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Play ball! The Jewish boys of summer take the field

With the 2016 baseball season hitting the midway point, the Ledger takes its annual look at how the   Jewish boys of summer are faring on the field this year. (Statistics are as of July 18, 2016)

By Suzy Iarusso


Richard Bleier New York YankeesRichard Bleier
New York Yankees
Born: April 16, 1987
Birthplace: Davie, FL
Position: Pitcher
Number: 50
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Season ERA: 3.86
Season SO: 5
Season Record: 0-0
Career ERA: 3.86
Career SO: 5
Career Record: 0-0
Experience: 1 year

In 2008, Bleier was drafted in the sixth round by the Texas Rangers. He pitched one scoreless inning in the 2013 World Baseball Classic for the Israel national team. He was a free agent prior to the 2016 season and signed with the New York Yankees. He made his major league debut on May 30, 2016 vs Toronto.


Ryan Braun (RF_LF), Milwaukee BrewersRyan Braun
Milwaukee Brewers
Born: November 17, 1983
Birthplace: Mission Hills, CA
Position: Left Field
Number: 8
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Average: .313
Season HR: 13
Season RBI: 44
Career Avg: .305
Career HR: 268
Career RBI: 890
Experience: 10 years

In 2015, Braun signed a five year contract extension with the Milwaukee Brewers. In August 2015, he hit his 252nd home run, becoming the Brewers all-time home run leader. After the 2015 season, Braun underwent back surgery for a herniated disc. In 2016, he has moved back to his position in left field.


ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 28: Scott Feldman #46 of the Houston Astros in the first inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 28, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Scott Wynne Feldman
Houston Astros
Born: February 7, 1983
Birthplace: Kailua, Hi
Position: Starting Pitcher
Number: 46
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Season ERA: 2.50
Season SO: 38
Season Record: 5-3
Career ERA: 4.33
Career SO: 771
Career Record: 69-76
Experience: 11 years

After a rocky start in 2016 season, Feldman has switched to the role of a relief pitcher, where his numbers are improving.


Sam Fuld (CF_LF), Oakland AthleticsSamuel Babson Fuld
Oakland Athletics – Out all of 2016
Born: November 20, 1981
Birthplace: Durham, NH
Position: Outfield
Number: 23
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Season Average: 0
Season HR: 0
Season RBI: 0
Career AVG: .227
Career HR: 12
Career RBI: 112
Experience: 8 years

Fuld underwent surgery for a rotator cuff injury in May 2016 and will miss all of the 2016 season.


Ian Kinsler (2B), Detroit TigersIan Michael Kinsler
Detroit Tigers
Born: June 22, 1982
Birthplace: Tucson, AZ
Position: Second Base
Number: 3
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Average: .296
Season HR: 18
Season RBI: 55
Career AVG: .277
Career HR: 202
Career RBI: 759
Experience: 10 years

In September 2015, Kinsler recorded his 1500th career hit. He finished the season leading the majors with 61 multi-hit games. He won the Fielding Bibles award for best defensive second baseman. In July 2016, he recorded his 200th career home run. With Detroit, Kinsler has started “Kinsler’s Kids” — a program that invites families from local charities to enjoy a Detroit game in Kinsler’s luxury suite.


Oct 2, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson (65) during workouts on the day before game one of the 2014 NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodgers Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY SportsJoc Russell Pederson
Los Angeles Dodgers
Born: April 21, 1992
Birthplace: Palo Alto, CA
Position: Center Field
Number: 30
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Season Avg: .236
Season HR: 13
Season RBI: 33
Career Avg: .216
Career HR: 39
Career RBI: 87
Experience: 2 years

Joc made it to the final round of the 2015 Home Run Derby, losing to Todd Frazier 15-14. On June 28, 2016, Pederson made a game-saving catch that injured his right shoulder and he was placed on the 15 day DL.


Blue Jays at Orioles 9/30/15Kevin Pillar
Toronto Blue Jays
Born: January 4, 1989
Birthplace: West Hills, CA
Position: Center Field
Number: 11
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Average: .265
Season HR: 7
Season RBI: 36
Career Average: .267
Career HR: 24
Career RBI: 112
Experience: 3 years

Pillar was named AL player of the week in September 2015. He won the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award for center field.


Danny Valencia (3B_LF), Oakland AthleticsDanny Valencia
Oakland Athletics
Born: September 19, 1984
Birthplace: Miami, FL
Position: Third Base
Number: 26
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Average: .304
Season HR: 12
Season RBI: 33
Career Average: .272
Career HR: 67
Career RBI: 285
Experience: 6 years

In August 2015, Valencia was designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays and was picked up off waivers by the Oakland A’s. He has transitioned back to being a third baseman.



Craig Andrew Breslow

Signed a minor league contract with the Marlins in 2016 and was designated for assignment in May.


Isaac “Ike” Benjamin Davis

Davis ended his 2015 season in August when he underwent surgery on his hip. In Feb. 2016 he signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers. In June 2016, he was released from his contract and then signed with the New York Yankees, who had four first basemen on the DL. Later in the month he was out righted to AAA.


Jon Solomon Moscot

After his season ending shoulder surgery in 2015, Moscot has spent the 2016 season going back and forth from the minors to the majors. He is currently on the seven-day minor league DL for elbow inflammation.


Ryan Kalish

After being plagued by injuries and not playing in the majors since 2014, Kalish made his major league return in 2016. He was signed to a minor league contract by the Cubs in March and then called up to the majors in May 2016. He was later re-assigned to AAA where he has landed on the DL.


Corey Bakers, St. Louis Cardinals

Zach Borenstein, Arizona Diamondbacks

Brad Goldberg, Chicago White Sox

Ryan Sherriff, St. Louis Cardinals



Nathan Samuel Freiman
Portland Sea Dogs

After moving through a few minor league teams in 2016, Freiman has landed at AA Sea Dogs.


Ryan Cole Lavarnway
Toronto Blue Jays

Lavarnway started the 2016 season with a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves. He was released in May and then signed to a minor league deal by the Blue Jays.


Cody Decker, San Diego Padres

Josh Zeid, Detroit Tigers


Los Angeles Dodgers sign Israeli in Major League first

Dean Kremer(JTA) — Dean Kremer, a right-handed pitcher, became the first Israeli to sign a contract with a Major League Baseball team.

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Kremer, a 20-year-old Israeli American, on Tuesday after drafting him earlier this month in the 14th round.

Kremer, a native of Stockton, California, who was born to Israeli parents, became the first Israeli to be drafted by an MLB team last year when he was selected in the 38th round by the San Diego Padres. However, he did not sign with the team.

He transferred from San Joaquin Delta College to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he went 4-5 with a 4.92 ERA in 12 starts.

Kremer played for Israel’s national baseball team for the past three years. He was named the European baseball championship’s most valuable pitcher each of the last two years and led Israel out of the tournament’s C pool into the stronger B pool last year.

“I was born here in the United States, but I go back and practically live [in Israel] for two months out of the year in the summer, so it’s definitely home,” Kremer told the Las Vegas Review Journal in February.

Kremer will play this summer for the Dodgers’ Rookie League team, the lowest of six rungs in the minors for the National League club, Haaretz reported.

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