IBC’s Top Performers in Europe for the 2016 Summer

IBC’s Top Performers in Europe for the 2016 Summer

It is that time again for recognition of those IBC members who performed the best in the past season. What is IBC? It stands for the International Baseball Community which is a website dedicated to continuing or starting professional baseball careers overseas for both players and coaches.

Of the 96 contracts signed for the summer of 2016, we are only recognizing those who played in first divisions in Europe. We have not included the many who signed contracts in Europe within 2nd and 3rd divisions nor those who signed professional contracts in the U.S., Canada and for the Australian winter. However there were plenty of IBC success stories within those leagues we are leaving out including best batter and pitcher recognitions, championships, promotions and further signings as a result.

For the following lists, we used our knowledge of the various levels of play across Europe to best put a ranking on performance, which as you can imagine is not an easy task. Please let us know if there are any IBC members who have been left off these lists that you feel deserve the recognition.


 

IBC’s Best Batters Summer 2016


 

# 1.  Daniel Sanchez – Venezuela/Spainsanchez

Position: Shortstop

Club: Solingen Alligators, German Bundesliga North

Stats: BA .438 (1st) / OBP .509 / SLG% .635 / 2B 14 / SB 10 / RBI 21 (3rd)

The IBC #3 ranked batter from 2015, Daniel Sanchez is a shortstop/second baseman who has played 11 seasons in Europe with stops in Spain, Italy, and currently in Germany. During this time, he has been a part of eight championship winning teams. He is currently playing baseball in Sydney, Australia for the MacArthur Orioles.  

# 2. Taylor Eichhorst – USA

Position: Catcher /Pitcher / 3B

Club: Sissach Frogs, Swiss NLA

Stats: BA .500 (1st) / Hr 9 (1st) / 2B 12 (1st) / SLG% 1.222 (1st) / OBP .597 / RBI 23 (2nd)

Taylor is the all-time career homerun and RBI record holder at San Diego Christian College and in his second year in Switzerland is on his way to breaking records there hitting 7 and 9 homeruns in his first two seasons, not too shabby for a 20 game schedule.

# 3. Gary Owens – USA

Position: Outfield/Pitcher

Club: Stuttgart Reds, German Bundesliga South

Stats: BA .394 / HR 8 / 2B 12 / OBP .508 / SLG% .702 / RBI 22

Gary Owens just may be an overseas baseball lifer as this power hitter has been playing overseas since 2013 including three stints in Australia and two in Germany. His popularity probably has something to do with the big numbers he puts up season after season. In 2016 he was named the best batter of the German Bundesliga South.

# 4. Terrell Joyce – USAjoyce

Position: Outfield/Shortstop

Club: Heidenheim Heideköpfe, German Bundesliga South

Stats: BA .394 / HR 6/ OBP .456 / SLG% .704

This former Houston Astros brought his 21 minor league home runs overseas for the first time this summer to play with the reigning Bundesliga South champions. Unfortunately he suffered a shoulder injury mid-season which kept him on the sidelines until the playoffs. Unfortunately Terrell and his Heidenheim teammates were unable to repeat, however Terrell got a taste of the overseas baseball bug and continued on to Australia to play for the Glenelg Tigers in Adelaide.

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#5. David Brandt – USAbrandt

Position: Shortstop / Outfield / Coach

Club: Attnang Athletics, Austrian Baseball League

Stats: BA .486 (1st) / OBP .585 (1st) / SLG% .875 (1st) / R 35 (1st) / 2B 12 (1st) / HR 4 (T2nd) / SB 20 (2nd)

David is the current the Castleton State College record holder for stolen bases and a former Pecos league offensive standout who took his game overseas in 2016 to play in Austria. From the start David established himself as the league’s best hitter and never looked back en route to leading the A’s to a championship.

#6. Michael Stowers – USA

Position: Shortstop

Club: Therwil Flyers, Swiss NLA

Stats: BA .475 / OBP . 644 / SLG% .814 / 2B 11 (2nd)

Michael took his NAIA world series experience with San Diego Christian College overseas first in 2015 to the Czech Republic. From there Mike to his game to Australia for the winter and just wrapped up a stellar season in Switzerland where he found himself at the top of the league in all offensive categories and was a major factor in Therwil winning their 10th championship.

