Jesse Hoorelbeke: The new Independent League Home Run King

Devon TeepleAnalyst IAugust 12, 2011

Fargo-Moorhead RedHawk first baseman Jesse Hoorelbeke is the new Independent League home run king. 

Tuesday night, Hoorelbeke launched his 146th career Indy home run, surpassing Jorge Alvarez as number one on that list. 

Well-travelled and currently in his ninth professional season, Hoorelbeke never did make the majors but came very close in 2006. In ‘06 Hoorelbeke played 14 games for the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, Iowa, recording 10 hits in 45 at-bats. Of the 10 hits, five were home runs.

Despite an uncanny ability to hit the long ball, Hoorelbeke played only four more games of MiLB baseball. In 2008, Hoorelbeke he played for LA Dodger affiliate Tulsa, where two hits in thirteen at-bats made for an experience that was short lived. 

Hoorelbeke, who was so close to achieving a goal that so many strive for, has inserted himself into the Indy record book by having some colossal seasons, averaging 27 home runs a year and 85 RBI. His average was a mere five percentage points below .300, and his slugging percentage is very similar to some guy named Willie Mays: .557! 

With the Indy home run lead already in his grasp, what else is left?

How about the RedHawks’ all-time lead in home runs! With 12 home runs on the year, Hoorelbeke is only three short of the all-time team record of 64. And if history suggests anything, the record will increase by 10-15 by year's end. 

One thing that continues to amaze me is how good these players are at what they do. Although many toil in the minors for years before getting that “break,” we as fans do enjoy the time and effort these guys put into their craft.

While not everyone can be Hank Aaron or Derek Jeter, there is nothing wrong striving to be the next Jesse Hoorelbeke or Jorge Alvarez.

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective

Devon is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals and Gateway Grizzlies, and is now an independent scout.

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