TROIS-RIVIÈRES — This is the time of year where all the managers of the independent baseball display their optimism, touting the findings of the recruitment of winter. At Three-Rivers, T. J. Stanton is no exception!
At first glance, he thought that his club will be more threatening to the stick. It is, however, behind the marble that it predicts that the changes will be most strongly felt, with the additions of Anthony Hermelyn and Jonathan Gonzalez, respectively, receiver number, and receiver substitute.
Stanton went into overdrive when he talks about his two new masked men. “I would not have been able to get a better duo of receivers to help out our pitchers. Anthony was courted by half the teams in the independent baseball and Jonathan, this is a rookie luxury!”
Of the two, it is Hermelyn who might start the year as captain of the defensive. Already, it is identified among the leaders of the team, as should be the case with any good receiver who respects himself. The Texan, 24 years of age, a choice of the fourth round of the Houston Astros in 2015, has played 74 games to level A strong last summer, and his defensive stats are encouraging: among others, he was pinned 40 % of the runners who tried to steal a goal against him.
But as it often occurs in organizations competitive as that of Houston’s, the main subject was released at the end of the season, due to lack of space in the organization chart. “The good clubs tend to be impatient, smiles Stanton. If Anthony had been a member of the Chicago White Sox or San Diego Padres, it would have perhaps been different. I think that its velocity of hits left something to be desired as a hitter. But still, I saw him batting and he is doing well. Normally, a catcher who hits is not a good receiver, defensive! This is not the case with Anthony. We will hit a few doubles this summer. It does not have the arm as powerful as a Josue Peley [former Capitals of Québec], except that it is accurate.”
Hermelyn does not know Kyle Lafrenz, who was guiding the pitchers of the Eagles since 2014. Fraught by a number of injuries, Lafrenz is not to return to Trois-Rivières, even if it was a team-mate much appreciated and popular. “My model, it’s Russell Martin”, explains Hermelyn, knowing very well that his response will be appreciated by many fans!
“He never hesitated to sacrifice his body and I love his mentality, the way he communicates with his pitchers. I try to inspire me of him, of his career. A guy like Francisco Cervelli, the catcher of the Pittsburgh Pirates, impresses me just as much.”
Hermelyn was surprised to see all the teams that wanted his services this winter. The recipients are reliable are sometimes difficult to find in the independent baseball. “I am a guy open mind, it did not make me fear of arriving to Trois-Rivières. I learned a bit of Spanish with teammates Spanish-speaking in the past, I’m going to try to gabble in French! Otherwise, the project that T. J. has presented to me was a success for me. I look forward to seeing this group in action.”
Behind him, Gonzalez alongside. He is 23 years old and has played over thirty meetings with Sioux City last year in the american Association, the same circuit where directed the new assistant, Kole Zimmerman (Fargo-Moorhead). “In the meantime our guys from Venezuela, Jonathan will be very useful for the depth of the alignment. And when he will jump on the field as the receiver, we will be in good hands,” says Stanton, whose troupe will play the first game in preparation for Sherbrooke, Saturday from 16 h, the face of the Quebec Capitales.