#7. Devon Ramirez – USAdevon

Position: Starting Pitcher/ Outfield

Club: Skokani Olomouc, Czech Extraliga

Stats: BA .386 / OBP . 500 (3rd) / SLG% .535

This Cal State Dominguez Hills graduate spent a couple of years in the Pacific Association before taking his game overseas to Australia during the 2015-2016 winter and most recently to the Czech Republic for the 2016 summer. A pitcher by trade, Devon has established himself as a legit threat at the plate, thus setting himself up to play baseball overseas for years to come as one of the top two-way players on the market.

#8. Zach Johnson – USA/Canada

Position: Corner infield

Club: Mannheim Tornados, German Bundesliga South

Stats: BA .361 / HR 6 / OBP .514 / SLG% .687

In his first stint overseas, this dual Canadian American corner infielder has established himself as one of the top bats on the international market by putting up big numbers in the very competitive German Bundesliga 1 South.

NEED AN IMPORT COACH OR PLAYER FOR YOUR CLUB? LEARN MORE HERE.

#9. Juan Martin – Italy / Argentinajuan-martin

Position: Catcher

Club: Mannheim Tornados, German Bundesliga South

Stats: BA .362 / HR 3 / OBP .435 / SLG% .543

Juan Martin has a vast amount of experience playing and coaching internationally. Born in Argentina, he has international experience as a key member of the Argentinian National Team and has also played in Australia, Italy and now Germany since 2014. Juan is currently in South Africa playing for the Maitland Giants in Cape Town.

#10. Steven Johnson – USA

Position: Starting Pitcher / Outfield

Club: Attnang Athletics, Austrian Baseball League

Stats: BA .391 / OBP .451 / SLG% .710 (3rd) / RBI 29 (1st) / HR 5 (T1st)

After graduating from Avila University, Steve and played an important part in the Alpine Cowboys winning their division in the 2015 Pecos League season. From there, he took his game overseas to Australia and most recently Austria where his numbers above were a major reason why the Attnang Athletics went from last place in 2015 to a championship in 2016.

#11. Collin Forgey – USAforgey

Position: Outfield / Shortstop

Club: Hannover Regents, German Bundesliga North

Stats:  BA .371 / OBP .472 / HR 3 / SB 10

This 2014 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year with Saint Joseph’s University had a brief stint in the Pecos League before taking his game overseas to Australia and most recently Germany where is one of a number of outfielders to establish themselves overseas by converting to middle infield.

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#12. Alex Carter – USA/Australia

Position: Catcher

Club: Cologne Cardinals, German Bundesliga North

Stats: BA .373 / OBP .444

Before playing overseas, AC played college baseball at the University of Georgetown, where during his senior season he had an average of .316 and drove in 42 runs leading the Big East during the season. After his time at Georgetown, AC was drafted in the late rounds by the Colorado Rockies but decided to pursue a professional career in Europe signing first in Belgium before moving to Germany in 2016. Currently AC is taking advantage of his dual citizenship with Australia to play for the Southern Districts Baseball Club in Adelaide.

#13. Adam Greenberg – USAgreenberg

Position: Outfield / Starting Pitcher

Club: Lucerne Eagles, Swiss NLA

Stats: BA .412 / HR 4 (2nd) / OBP . 506 / SLG% .721

This former UC San Diego outfielder has been overseas since 2013 spending two season in Germany, two seasons in Australia, and most recently two seasons in Switzerland. His ability to both pitch and hit at a high level have paved the way for Adam to play overseas long term.

#14. Will Thorp – Canada

Position: Catcher / Outfield

Club: Munich-Haar Disciples, German Bundesliga South & Euro League Baseball

Stats: BA .347 / HR 2 / OBP .436 / SLG% .469

This former Lewis-Clark State catcher has been a hot commodity overseas since his first stint in Australia in 2014-2015 where he worked his way onto the Adelaide Bite before heading to Europe to play in Austria in 2015. He returned to Australia in 2015-2016 and managed to work his way onto the Brisbane Bandits before returning to Europe to play for the Munich-Haar Disciples who also played in the start-up professional Euro League Baseball. Will has resigned with the Disciples for the 2017 season.

