Minor league baseball has allowed Sam Dexter the opportunity to live in Montana, Arizona, North Carolina and Quebec. This summer, the Oakland native’s home will be Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

On Feb. 28, Dexter was traded by the Trois-Rivieres Aigles of the Can-Am League to the Milwaukee Milkmen, an expansion team in the American Association, an independent league based in the Midwest. Dexter reports to Milwaukee for training camp at the end of the month, with the season set to begin May 16.

Dexter, 25, said he’s been in contact with Gary McClure, Milwaukee’s manager, who plans on using Dexter as his starting shortstop. The American Association is 12-team league with clubs throughout the Midwest. The Milkmen will compete in the league’s North division, along with teams in Chicago, Winnipeg, Manitoba, St. Paul, Minnesota, Gary, Indiana, and Fargo, North Dakota.

Sam Dexter is back on the move this season and will play for the Milwaukee Milkmen in the American Association. Contributed photo

“He called me up and said they’re excited to have me,” Dexter said. “(McClure) said it’s the best division in independent baseball. He said just because we’re an expansion team, we’re not going to play like one.”

Last season, Dexter was named the Can-Am League Defensive Player of the Year after making just seven errors in 338 chances at shortstop for the Aigles.

“It’s a confidence thing when you start getting rolling. I was being a lot more aggressive than I ever had playing shortstop,” Dexter said.

Dexter hit .287, with three homes runs, 49 RBIs, and 46 runs scored in 101 games. Trois-Rivieres hoped to resign Dexter, but he felt he was ready to play in a more competitive league.

“(The American Association is) a bigger league, a little more exposure, with more guys getting picked up by affiliated teams. That was pretty much my thinking,” Dexter said. “The fans were great (in Trois-Rivieres). Every night we had a great crowd. I loved it in Trois-Rivieres. No bad things to say about it.”

According to the American Association”s web site, there are currently 21 former players signed to a club affiliated with a Major League Baseball team. Twenty-one of the 30 Major League teams have a former American Association player in their minor league system. Eight current big league players, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, saw time in the American Association. According to the Can-Am League web page, there are 15 alumni playing for affiliated minor league teams, and three alumns in the Major Leagues.

Dexter said he was grateful for the opportunity he had to play in Trois-Rivieres, and happy the team was able to accommodate his trade request. In return for Dexter, the Aigles received right handed pitcher Cartland Cox and shortstop Thomas Roulis.

“When you’re in this business, you always want to be playing with the best and try and advance in any way possible. I look at this as a way to advance. From what I’ve heard, this is a good league to be in and be seen by more Major League Baseball scouts,” Dexter said.

Dexter spent last November and December in Australia, playing for the Blacktown Workers and training with the Sydney Blue Sox.

“I really wanted to avoid the cold and keep playing. I enjoyed my time there,” Dexter said.

Dexter graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2016 as the Huskies career leader in games played (194), hits (312), doubles (81), extra base hits (109), sacrifice flies (19) and total bases (468). A two-time All-American, Dexter was Division III national player of the year in 2015.

Dexter was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 23rd round of the 2016 draft. He advanced to high A Winston-Salem, N.C. before being released last spring. The goal in Milwaukee this summer is to play well enough to sign with an affiliated team.

“It’s easy to sit back and be, I need to hit more homers and more doubles. That’s what opens the eyes most, guys hitting homers and extra base hits,” Dexter said. “I’ve just got to trust myself. That’s pretty much what I want to stay grounded in. I know what kind of player I am at this point in my career. I’m ready to get it going.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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