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Tallest Minor League Player Arrives In Akron and Minor League Round-Up

By Sean Tuttle

The tallest player in the minors is now coming out of the Akron Aeros bullpen. On May 5, the Cleveland Indians acquired, Ludovicus Jacobus Maria van Mil a.k.a. Loek Van Mil, from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in an outright trade for future considerations. The Indians immediately assigned Van Mil to the Akron Aeros.

Van Mil, 27, was born in Oss, Netherlands. At a height of seven feet, one inch he is currently the tallest player in the minor leagues.

He has pitched for the Netherlands national baseball team, appeared in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, and was selected to appear in the 2008 Summer Olympics, but missed the tournament because of injury.

Van Mil reached the height of six feet one inch at the age of 12, grew to the height of six feet seven inches by the age of 14, and extended to seven feet at the age of 15. He was moved from the position of catcher to first base when he became too tall to play the position, and a coach chose to make him a pitcher at the age of 17 because of his strong throwing arm.

In July of 2005, Van Mil signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Minnesota Twins. In 2010 he was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Brian Fuentes. He was announced as the player to be named later going to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the trade for Fuentes on September 1, 2010.

With the Arkansas Travelers of the Double-A Texas League in 2011, Van Mil had a 3-5 record, and 2.04 ERA in 66.1 innings of work in 30 games. He began the 2012 season with the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, where he had a 1-0 record, and 6.30 ERA. He allowed ten runs, seven earned, in ten innings pitched.

According to recent scouting reports, Van Mil throws a fastball that averages 95 mph, with a top speed of 97 mph. He has off speed pitches of a slider and change-up. His height causes difficulties in maintaining his pitching mechanics, as there are more variables in his windup that he needs to repeat each time he throws a pitch.

If Van Mil gets the call up to the big leagues, he will become the tallest player to ever play Major League Baseball passing Jon Rauch who stands at six feet eleven inches for the New York Mets.

Minor League Round-Up

As of May 15th, the Columbus Clippers (AAA) are 18-20 overall and are currently four games out of first place. Infielder Matt LaPorta is currently sixth in the International League in batting with a .331 average, tied for second in home runs with 10, fourth in total bases with 76. Second baseman Cord Phelps is tied for first in the league in doubles, and has hit safely in eight of his last nine games. He currently has a batting average of .333, with two home runs, and three RBI’s. The Clippers are in the middle of a seven game home stand.

The Akron Aeros (AA) are 23-13 overall and are currently in first place by two and a half games. Outfielder Jared Goedert is first in the Eastern League in batting with a .383 average, and in OBP (.468). Outfielder Tim Fedroff is fourth in OBP (.422) and seventh in batting with a .333 average. Fedroff has an eight game hitting streak (.419 avg. 13-31, two doubles, a triple, and on RBI). Left-handed pitcher, T.J. McFarland has four straight starts of allowing three runs or fewer and throwing at least six innings, in his last three starts he is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA (20.0IP, 17H, 3R/3ER, 2BB, 14K). Akron leads the Eastern League in team ERA with a 2.75 mark through 36 games. The Aeros return home for a three game series against Richmond on Friday, May 18th before heading out again for seven games.

The Carolina Mudcats (A) are 20-17 overall and are currently two and a half games in back of first. Left-handed pitcher Francisco Jimenez is second in the Carolina League with a 2.43 ERA, and has not allowed an earned run in his last 13.2IP. Designated hitter Jeremie Tice is second in the league in RBI’s with 28 and tied for second in home runs with seven. Delvi Cidi is tied for fifth in stolen bases with 10. Outfielder Tyler Holt is fifth in OBP (.413). Outfielders Carlos Moncrief and Tyler Holt are tied for first in triples with three. Right-handed pitcher Jose Flores is tied for first in saves with seven. The Mudcats leave for a six game road trip on Friday, May 18th.

The Lake County Captains (A) are 19-19 overall and are currently eight games back of first. They are riding a four game win streak. Infielder Francisco Lindor has four straight multi-hit games and five in his last six. He is currently tied for fourth in the Midwest League in batting (.319), third in hits with 46, and tied for fourth in total bases with 70. Outfielder Jordan Smith has reached base safely in 14 consecutive games. Right handed pitcher Cody Anderson has not allowed more than one earned run in five straight starts (3 ER, 29 IP, 0.93 ERA). The Captains will return home on Saturday, May 19th for a three game series against Lansing before having a day off and heading off for a seven game road trip.

Recent Transactions

May 12

Transfered Brett Brach from Carolina to Akron

Transfered Paolo Espino from Akron to Columbus

Transfered Manny Carmona from Phoenix to Lake County

Placed Xavier De Los Santos on 7 day DL in Lake County with a Right Shoulder Strain.

May 13

Jordan Casas was transferred from Lake County to Akron

Justin Toole was transferred from Carolina to Columbus

May 14

Eric Berger was transferred from Akron to Columbus

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