#15. Dominic Morbidelli – USAdominic

Position: Catcher / Corner Infield

Club: Hrosi Brno, Czech Extraliga

Stats: BA .338 / OBP .415 / SLG% .576 / HR 8 

Dominic come from the highly competitive PacWest Conference where he was known as one of the top defensive catchers while playing for Holy Names University. Upon graduating in 2015, Dominic took his game overseas for the 2015-2015 winter to play in Australia before signing to play in the Czech Republic where he showed he is one of the best power hitting catchers overseas at the moment.

#16. Andrew Medeiros – USA

Position: Catcher

Club: Rouen Huskies, French Elite League

Stats: BA .353 / OBP .416 / SLG% .563 / 2B 13 / 3B 3 / HR 3

Last year’s IBC #1 ranked batter, Andrew jumped up to a more competitive league and continued to put up great numbers and was perfect on defense. This was Andrew’s third year overseas including stops in Australia and Belgium.

#17. Eric Brenk – USA/Germanybrenk

Position: Shortstop / Closer

Club: Bonn Capitals, German Bundesliga North

Stats: BA .351 / OBP .435 / SLG% .404 / SB 19

Eric returned for a second season with the Bonn Capitals, his third year overseas and in Germany. This former Wofford College switch hitter holds dual citizenship with Germany and is the starting shortstop on the German National Team.

#18. Sam Siddall – Canada

Position: Starting Pitcher / Utility

Club: Budapest Reds, Euro Interleague

Stats: BA .425 (3rd) / OBP .511 (3rd) / Slg% .685 (3rd)

Sam Siddall is a player-coach who has almost three years experience playing and coaching baseball overseas year-round between Australia and Hungary. In 2016 he led his Budapest Reds to a Hungarian championship and in the Euro Interleague that features the top clubs from Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia Sam was on the leader for both as a hitter and a pitcher.

#19) Nick Masonia – USAmasonia

Position: Catcher / Infield

Club: Templiers Senart, French Elite League

Stats: BA .340 / OBP .432 / SLG% .574 / HR 5

This power hitting catcher surpassed Bo Jackson to break the Alabama state high school record by hitting an incredible 66 career home runs in his career. In his first season overseas post college Nick continued with his power hitting ways in France and was a major reason his team returned to the French national championship in 2016.

NEED AN IMPORT COACH OR PLAYER FOR YOUR CLUB? LEARN MORE HERE.

#20. Kyle Decker – USA

Position: Shortstop

Club: LLN Phoenix, Belgium

Stats: BA .342 / OBP .442 / SLG% .588 / HR 6

Kyle had a career average of  .324 at Oberlin College and this continued straight into his first season overseas in Belgium where he put up big numbers and made a name for himself as one of the best power hitting shortstops on the overseas circuit. Kyle is currently playing baseball in Australia.

 

Honorable Mention

Chris Michals – USApitch

Position: Starting Pitcher/Utility

Club: Zurich Barracudas, Swiss NLA

Stats: BA .397 / OBP . 526 / SLG% .586

 

Warren Stehn – USA

Position: Utility

Club: Arvernes Clermont, French Elite League

Stats: BA .344 / OBP .416 / SLG% .564 / SB 16

 

Ian Vazquez – USAIan Vazquez

Position: Shortstop

Club: Mannheim Tornados, German Bundesliga South

Stats: BA .303 / HR 3 / OBP .370 / SLG% .459

 

Max MacNabb – USA

Position: Starting Pitcher / Outfield

Club: Templiers Senart, French Elite League

Stats: BA .313 / 3B 3 / SB 13 / OBP .402

 

Jake Williams – USA

Position: Utility

Club: Rättvik Butchers, Swedish Elite League

Stats: BA .369 / OBP .500 / SLG% .559

 

Melvin Perdue – USA

Position: Center field/Middle Infield

Club: DSS, Dutch Major League

Stats: BA .280/ OBP .378/ SLG% .346

 

