With the 2009 Baseball World Cup a distant memory, the upcoming 2010 season in Europe promises to be a pivotal year for the sport on the old continent. And, the recruitment of talented foreign ballplayers remain one of the keys for the development of the game across the Atlantic Ocean.
BaseballdeWorld will feature an American Import Free Agent Directory on Sunday, Nov. 29 with an array of skilled catchers, pitchers, infielders and outfielders who are looking to travel overseas next spring for a once-in-a-lifetime European baseball adventure.
This special section, tailor-made for European baseball clubs, will include photos, player stats, contact information, past injuries and other relevant tidbits that will surely help teams looking for the final piece of their championship puzzle.
The European baseball scene is a mix of leagues with levels varying from collegiate Division III to Single A. The Italian Baseball League (Italy) and the Dutch Major League (Holland) are the top two leagues which require minor league experience at the minimum.
The next tier of leagues includes the Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Spain. Numerous former minor leaguers make these circuits highly competitive so players interested in competing in one of these leagues generally needs at least Division II collegiate experience.
Other leagues requiring at least Division III collegiate experience includes Austria, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland.
Pitching is at a premium in Europe which means clubs are always looking for quality arms. Due the limited budgets of most clubs, the majority of foreign players will also be required to assist with the development of young players on the club youth teams.
If qualified, some players may even be hired as a playing coach.
Although the salaries are low, players receive free roundtrip air transportation and housing. However, the opportunity to learn a new culture while making new friends is priceless.
American players interested in competing for a European team next year, and would like to be included in the American Import Free Agent Directory, should send the following details with recent photo to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Full Name
- Nickname (if any)
- Phone (optional)
- Main Position/Secondary Position
- College/University (Ex: Bethel University, 2006-2010)
- Collegiate Statistics (year-by-year)
- Collegiate Awards (if any)
- Pitchers Velocity (2009 Radar Gun Average)
- Professional Experience (if any)
- Professional Awards (if any)
- Professional Statistics (if any)
- Injury History (List all surgeries/major injuries)
- Baseball References (1-3 former coaches)
- Special Skills (non-baseball related/Ex: Photographer)
- Availability (3 or 6 months)
Photo courtesy of Solingen Alligators