Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Interview With Scott Stanchak


As some of you may know, I am a huge fan of the Atlantic League. This league gives players, many of whom are former MLBers, a chance to play against quality competition and hopefully make it back into affiliated ball.

For a fan of the Atlantic League like myself, there is no better place to find information that on http://www.atlanticleaguebaseball.com/. The blog is run by Mike Ashmore and Scott Stanchak, two guys who know the ins and outs of the Atlantic League better than anyone. The site is a must read for any baseball fan.

Mr. Stanchak was nice enough to take some time to answer a few questions I had about the Atlantic League.

1. Are there any players in the Atlantic League that MLB teams should be keeping an eye on?

Scott Stanchak:
Matt Hagen (Somerset), Travis Garcia (Southern Maryland), Josh Pressley (Somerset), Jim Magrane (Somerset) and Tom Davey (Camden) all standout because they're having really strong seasons. Then you have a guy like Mike Just (Southern Maryland), who is performing really well, was the All-Star Game MVP, but doesn't get much of a look. He's a young bat, who could surely help an organization if given the chance. I've also always really liked Zach Parker. The guy has a 0-1 record, but that is really deceiving. He's started 11 games for a really bad team, but has a 2.87 ERA with 34 strikeouts.

***I saw Pressley at the Atlantic League All Star game and this dude looks like a good player.***


2. Are there any players in the Atlantic League right now who you believe could make an impact this season at the major league level?

Scott Stanchak:
Pressley has dominated the Atlantic League since he first got to the league in 2007. He was in Spring Training this year, but never made a roster. With a .289 career average, he's doing something right. Also, John Halama just got picked up and he could definitely contribute at the big league level again.

3. How does the Atlantic League all star process work? I noticed that guys with bad numbers (ARMANDO BENITEZ) made the all star team while guys with good numbers (KEITH FOULKE) did not. Why is that?

Scott Stanchak:
The All-Star Game is an interesting topic. Fans and media are given the opportunity to vote for their favorite players. After that, it's up to the league to decide who gets in. Many times, players don't want to attend the game because it's a three-day break to go home to their families. A guy like Benitez got in based on name recognition -- plus, the game was in Newark -- while Foulke could have opted out.

***So that means Carl Everett could have simply opted out of the all-star game even though I voted for him 35+ times! Lame!***


4. What type of payrolls do these teams have to work with to sign players?

Scott Stanchak:
Teams all have different payrolls, but most players make below $3000 a month. Some make a little more, but that's on rare occasions. Newark, which has a ton of big-league names, probably has the biggest in the league. A team like Bridgeport, on the other hand, most likely has one of the lowest.

***I would love to know who the highest paid player in the Atlantic League is...my guess would be Carl Everett or Keith Foulke***


5. What do you like best about writing about the Atlantic League?

Scott Stanchak:
I've covered the league since 2000, and I've always found the stories of each of the players fascinating. These are guys, many of whom have played at the big-league level, who love talking about the game, their experiences and how bad they want to get back. My job is to remain neutral, and I've had some stories that weren't so well received, but it is always rewarding to know my story could help get a guy publicity and back to an affiliate.

***I can see that Mr. Stanchak is interesting in the Atlantic League for the same reason I am: the comeback.***

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I'd like to thank Mr. Stanchak for his time and best of luck with any future endeavors!

5 comments:

Rob Sternberg said...

Keith Foulke, in my mind is a wild case. It was just a few years ago he quite honorably turned down $5 Million from the Indians.

I've been to several Minor League games this year, and I'd have to say the Atlantic League is on par with most. And I think more than a handful of guys could at least compete on the Major League level, but it seems those organizations would rather give a shot to a guy already in house.

And for the cheap plug, the Ducks story is at https://www.mysn.tv/view_episode.php?id=54

jorgesaysno said...

Rob,

Really impressive work. I enjoyed it! Have you done any other baseball related pieces? Would you mind if I posted the video on the site?

thanks.

Anonymous said...

I played for the fort worth cats of the American association last year, and while 3000 may be the official league max, alot of Indy contracts are done under the table. Guys tgat had MLB experience or have a great affiliated reputation were getting close to 10 grand a month.

jorgesaysno said...

Anon: thanks for the great insight. Its great to finally know how these contracts are consumated. 10 grand is quite the haul...

and if you have any interest in being inter4viewed for the blog, email me at jorgesaysno@gmail.com

Rob Sternberg said...

Yeah sure no problem. We recently posted a story on the Round Rock Express from last month, and probably later this week there'll be a story from the Cooperstown Classic weekend from Father's Day. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. Take care.