The following 15 players in our latest update of European-eligible represent 11 different countries, including the only representatives from Austria and Denmark. Several of them suited up in Under-18 European Championship Qualifiers this summer, while another, Tal Erel, was part of the Israel team that qualified for the Olympics with three consecutive tournament victories. Erel, raised in Ramat Gun, Israel, is one of two Israelis among our list of 89.
Jasper Elfrink, LHP (RS JR, Augustana University [43-16], S.D.) [Bio]
Elfrink has seen limited appearances in three seasons for the Vikings and struggled in six relief efforts in 2019. The southpaw started off well, striking out the side on March 8 and returning a day later to send four down swinging in two frames, but allowed 10 runs, eight earned, in 3.2 innings in limited appearances the rest of the way.
Tal Erel, C (FR, Palm Beach State [24-20], Fla.) [Bio]
Erel saw action in almost half of the Panthers’ games, appearing in the final 10 games of the season. Erel finished with a respectable .281/.314/.328 line in 64 at bats and threw out 4-of-18 runners with a .979 fielding percentage. Erel’s best game was on Feb. 6, when he went 4-for-5 with two runs against Kaiser.
Brendan Galvin, C (JR, Princeton University [14-26], N.J.) [Bio]
Galvin appeared in only four games, going 0-for-8 with a walk and seven strikeouts. The Ireland catcher has received only 35 at bats in three seasons.
Kieran Gibson, RHP (FR, SUNY-Canton [7-30], N.Y.) [Bio]
Gibson had plenty of opportunities in his first university season, appearing in nine games and making two starts. The right-hander for Belgium’s Under-18 squad tossed 24 frames, but gave up 37 hits, including 13 doubles, finishing with the same number of walks and strikeouts (16).
Danny Grillo, C-IF (Unknown, Florence Darlington Technical College, S.C.) [Bio]
Unfortunately, statistics and news are unavailable from FDTC, which hosts the second player for Israel in today’s update.
Sammy Hackl, C (FR, Arizona Western College [38-18], Ariz.) [Bio]
Although Hackl finished with very solid numbers, his season as the Matadors’ starting catcher was very much a tale of thirds. Through 15 games, he was 6-for-38 (.158) with only one double and 13 strikeouts. Over his next 15 games, he went 12-for-41 (.293) with four doubles and 17 strikeouts.
From then on, however, Hackl was on fire, ending the season with a 21-for-54 (.389) stretch, punctuated by five games in which he went 10-for-18 with two doubles and a home run. Overall, he hit .289/.405/.470 and threw out 20.7% of runners with three errors and 14 passed balls and was rewarded for his efforts with a position at Vanguard University and two post-season awards.
Nick Hamilton, LHP-OF (HS SR, Munster H.S. [16-5 (missing two games)], Ind.) [Bio]
Unfortunately, Hamilton’s high school stats are unavailable. The Serbia national teamer has committed to Division III Carthage for the 2019-20 academic year. Hamilton sits 78-79 on his fastball and throws a slow curve and a changeup.
Dan Harrington, RHP (JR, Columbia University [19-23], N.Y.) [Bio]
Harrington had, by far, his best season in 2019, posting career bests in almost every category, including average against (.258), K/9 (7.52), BB/9 (4.44), and innings (26.1).
The right-hander for Germany’s national team saved his best for rivals Harvard in three games against them. Versus the Crimson, he allowed only one earned run on five hits and two walks in nine frames, whiffing eight . Harrington set a career high in innings (three) and strikeouts (four) in his best appearance of the season against Harvard on April 28, keeping his team in a high-scoring affair.
Pictured at the MLB Elite Tournament recording an interview for BBC Radio Berkshire.
Tobias Holmelund, DH-OF (SO, Potomac State College [32-13], W.V.) [Bio]
Holmelund continued to languish on the bench for the Catamounts, though he did finally play in the field, even starting a few games in right field. The power stroke was displayed once more, as half of the Danish player’s eight hits went for extra bases, including two home runs. Overall, he hit .286/.382/.571 to wrap up a two-year stint in which he hit .308/.429/.564 in only 39 at bats.
Lukas Holub, RHP (SR, Oklahoma Panhandle State University [20-27], Okla.) [Bio]
Holub pitched in three games in 2019 and, unlike the previous season, did record an out. Unfortunately, the sum total of those efforts were three singles, two doubles, two walks, and four runs (two earned) in only 1.2 innings, with a single strikeout.
Bart in den Kleef, C (JR, University of Redlands [14-25-1], Calif.) [Bio]
In den Kleef served as Bulldogs’ backup catcher in 2018 and put up excellent numbers in limited action. This year, his playing time decreased further and, with it, his output.
The Dutch backstop entered only 13 games, drawing 33 at bats, though he did play in six of the team’s final seven games. In den Kleef finished with a .182/.341/.242 line, down from .317/.423/.390, and wrapped up his U.S. career.
Adam Jacques, SS (FR, Tacoma Community College [41-10], Wash.) [Bio]
Jacques was a complete unknown when he was drafted out of a Washington high school after playing a mere 20-game season. Even more obscure were his Czech roots, which emerged after his 38th Round selection. Jacques elected to play for the independent Tacoma Community College, where he received limited playing time.
Although the Titans played 51 games en route to the Northwest Athletic Conference Championship Tournament, Jacques had only 26 plate appearances, collecting three hits and four walks, stealing a base, and scoring six times. All of his hits, however, came in a 3-for-3 game on Mar. 23, in which he scored two runs against Skagit Valley. Jacques has since transferred to Central Washington University.
Myles Janson, RHP-OF (HS SR, John Carroll HS, Md.) [Bio]
Janson pitched only a single competitive inning for the Patriots in 2019, but has dialled up the velocity to 87 as part of a growth spurt that now has him listed at 6-6, 225.
Dave Janssen, C (FR, Indian Hills Community College [25-26], Iowa.) [Bio]
Janssen saw action in 15 games in his rookie university season, slugging his first home run on the antepenultimate day of the season in a 2-for-4 effort against Marshalltown. The highlights were otherwise fairly limited as the Dutch catcher went 6-for-37 with three walks, finishing with a .162/.244/.270 line.
Leo Jiminian, OF (FR, Clarendon Community College [28-26], Tex.) [Bio]
Jiminian started three of the Bulldogs’ first four games and then did not appear the rest of the season, earning a redshirt year due to injury. In his limited time on the field, he went 1-for-8 with a triple and four strikeouts.
We return tomorrow with players K-M. Previous installments:
Players A-B [link]
Players C-D [link]
All players’ photos copyright of their respective institutions with the exception of Harrington, copyright Extra Innings UK.
One extremely talented new face not on this list is Team Israel’s Assaf Lowengart who is at Delta College. Check him out.
Think you’ll be pleased, then, with our K-M writeup! Was not going to forget about Assaf.
Adam Jacques’ father works as a Cincinnati Reds’ scout. That certainly helps to being drafted in the 38th round by the Reds 😉
Ah, excellent catch! Missed that one.