Tennessee Wesleyan College has seen 19 former Bulldogs step into the Independent Baseball ranks since 2002. Currently 8 former Bulldogs are active in Independent Leagues around the country and in Canada. Four of these players have spent time in Minor League baseball with affiliated clubs with one just recently signing a deal with the Boston Red Sox. Four of these active players were part of the 2012 National Championship team. Here is a look at how they have done this spring and summer.
Vladimir Frias (2008) Drafted in the 30th round of the first year player draft in 2008 by the San Francisco Giants as an infielder. Spent two seasons with the Giants making it as high as Triple A Fresno. Signed by the Boston Red Sox in 2010 and spent two seasons making it as high as Double A Portland. Spent one season with the Chicago Cubs and their Advanced High A affiliate in Daytona. Started the 2013 season with the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League. The Dominican Republic native was having a solid season for the Grizzlies hitting .275 with 14 doubles, 7 homeruns and 33 runs batted in. On August 11, 2013 the 2008 AAC and Region XII Player of the Year had his contract bought out by the Boston Red Sox. He has been assigned to Advanced High A Salem of the Carolina League. Vlad has played in three games and is hitting .167 in 6 plate appearances. You can follow his progress on the internet at www.milb.com
Zach Fleshman (2013) Signed as a free agent by the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League in June of 2013. Was a member of the 2012 National Championship team. The Pilot Mountain, North Carolina native was a two time AAC Gold Glove selection on the mound. Currently the right hander has a 1-2 record with a 3.24 earned run average in 25.0 innings with 18 strikeouts. Fleshman has appeared in twenty games with one start.
Cole McCurry (2007) Drafted in the 43rd round of the first year player draft by the Baltimore Orioles in 2007 as pitcher. Spent five years in the Orioles organization making it as high as Triple A Norfolk. McCurry who originally is from Candler, North Carolina was traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2012 and spent most of his year in Triple A Gwinnett. The 2007 All AAC First Team selection started the 2013 season with the Braves organization in Triple A Gwinnett but was released in July. At the end of his time in Gwinnett he had a 1-1 record with a 5.73 earned run average in 33.0 innings of work with 25 strikeouts. The left hander had made twenty appearances all in relief with 2 saves. On July 27, 2013 he signed a free agent deal with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League. Currently he is 0-1 with a 12.38 earned run average. In 8.0 innings McCurry has 5 strikeouts in three appearances with one start.
David Bergin (2011) Drafted in the 30th round of the first year player draft by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011 as an outfielder. Spent two seasons with the Cardinals making it as high as Low A Batavia of the New York Penn League. Was a member of the 2011 Bulldog team that made its second appearance in the Avista NAIA World Series. The Tampa, Florida native is currently with the Fort Worth Cats of the United League. The 2011 AAC Player of the Year and NAIA First Team All American is hitting .310 with 9 doubles, 19 homeruns and 66 runs batted in. Bergin has played in 73 games this season for the Cats.
CAN AM LEAGUE
Jon Smith (2011) Signed as a free agent with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League in 2011. Spent the 2012 season with the Rockland Boulders of the Can AM League. Currently the Niagara Falls, New York native is with the Trois-Rivieres Aigles of the Can Am League. The 2011 All AAC First Team and 2nd Team All American outfielder was member of two Avista NAIA World Series teams. In 81 games Smith is hitting .259 with 16 doubles, 15 homeruns and 51 runs batted in.
Jordan Guida (2012) Signed as a free agent at the conclusion of the first year player draft by the Detroit Tigers in 2012 as a catcher. Spent one season with the Tigers making stops between their rookie league affiliate in the Gulf Coast League and Advanced High A Lakeland of the Florida State League. The Glendale, Arizona native is currently with the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association. Guida was a member of two Avista NAIA World Series teams as well as the National Championship team in 2012. Jordan was named to the World Series All Tournament team and was named the Avista NAIA World Series Most Valuable player at the conclusion of the tournament. He currently holds the record for most homeruns hit in a World Series Tournament with 7 homeruns in six tournament games. Thru 36 games with the Goldeyes he is hitting .200 with 1 double.
Taylor Oldham (2012) Signed as a free agent by the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League in 2012 as an infielder. The Orlando, Florida native was traded to the London Road Warriors of the Frontier League halfway thru the 2012 season. At the conclusion of the 2012 season he signed with the Taos Blizzard of the Pecos League for the 2013 season. An All AAC first team selection and 2nd Team NAIA All American was a member of the 2012 Avista NAIA National Championship team and was named to the All-Tournament team. This season for the Blizzard he hit .379 with 10 doubles, 6 homeruns and 25 runs batted in.
Noah Piard (2012) Signed as a free agent by the Taos Blizzard of the Pecos League in July of 2013. Made one appearance for the Blizzard before being traded to the Alpine Cowboys of the Pecos League. The Orlando, Florida native was a red shirt on the 2012 National Championship team. Piard had a great red shirt senior season as the closer for the Bulldogs and was named to the All AAC first team and a 2nd Team NAIA All American teams. The right hander finished the season with the Cowboys throwing 24.1 innings in 8 games with 2 starts. He went 2-0 with a 2.22 earned run average with 27 strikeouts.