 

Thomas DiBenedetto

Position: Shortstop

Club: San Inazio-Bilbao, Spanish Division de Honor

Stats: BA .408/ OBP .475/ SLG% .469 / G 14

 

Josh Wyant – USA

Position: Shortstop/Relief Pitcher

Club: Dortmund Wanderers, German Bundesliga North

Stats: BA .338 / OBP .358

 

Tomas Ondra – Czech Republic

Position: Starting Pitcher / Outfield

Club: Dortmund Wanderers, German Bundesliga North

Stats: BA .342 / OBP .437 / SLG % .452


 

IBC’s Best Pitchers Summer 2016


 

#1. Tommy Lay – USAlay

Position: Starting pitcher

Club: LLN Phoenix, Belgium

Stats: ERA 1.22 / W-L 11-8 / CG 15 / K 218 (1st) / BB 22/  IP 155.2 (1st) / bavg .194 / SHO 5

Thomas Lay is a left-handed starting pitcher who senior year at Arizona Christian University pitched 92.2 innings and posted a strikeout to walk-ratio of almost 3:1. This durability carried over to his first season overseas in Belgium where he pitched an amazing 15 complete games while striking out a ridiculous 218 batters while only surrendering 22 walks. Although Belgian baseball is not the highest ranked in Europe, these superhuman-like numbers deserve Tommy the nod in the first spot. Tommy is currently pitching in Sydney, Australia.

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#2. Louis Cohen – USA

Louis with the Stealers

Position: Starting pitcher

Club: Hamburg Stealers, German Bundesliga North

Stats: ERA 1.37 / IP 105 (2nd) /  W-L 7-5 / SO 131 (1st) / BB 20 / WHIP 0.99

After graduating from Cal State University Northridge and receiving no professional contracts, Louis took his game to Australia to play in the Capital Territory State League where he struck out 195 over 153 innings work and also saw 15 innings in the Australian Baseball League for the Cavalry. This pace continued in his first European season where he again led the league in strikeouts and innings pitched.

#3. Jimmy Jensen – USA

Position: Starting Pitcher / Utility

Club: Templiers Senart, French Elite League

Stats: Era 1.55 / W-L 9-1 / CG 5 / bavg .183 / SO 111 / BB 13

This former Menlo College pitcher is no stranger to this list as he made the #1 spot in the 2015 summer for his dominance in Austria and the #4 spot after the 2015-2016 winter for another outstanding season in the New South Wales State League based in Sydney, Australia. Jimmy is probably THE most sought after pitcher currently on the overseas market because of his remarkable ability to not walk batters and go deep into games start after start.

#4. Jack Shannon – USAjack

Position: Starting pitcher /Outfield

Club: Cologne Cardinals, German Bundesliga North

Stats: Era 1.94 / SO 111(2nd) / BB 36 / W-L 5-5 / WHIP 1.16

Jack Shannon has been one of the top two-way players on the overseas market since graduating from the University of San Diego in 2013. He has had stops in Australia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Switzerland and most recently in Germany where he for the first time was strictly a pitcher-coach. Despite playing on a cellar dwelling team, he managed to put up some great numbers once again.

#5. Wayne Ough – Australia

Position: Starting pitcher /Utility

Club: Solingen Alligators, German Bundesliga North

Stats: ERA 1.70 / W-L 4-0 / WHIP 0.95

This legendary Australian player won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics with as a member of the national team and also made his way up to AA ball with the Mets before focusing on playing in his home country and abroad in Europe. With stops in the Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia and Germany, Wayne did not return in 2016 originally until he received a call from the Alligators that their import Jadd Schmeltzer unexpectedly left the team without any warning. Wayne came in and saved the season for the Alligators helping them gain another playoff birth. He has since re-signed as head coach for 2017.

