Updated October 18 2012
Former SwampDog Named Independent Leagues Player of the Year
The Fayetteville SwampDogs are proud to announce former SwampDog Blake Gailen has been named Independent Leagues Player of the Year by Baseball America.
Gailen played his summer ball in Fayetteville during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. The Nevada-Las Vegas product saw action in both the outfield and on the mound for the Dogs. Gailen was an integral part of two postseason runs in attempt to claim the Petitt Cup Championship. Gailen is one of the most versatile players in Coastal Plain League history with his ability to play anywhere his team needed him.
The West Hills, Calif., native was named to the CPL All-Star team during both seasons in Fayetteville. In 2005, Gailen earned a spot in the All-Star festivities as a pitcher. On the mound he earned a 1.94 ERA in eight appearances, seven of those starts, with 46.1 innings pitched. In the field, Gailen finished the season sixth on the team in batting average with .245, with eight RBIs and two stolen bases.
In 2006, Gailen showed his prowess at the plate, while still remaining effective on the mound. He earned his All-Star honors for his stellar play anywhere in the field he was needed while maintaining consistency at the plate. He finished the season fourth on the team in batting average with .288, with four doubles, two home runs and nine stolen bases.
Gailen began his professional baseball career in the South Coast League, hitting .368 before the team folded and he moved to the Wichita Wingnuts in the American Association. Following a stint with the Wingnuts, Gailen moved to Chico, Calif., to play in the Golden League. Hitting over .350 both seasons in Chico, Gailen was traded to the Lincoln SaltDogs where his .406 batting average resulted in his contract being sold to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to replace a young man named Mike Trout in the ranks of their AA organization in Arkansas.
Trout was demoted back to Arkansas shortly after for a stint, bumping Gailen from his spot. This allowed Gailen to sign with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League. His AA experience helped him dominate opposing pitchers in the Atlantic League, earning him the Independent Leagues Player of the Year Honors.
“Blake is a team leader, who plays hard every day,” said SwampDogs head coach Darrell Handelsman. “He’s everything you need in a player. The entire SwampDogs organization is proud of Blake and his perseverance and wishes him continued success.”
The Fayetteville SwampDogs are a proud member of the Coastal Plain League, entering their 13th season in the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 17th season in 2013, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,000 alumni drafted and 57 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as cpleague).Contact: