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In The MLB Germany

Bruce Maxwell playing for the German National Team in 2020 Photo Credit: Phrake Photography

Today we're taking a look at the MiLB and MLB players born in Germany. We'll look at how their season is going and what those numbers mean for the trajectory of their career.

Marco Cardoso, Paderborn

Team: FCL Red Sox

League: Rookie - Gulf Coast League

Position: SS

Parent Club: Boston Red Sox - AL

Currently on the restricted list, Cardoso continues to be assigned back to the Bundesliga in Germany. Though signed by the Sox in 2017, the 21-year old has yet to record any MiLB action. In fact, Cardoso has yet to play for any team besides his hometown Paderborn Untouchables. While he was signed young, and then helped the German national team on their road to Tokyo in 2019, Germany didn’t make the Games and Marco is no longer a teenager.

In 2021, Cardoso played a shortened season in the Bundesliga North hitting .426, including 4 doubles, 7 homeruns and 15 RBIs, posting a .526 OBP, .957 SLG and 1.484 OPS over 17 games. No fielding stats for the season are available from the Bundesliga.

Marco’s available stats certainly point to the fact that he has outgrown the league’s pitchers. Assuming his fielding is on-par, this may be the idea time for the Sox to move him over to their MiLB training system. He is still young enough that a few years of exposure to MLB hurlers will afford Cardoso the opportunity to speed up his bat as needed and still contribute to their roster over several seasons.

Max Kepler, Berlin

Team: Minnesota Twins

League: American League

Parent Club: Minnesota Twins

Position: RF

Aside from gaining another European as a teammate nothing much has changed for Max Kepler since we last checked in. The smiling right fielder is spending his 28th year, and 7th summer in Minnesota, hanging out in the Minneapolis baseball stadium.

Continuing to field perfectly Kepler has recorded 135 putouts and 3 assists over 78 games, 73 starts, and 634.1 innings of work. He’s spent 73 games in right and another 22 at center.

At the plate Max is hitting .204, an average that does not accurately reflect his offensive contributions. 53% of his 74 hits have been for extra bases. He’s hit 19 doubles, 4 triples and 16 homeruns, driving in 46.

Kepler’s been flagged 85 times while walking 48 times. Once on the paths, he’s having a good time making his way around – stealing 10 and not a-once getting caught. He has a .305 OBP and .412 SLG with a .717 OPS.

Bruce Maxwell, Weisbaden

Team: Richmond Flying Squirrels

League: AA

Parent Club: San Francisco Giants - NL

Position: C

30-year old Maxwell is running out of time to make his mark in the MLB. Picked up by the Mets on a 1-year minor league deal this past winter, Bruce was traded to San Francisco after being assigned to the Mets AAA squad in Syracuse. Cevenka, out of the Czech Republic, now holds that spot for New York.

On June 5, 2021, the Giants acquired Maxwell for cash and considerations. On June 7, 2021, he was assigned to the AAA River Cats but was reassigned to the Flying Squirrels the very next day.

On July 1, 2021, Maxwell was placed on the 7-day DL and then, on the 9th of July, that was extended to a 60-day for an oblique injury. He was injured on May 18th while transitioning between the majors and AAA for the Mets.

During his active play, Maxwell has recorded a .211 average at the plate. He played 8 games behind the dish. Over that time he fielded 68.0 innings of perfect ball.

Bruce also recorded 17.2 innings in AAA at 1B for the Mets before the trade, walking away with a .909 fielding percentage after committing 2 errors over 11 chances. As an aside, he also pitched 0.1 innings fielding that position perfectly as well.

Niklas Rimmel, Fürth

Team: FCL Twins

League: Rookie

Parent Club: Minnesota Twins - AL

Position: RHP

Rimmel, now 22 years old, is currently assigned to the Florida Coast League Twins. He spent a full month on the DL in the height of their season. Initially placed on the 7-day DL on June 28, 2021, he was moved to the 60-day list on July 23, 2021. That is where he remained until August 31, 2021.

Niklas has recorded just 4.0 innings of work this season. He has started both the games in which he made an appearance. While he has struck out 6 his WHIP is 1.50 and ERA a whopping 6.75.

This is Rimmel’s third chance at the bigs. It also marks his third return to the DL. He was on the 7-day in 2017 and again in 2020 and now in 2022. You have to question whether he has a consistent issue that needs to be addressed or if his arm simply has difficulty working up to an MLB training regimen.

Sven Schüller, Wuppertal

Team: Free Agent

League: AAA

Parent Club: Los Angeles Dodgers - NL

Position: RHP

Sven Schüller spent 2020 playing in Germany. For 2021, he remains in Europe, this time playing in Austria for the Hard Bulls.

The RHP last played in the MiLB in 2019, spending the summer at the AAA level in the Dodgers organization. There he posted a 4.19 ERA over 35 games and 58.0 innings of work. Sven flagged 47 while maintaining a 1.62 WHIP.

Sven says his decision to play outside of Germany in 2021 has to do with conditioning, given the higher altitude of the Austrian Alps. He is looking to be in his best possible shape for the European Championship.

If Schüller is picked up again, we’ll be sure to let you know but, until then, you can find him on the fields of Europe.

Markus Solbach, Domagen

Team: Oklahoma City Dodgers

League: AAA

Parent Club: Los Angeles Dodgers - NL

Position: RHP

Solbach has been fairly active at his AAA post in Oklahoma City. Over 15 games, 9 starts, Markus has posted up a 0-6 record and an abysmal 7.77 ERA over 46.1 innings. While flagging 39, he’s also put up a 1.77 WHIP.

The RHP has always had a relatively high ERA, a 3.90 career ERA over 463.2 innings with 323 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP over 114 games with a career 33-28 record.

The pitcher does have a perfect fielding percentage this season but it has dropped as low as .882 as recently as 2019.

At bat Marcus has had 7 opportunities in 2021, and he’s Kd 6 of those times. It’s too early to say what will happen next but it is fair to say the 30-year old has very little time left to earn his roster spot.

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