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Three to play in Arizona Fall League

Front: Caleb Thielbar pitching for the New Britain Rock Cats. Above: Logan Darnell in action for the Rock Cats. Photos courtesy MiLB.com/New Britain Rock Cats
09/11/2012 12:09 PM - The 2012 minor league baseball season has just about come to a close however for Logan Darnell (Amsterdam 2008), Stefen Romero (Glens Falls 2008) and Caleb Thielbar (Little Falls 2007), there is still baseball left to be played. Darnell, Romero and Thielbar are all listed on the 2012 roster for the Arizona Fall League’s Peoria Javelinas.

The Arizona Fall League is a six-team circuit sponsored by Major League Baseball that runs from early October through mid-November. Rosters are comprised mostly of Double-A and Triple-A top prospects from all 30 Major League teams. The 2012 season will be the 20th year of operation for the Arizona Fall League. Fourty-one former AFL players participated in the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Logan Darnell recently completed his first full season in Double A with the New Britain Rock Cats, the Eastern League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Darnell led the Rock Cats in innings pitched (156.0), games started (28) and strikeouts (98). He tied for the team lead in victories with 11. At the league level, Darnell tied for third in the Eastern League in victories and tied for fifth in innings pitched. He finished among the EL’s top 20 in strikeouts. Overall, Logan accrued an 11-12 record with a 5.08 earned run average in his first full Double-A campaign. In two full professional seasons (2010, 2011), Darnell has won 22 games, pitched 306.1 innings and struck out 188.

The Joelton, Tenn., native was a sixth-round pick of the Twins in the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Darnell pitched collegiately at the University of Kentucky. He was a member of the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2008 and was selected by Perfect Game USA as the Top Prospect in the New York Collegiate Baseball League. Darnell took part in the NYCBL All-Star Game and was named All-NYCBL second team at the conclusion of the season.

Stefen Romero
is a rising star in the Seattle Mariners organization. Romero, a third baseman for the Double-A Jackson Generals of the Southern League, was selected by MLB.com as one of the top 20 prospects in the Seattle farm system. Romero began the 2012 season with the Advanced-A High Desert Mavericks of the California League. Through 60 games, Romero hit .351 with 11 home runs, 51 RBI and a .973 OPS rating. The Oregon State product earned a promotion to Double-A Jackson in late June. Romero belted 12 home runs and plated 50 scores for the Generals in 47 games. He compiled a .347 batting average to go along with a 1.012 OPS rating. Romero completed the regular season with 23 home runs, 101 RBI, 167 hits and a .352 batting average.

The Tucson, Ariz., native was a 12th-round pick of the Seattle Mariners in the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Romero made his professional debut in 2011 with the Midwest League’s Clinton LumberKings. Romero was a New York Collegiate Baseball League all-star with the Glens Falls Golden Eagles in 2008. He helped the team win a division championship and advance to the championship round of the league playoffs.

Caleb Thielbar
is just one step away from Major League Baseball. Thielbar wrapped up the 2012 season with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings of the International League. Rochester is the top minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The 2012 season was a whirlwind for Thielbar as he pitched for three different teams at three different levels. The South Dakota State University product worked briefly for the Florida State League’s Fort Myers Miracle. He did not allow an earned run and held opponents to four hits in seven total appearances before being promoted to Double-A New Britain. Thielbar pitched in 16 games for the Rock Cats and went 2-0 with four saves and a 1.80 earned run average. He struck out 26 and walked three in 25.0 innings. Caleb was called up to Rochester in June to pitch for the Triple-A Red Wings. Thielbar was 3-1 with one save and a 3.57 ERA for the Wings in 25 overall appearances. He struck out 32 in 40.1 innings. Overall in 2012, Caleb earned six victories, six saves and he pitched in 48 games.

The Milwaukee Brewers chose Thielbar in the 18th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Thielbar spent two seasons in the Brewers farm system and then pitched briefly for the independent St. Paul Saints in 2011 before signing as a free agent with the Twins. Thielbar pitched for the Little Falls Miners of the New York Collegiate Baseball League in 2007. He was an NYCBL all-star with the Miners and helped the team earn a slot in the league playoffs.

The 2012 Arizona Fall League season begins on Oct. 9. For more information, click here.


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