#6. Max MacNabb – USAmax

Position: Starting Pitcher / Outfield

Club: Templiers Senart, French Elite League

Stats: Era 1.20 / W-L 5-2 / bavg .168 / SO 52 / BB 11 / IP 45

Another University of San Diego graduate, Max spent a season in the minors with the Padres before taking his game overseas to Australia for the 2015-2016 winter. His performance there earned him the #7 spot on this list despite the fact that he was used mostly for his big bat which earned him the #5 spot. In 2016 Max continued where he left off and is once again all over the leader boards and the IBC ranking lists.

#7. Adam Greenberg – USA

Position: Starting pitcher/Outfield

Club: Lucerne Eagles, Swiss NLA

Stats: Era 1.73 (3rd) / W-L 6-1 / WHIP 1.02

This former UC San Diego outfielder also brings it on the mound and is why he has no trouble signing contracts overseas year-after-year. Adam is also the #14 IBC ranked batter of the 2016 summer.

#8. Jan Tomek – Czech Republictomek

Position: Starting Pitcher / Closer

Club: Regensburg Legionäre, German Bundesliga South

Stats: Era 2.22 / W-L 4-3 / SO 40 / BB 20 / IP 52.2

Jan Tomek was one of a few European players who decided to use the International Baseball Community website to take their game to a new league. As one of the top Czech pitchers from 2015, Jan had no problem getting attention and considered multiple offers before settling with the premiere organization in Europe, the Buchbinder Regensburg Legionäre. Used as both a reliever with an occasional start, Jan posted very solid numbers in what is considered to be one of the better hitting leagues in Europe, the Bundesliga South.

#9. Heath Gray – USA

Position: Starting pitcher / Corner Infield

Club: Hannover Regents, German Bundesliga North

Stats: Era 2.28 / IP 106.2 (1st) / SO 79 / BB 23 / W-L 6-6 / WHIP 1.06 /

In his second stint overseas, Heath Gray made this list in as many seasons after finishing 5th for his efforts in Sydney, Australia last winter. This 6’7” Erskine College graduate let his mark in Europe this past summer and no doubt will be in high demand again next season.

#10. Peter Gehle – USA

Position: Starting Pitcher / First Base

Club: Arvernes Clermont, French Elite League

Stats: Era 2.72 / SO 107 / BB 24 / CG 4 / bavg .234 / IP 89.1

This big 6’6″ lefty spent 6 years in professional baseball between Chicago White Sox Rookie ball, the American Association and the Frontier League before deciding it was time for a change and took his game overseas to Europe to play for the newly promoted Clermont in France. Peter’s performance and appear at Prague Baseball Week with the International Stars helped him to advance his career by signing in the Czech Extraliga for 2017.

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Honorable Mention

Braden Lee – USA

Position: Starting pitcher / Corner Infield

Club: Silesia Rybnik, Polish Ekstraligi

Stats: Era 1.59 / SO 70 / BB 15 / W-L 8-3 / WHIP 1.10

 

Jeff Barto – USAbarto

Position: Starting Pitcher/ Outfield

Club: Hrosi Brno, Czech Extraliga

Stats:  Era 4.03 (6th) / SO 107 / BB 39 / CG 4 / bavg .274 / IP 98.33

 

Chris Michals – USA

Position: Starting pitcher/Utility

Club: Zurich Barracudas, Swiss NLA

Stats: Era 2.22 / W-L 6-1 / WHIP 1.28

 

Jeremy Filipek – Canada

Position: Starting Pitcher

Club: UVV, Dutch Major League

Stats: Era 3.21 / W-L 2-0 / bavg .219

 

Dustin Hamilton – USAhamilton

Position: Starting Pitcher / Outfield

Club: Stockerau Cubs, Austrian Baseball League

Stats: Era 2.78 / W-L 6-2 / SO 86 (1st) / Opp. BA .170

 

Steven Johnson – USA

Position: Starting Pitcher / Outfield

Club: Attnang Athletics, Austrian Baseball League

Stats: Era 3.71 / W-L 6-2 / SO 61 / BB 12

 

Sam Siddall – Canadasiddall

Position: Starting Pitcher / Utility

Club: Budapest Reds, Euro Interleague

Stats: Era 4.31 / W-L 4-4 / CG 2 / SO 75 (1st)  / BB 20 / IP 64.2 (1st)

 

 

