Israel Baseball League: IBL Players Entering MLB and International Leagues

Mitch GoldContributor IFebruary 22, 2008

From the league website-

IBL Player signings with Pro Clubs

02/20/2008 3:43 PM

IBL Players Signed by MLB and International Pro Leagues

 The Israel Baseball League is pleased to announce that eight of its players who starred this past summer in the inaugural IBL season have now been given the opportunity to advance their baseball careers and pursue their dreams. 

Thanks in no small measure to the efforts of Dan Duquette, the IBL’s Director of Baseball Operations, these players came to the attention of professional teams across the globe and has led to signings and invitations by Major League teams and teams in other premier global professional leagues. 

“One of our stated goals has been to become the go-to league for the international player.  It isn’t easy to establish credibility on the professional level, so it is extremely heartening to see the opportunities that have presented themselves to our players after just our first year of play,” Mr. Duquette said.

 The eight players are:

Eladio Rodriguez, who was signed by the New York Yankees.

Jason Rees, who also was signed by the New York Yankees.

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Maximo Nelson, who signed with the Japanese champions Chunichi Dragons.

Juan Feliciano, who turned down AAA offers from the Nationals, Astros, and Pirates to sign with the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League.

Rafael Bergstrom, who signed and played with the Bridgeport Bluefish (Atlantic League).

Jason Benson, who signed and played with the Newark Bears (Atlantic League).

Josh Doane, who has been invited to spring training to try out for the Boston Red Sox.

Noah Walker, who has also been invited to spring training to try out for the Boston Red Sox.

The IBL had many objectives when it was launched.  It particularly wanted to provide its players with a great experience while in while also showcasing their skills so that they could continue their career pursuits.   Dan Duquette has been active during the off-season promoting the league’s players.

Feliciano, who starred this past season with the IBL champs Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, joined the Dominican League once the IBL season was over, becoming a key player as his team, the Aguilas Cibeanas, won the coveted Dominican League title. 

Nelson took advantage of the great season he had with the Modi’in Miracle to land a six-figure contract with the Chunichi Dragons, winner of the 2007 Japan Series.

In addition to the eight players listed above, several Israeli players are planning to extend their baseball careers by playing college ball