American Association Daily provides insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier looks at two former American Association players – Dustin Geiger and Mitch Lambson – who are dominating in the Mexican League early this season.
Surpassing Them All
There have been a lot of former American Association players who opted to play in the Mexican League in 2018. It is understandable they would make this decision, considering that the pay is a lot better and it also presents the opportunity to demonstrate one’s skills at a AAA level.
It is for reasons like this why American Association Player of the Year Josh Romanski, 12-game winner Tyler Kane, and Dustin Crenshaw, who was 14-2 for the St. Paul Saints in 2015, would opt to make their way across the border to play ball. However, some lesser known players have also opted to play in the Mexican League and two of them – Mitch Lambson and Dustin Geiger – are the toast of Mexico with how well they are playing this season.
Bat of Dustin Geiger En Fuego
Dustin Geiger first came to the American Association in 2015 when he was signed by former Wichita Wingnuts Manager Kevin Hooper. Geiger showed some pop in his bat, hitting .351 before being traded to Laredo later that year. He would finish with the Gary Southshore RailCats. A year later he returned to Wichita but finished the season with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Combined, the first baseman hit .293 with 11 homers and 57 RBI.
That performance earned him a contract with the Miami Marlins, and he spend 2017 between High-A Jupiter and AA-Jacksonville. The results were mixed as Geiger hit only .219, but also blasted 12 homers and drove in 52. He posted 30 total extra base hits.
The performance was enough to catch the attention of Generales de Durango, who signed Geiger this off-season. What a shrewd move that was. In his first season in the Mexican League, the first baseman is off to a hot start. In 19 games, he is hitting .400, fifth best in the league, plus he has 5 homers and has driven in 20. His 1.161 OPS is fourth in the league, as the former American Association league slugger is representing his former league well.
Mitch Lambson, Rey de la Colina
Mitch Lambson was a late addition to Pericos de Puebla, signing on February 26. However, this may be the move of the year in the Mexican League, as the left-hander is absolutely dominating.
Lambson has made six starts, and already has a 5-0 record and a 1.45 ERA. In 37.1 innings pitched, the lefty has allowed 30 hits and 10 walks, giving him a WHIP of 1.07, fourth best in the league. He had a solid season with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 2017, going 7-3 with a 3.98 ERA, but the left-hander has stepped up his game to an entirely different stratosphere.
Lambson leads the Mexican League in both win and innings pitched, and he has only allowed one home run. Consider that Puebla is 16-10 and in third in their division. Where would they be without the left-hander?
Way to Represent
There are some baseball fans who don’t really take independent leagues seriously, but this just continues to prove that there is enormous talent in leagues like the American Association. Thanks to Dustin Geiger and Mitch Lambson, the Mexican League is learning just how good.
American Association Daily Notes
The Cleburne Railroaders signed OF KC Huth and added infielder Angelo Gumbs. Huth is one of the best defensive outfielders in the American Association, who posted a .236 average in 2017 for the Railroaders. Gumbs was acquired from Florence (Frontier League), but he did not play a game in the league. Last season, the infielder was in the Cincinnati Reds organization, where he hit .231 for AA-Pensacola in 54 games…The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed LHP Shane Dawson. Dawson has been with the Toronto Blue Jays organization since being drafted in 2012. He has spent the last two seasons at AA-New Hampshire, where he posted a combined record of 14-13 in 44 starts…The Sioux Falls Canaries added RHP Jake Smith. Smith had been in the Milwaukee Brewers organization the last two seasons, both years in rookie ball…The Wichita Wingnuts added outfielder Zach Nehrir. Nehrir had been in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization since 2015. Last year, he split time between Mid-A Kane County and High-A Visalia, where he combined to post a .137 average in 17 total games.
Catch the Latest Edition of Mound Talk with Sioux City Explorers Manager Steve Montgomery
By Robert Pannier
Member of the IBWAA