Ryan Rupp – USA

Position: Starting Pitcher / First Base

Club: Attnang Athletics, Austrian Baseball League

Stats: Era 3.16 / W-L 4-4 / CG 2 / SO 61 / BB 29

 

Charlie Letourneau – Australia

Position: Starting Pitcher

Club: Wr. Neustadt Diving Ducks, Austrian Baseball League

Stats: Era 2.31 (3rd) / W-L 2-6 / SO 34 / BB 12 / IP 58.1


 

IBC’s Best Two-Way Players Summer 2016


 

#1. Adam Greenberg – USA

Club: Lucerne Eagles, Swiss NLA

IBC’s Best Batters: #13

BA .412 / HR 4 / OBP . 506 / SLG% .721

IBC’s Best Pitchers: #7

Era 1.73  / W-L 6-1 WHIP 1.02

 

#2. Max MacNabb – USA 

Club: Templiers Senart, French Elite League

IBC’s Best Batters: Honorable Mention  

BA .313 / 3B 3 / SB 13 / OBP .402

IBC’s Best Pitchers: #6   

Era 1.20 / W-L 5-2 / bavg .168 / SO 52 / BB 11 / IP 45

 

#3. Steven Johnson – USA  29173439832_58009ebe8c_z

Club: Attnang Athletics, Austrian Baseball League

IBC’s Best Batters: #10  

BA .391 / OBP .451 / SLG% .710 / RBI 29 / HR 5 

IBC Best Pitchers: Honorable Mention  

Era 3.71 / W-L 6-2 / SO 61 / BB 12 / IP 60.2

 

#4. Chris Michals – USA

Club: Zurich Barracudas, Swiss NLA

IBC’s Best Batters: Honorable Mention  

BA .397 / OBP . 526 / SLG% .586

IBC’s Best Pitchers: Honorable Mention  

Era 2.22  / W-L 6-1 / WHIP 1.28

 

#5. Jimmy Jensen – USA  jimmy-senart

Club: Templiers Senart, French Elite League

IBC’s Best Batters: Not Rated

BA .300 / OBP .416 / 3B 3

IBC’s Best Pitchers: #3   

Era 1.55 / W-L 9-1 / IP 110  /  CG 5  / bavg .183 / SO 111  / BB 13

 

#6. Sam Siddall – Canada

Club: Budapest Reds, Euro Interleague

IBC’s Best Batters: #18  

BA .425  / OBP .511/ Slg% .685 

IBC’s Best Pitchers: Honorable Mention  

Era 4.31 / W-L 4-4 / CG 2 / SO 75  / BB 20 / IP 64.2

 

#7. Taylor Eichhorst – USA  eichhorst

Club: Sissach Frogs, Swiss NLA

IBC’s Best Batters: #2

BA .500 / Hr 9 / 2B 12  / SLG% 1.222  / OBP .597 / RBI 23

IBC’s Best Pitchers: Not Ranked  

Era 4.91 / W-L 2-1 / WHIP 1.34

 

#8. Dustin Hamilton – USA

Club: Stockerau Cubs, Austrian Baseball League

IBC’s Best Batters: Not Ranked  

BA .353 / OBP .389

IBC’s Best Pitchers: Honorable Mention  

Era 2.78 / W-L 6-2 / SO 86 (1st) / Opp. BA .170

 

#9. Devon Ramirez – USA

Club: Skokani Olomouc, Czech Extraliga

IBC’s Best Batters: #7

BA .386 / OBP . 500 (3rd) / SLG% .535

IBC’s Best Pitchers: Not Ranked

Era 2.73 / W-L 2-1 / IP 29 ⅔ / SO 26

 

#10. Scotty Mulhearn – Australia  scotty

Club: Tempo Titans, Czech Extraliga

IBC’s Best Batters: Not Ranked

BA .276 / OBP .388 / SLG% .447 / HR 4 / 2B 9

IBC’s Best Pitchers: Not Ranked

Era 6.98 / W-L 3-6 / IP 68 ⅓ / SO 45 / BB 18

 

 

It’s not about the number of hours you put in, it’s about what you put in those hours.