The Independent Pecos League has quite a few Historically Black College and University (HBCU) baseball players this season achieving success playing professional baseball and looking for a crack at the Major Leagues. The Tucson Saquaros (Tucson, Arizona) Jesse Baker, former Edward Waters College All-American standout and Trinidad Triggers (Trinidad, Colorado) Erick Magee, of Wiley College will compete against each other in the Pecos League finals. During the season, both performed well putting up good numbers in multiple offensive categories.
Both Baker and Magee provided highlights during the season. In 54 games started, Baker had a batting average of .392 with 74 hits, 46 runs, 12 doubles, 2 triples, 9 home runs and 49 runs batted in. His Saquaros team finished atop the South Division with the league’s best record (51-14) during the regular season and going 2-1 in the playoffs.
Magee, another Pecos League prospect, posted a .346 batting average while collecting 53 hits, 30 runs, 12 doubles, 5 home runs and 34 runs batted in, in 55 games played. The Triggers ballclub Finished the regular season with a 35-29 record, going 4-1 in the playoffs leading to the Northern Division crown.
Both Baker and Magee were scouted by Major League Baseball, but have gained some attention since making their Pecos League debut this season. They played in the 2016 Pecos League All-Star game this past July 11th. A trip to the finals could help gain attention and a call from the top tier Independent teams or possibly a minor league contract.
Though it’s a long shot even though there’s real hope to advance playing careers, it’s not hard to root for Baker and Magee. They have set a standard which could make the Pecos League something of a haven for HBCU baseball players looking to play professionally.
Both Baker and Magee have put up solid offensive numbers and hope to get the chance to prove MLB Scouting bureau wrong for going undrafted. They have fans in the Pecos community cheering them on.
It’s interesting to note how many Major League players have spent time in the Independent Leagues, whether it be the Atlantic League, the Frontier League, the Pecos League or any of the others scattered across the country. Players have been discovered playing for an independent team. We’re talking hundreds of players—players that run the gamut from role players to All-Stars.
The play of Baker and Magee on the field has been noticed by a few general managers. There are more future baseball players from HBCU deserving of a chance to advance playing careers and latch on with a major league team. But for now, Baker and Magee will start in the 2016 championship best of three game series starting Tuesday, August 9th in Tucson, Arizona.