SIOUX CITY | The number of former American Association players heading to spring training climbed to 17 with three additions in recent days. At least eight of the 30 big-league teams have yet to officially disclose their non-roster invitations so chances are the number may jump equal to or beyond last year’s count of 18.
Sioux City can take a major bow with two of the latest major league invitees having played for the Explorers, bringing the team’s total to four and all in the group have exhibited their talent at Mercy Field at Lewis & Clark Park since 2015. That is just three years ago, a very short span for players to go from a non-affiliated league to major league training camp status.
The new names IndyBaseballChatter.com has confirmed for major league camps are versatile infielder Ryan Court and reliever-turned-starting pitcher Jose Flores, both part of Steve Montgomery’s powerhouse 2015 team. They join hurlers Tayler Scott from the 2016 Explorers and James Needy, who went from Sioux City late last May to the Miami Marlins farm system, then to the Arizona Fall League and finally to the Floridians’ 40-man roster.
Court will be with the Chicago Cubs where CBSSports.com in its report said he would add depth at first base although the belief here is that if he makes it to the regular season roster this year–or in the near future–it will be because of his ability anywhere on the infield. Flores will train with the San Francisco Giants and Scott with Texas.