Former Kane County Cougars 3B Josh Booty was named “The Next Knuckler” by MLB Network, earning the 37-year-old ex-Florida Marlins farmhand a non-roster invitation to Arizona Diamondbacks spring training camp.
Booty will work with former major-league knuckleballer Tom Candiotti, now a Diamondbacks radio broadcaster, to better his new pitch.
“He’s got the best fastball of any knuckleballer I’ve seen, and he can take the spin off the ball,” Candiotti said about Booty.
Booty played 159 games with Cougars in 1995 and 1996, hitting .187 with 22 HR and 93 RBI. He went on to play 13 games with the Marlins in 1996-98.
Incidentally, Candiotti also played in the Midwest League, albeit briefly. He tossed 10 innings in two games with the 1984 Beloit Brewers. He struck out 12 batters, but also gave up 12 hits, five walks and three earned runs.
Snowbound MWL stadiums
Spring training games start today, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for snowbound stadium photos, especially after Winter Storm Q had its way with the Midwest.
Here are a couple shots of Pohlman Field, tweeted by the Beloit Snappers:
And here is a shot of Peoria Chiefs Stadium:
And since spring training is under way, I’ll finish with this photo of 2012 Peoria Chiefs RF Jorge Soler homering in his first at-bat in an intrasquad game at Chicago Cubs camp: