Adam Buschini had an All-Star season with the independent Amarillo Sox of the American Association.
According to the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, in 96 games, he batted .354—good enough for third in the league—and belted 14 home runs to go along with 70 RBI. His .562 SLG and OPS of .972 were also among the league leaders.
Originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth round of the 2009 MLB June amateur draft out of California Polytechnic State University , Buschini spent two years in Single-A, splitting time with Williamsport and Lakewood and batting a combined .222 (all statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference).
An All-Star season wasn’t all that Buschini had planned.
Playing for the Canberra Cavalry of the Australian Baseball League, Buschini became the league’s first ever Triple Crown winner, batting .363 with 15 home runs and 50 RBI. Krista Staudinger of the ABL's official website also notes that he “led the ABL in hits (67), runs (37), slugging percentage (.690) and on base plus slugging percentage (1.112).”
Here is another example of someone putting in the work and putting up numbers that will impress anyone, including San Diego vice president of player development and international scouting Randy Smit. In a recent MLB.com release, Smit said, "Quite frankly, he tore it up, He had very good numbers, runs well, is a good athlete. So we gave him a Spring Training invite. We'll see what he can do."
Nothing is guaranteed, and Buschini will face tough competition with so many people vying for limited spots. But for someone who has obviously put in the work to become better, the opportunity is there for the taking.
While some may think independent ball is the end of the road, I say the independent league is a new beginning for those with the drive to succeed. Buschini is a perfect example.