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In the Minors: Canadians to Watch

In the Minors’ is a regular feature on that highlights Canadian players in the minor leagues during the 2011 season.

Andrew Albers (North Battleford, SK) – Fort Myers Miracle (High-A)

Albers looks to be back on track after an injury forced him to miss all of 2009 and spend 2010 in independent ball with the Quebec Capitales. Albers was signed in the off-season by the Minnesota Twins and has impressed through 15 games, including 2 starts with the Miracle in the Florida State League. The product of the University of Kentucky was dominant in the Can Am League last year with the Capitales as he fashioned a 1.40 ERA through 57 2/3 innings, pitching out of the bullpen where he also recorded 59 strikeouts. Originally drafted in the 12th round out of high school by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2004, Albers chose to go to Kentucky and was re-drafted by San Diego in the 10th round in 2008. In Fort Myers, Albers has a 3-1 record with 33 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched.

Nick Weglarz (Stevensville, ON) – Akron Aeros (AA)

Baseball America ranked Weglarz as the sixth best prospect in the Indians system during the off-season; however his season is just beginning after he suffered a knee injury in Spring Training. Just 23 years-old, Weglarz has already spent six seasons in the minor leagues as he signed quickly with the Indians who drafted him in the 3rd round back in 2005. The 2008 Olympian and 2009 World Baseball Classic participant hit a combined .285 with 13 homeruns and 47 RBI in Double-A and Triple-A in 2010 giving him a strong chance to break camp with the Indians in 2011. The injury has sent Weglarz back to Double-A where he will look rebound from his injury and re-gain the form he had in 2010. Since playing his first game with Akron on June 5th, Weglarz has four hits including three doubles.

Emerson Frostad (Calgary, AB) – Corpus Christi Hooks (AA)

Frostad ended last season in Triple –A with Oklahoma City and followed that up by playing for Canada in the Pan Am Games Qualifier in Puerto Rico. The post-season left him in limbo without a contract, so he joined the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League where he hit.280 with 2 homers and 11 RBI. He soon found himself back in affiliated ball when the Houston Astros signed him two weeks ago. A veteran National Teamer who played in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Frostad has been assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi where he joins fellow Canadian Jimmy Van Ostrand. A catcher, who can also play 1st base, Frostad played his first game with the Hooks on June 2nd and has appeared 6 games, collecting 3 hits.

Jordan Lennerton (Langley, BC) – Lakeland Flying Tigers (High-A)

Lennerton is putting together a nice season in his second tour in the Florida State League with Lakeland. Through 63 games he is hitting a solid .293 with 3 homers, 18 doubles and 33 RBI. Lennerton was drafted in 2008 by the Detroit Tigers out of Oregon State where he was a member of the 2007 College World Series winning team. Lennerton was drafted three times in five years as the Blue Jays took him in 2004, the Brewers followed in 2005, before the Tigers drafted and signed Lennerton in 2008. With the consistent season he has to date, hopefully a call-up to Double-A is in the cards.