Scheppers, numbers-wise, was more impressive pitching for the St. Paul Saints, members of the North Division of the American Association. Pitching in Fargo, North Dakota, against the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawk, the Fresno State product tossed four hitless innings. Last year, Scheppers slid to the second round (to the Pirates) and wasn’t signed largely because of a shoulder injury that shut him down during his junior season. So far, he’s pitched well, first out at Golden West community College in intrasquad games and now in his indy league debut. Scheppers did walk four, but he struck out six.

Long way to go on these two, but Crow was a top 10 pick a year ago and can show he’s just as good, could go just as high. With Scheppers, it’s all about showing he’s healthy. He’s generating some serious buzz now, and that’s without knowing what people thought of his outing in Fargo (I wonder if the Coen brothers were there).

More to come…

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