In recent weeks, a pair of players joined the growing list of former Rockland Boulders to have their contracts purchased by Major League organizations, with both headed to Spring Training as non-roster invitees.
Jarret Martin made seven appearances for the Boulders in the 2016 season, the middle of his three Can-Am squads which included stints in Ottawa and Sussex County. Though he posted an 0-2 mark with a 5.11 ERA, Martin did show promise with 33 strikeouts in 31.2 innings of work.
After ascending as high as the AA level in the San Francisco Giants' organization a year ago, his contract was purchased by the Oakland A's organization.
"We never questioned the arm strength and pitching smarts of Jaret while he was here with us or anyone else in this league," noted Boulders' skipper Jamie Keefe. "He was just a little off with his mechanics. After returning to California and working out with Tom House he found those mechanics again. All of us wish J-Mart nothing but the best and hope he can break through in a big way this season."
Over the past two seasons, Liarvis Breto worked out of the Boulders' bullpen in between stints in the Venezuelan Winter League. Like Martin, Breto struggled at times, with an 0-1 record over 19 outings, recording 18 strikeouts in 19.2 total innings. His contract was purchased by the Detroit Tigers' organization.
"Liarvis flourished under (Pitching Coach Richard Salazar's) tutelage but just couldn’t put it together here in Rockland for a full season," observed Keefe. "His hard work paid off this winter in the Venezuelan League and he impressed the Tigers enough to get re-signed and is heading to Spring Training with them."
Martin and Breto join a growing list of Boulders' alumni to earn a shot with affiliated organizations, with the highlight being Stephen Cardullo's stint with the Colorado Rockies in 2016 and '17, making him the first Rockland player to reach the Major Leagues.
"It's a tribute to Jamie Keefe and the high caliber of players he brings in every season," noted Team President Shawn Reilly. "Everyone who puts on a Boulders uniform knows that we want to entertain our fans with the best players available, and that each and every one of them is capable of great things."
The Boulders begin their eighth season in the Can-Am League on Thursday, May 17, hosting the Sussex County Miners at Palisades Credit Union Park.