In June, former Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers pitcher Ross Vance became the first player from the United Shore Professional Baseball League to be signed by a MLB affiliate.
Since signing with the St. Louis Cardinals, Vance has spent his time as a member of the Johnson City Cardinals of the of the Appalachian League, and he continues to make the most of his opportunity.
[bctt tweet=”Ross seems to be transitioning quite well to the next level.” username=”detsportsnation”]
This past Saturday, Vance got the start for Johnson City against the Bristol Pirates and to say he was lights out would be an understatement. The 24-year-old left-hander did not allow a run, while striking out six batters and walking none in seven innings of work. With his perfomance, Vance moved to 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA with the Cardinals. His command has been superb thus far as he has stuck out 47 and only walked seven batters in 34 total innings. The 47 strikeouts rank him 14th in the Appalachian League, despite only making two starts.
Though he only spent a short time in the USBPL before signing with the Cardinals, Vance was very thankful for what the league provided for him.
“I loved being a part of the United Shore Professional Baseball League, in particular the coaching, mentoring and level of competition,” said Vance. “Any young player looking to get better and further their career should make this league their first priority.”
USPBL Executive Director of Baseball Operations Brian Berryman spoke to us earlier in the season and made the USPBL’s goal very clear.
“The philosophy of this league is to get the best players overlooked by Major League Baseball and then do everything we can to make them better and signed by a Big League organization.”
Since opening it’s doors on Memorial Day, the USPBL has impressed, not only with a fan-friendly environment, but with quality baseball on the field. That quality baseball is sure to lead to more players signing with a MLB affiliate.