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Updated: March 26, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Robert Bos & Bristol Pirates)

Paul Brands 23rd Dutch player in Spring Training

On Sunday (March 25), catcher Paul Brands became the 23rd Dutch player to be in a Major League Spring Training Camp this year. With that, a record was set. The old record was 22 players during 2015 Spring Training.

Paul Brands was added to the main-squad of Pittsburgh Pirates for Sunday's road game at Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. Pittsburgh won the game 7-4. Brands didn't play, but for the first time, he was in a Major League Spring Training Camp.

...Paul Brands...
(© Bristol Pirates)
The 20-year Haarlem-born Brands plays professionally in the Pittsburgh-organization since 2015. In that year, he played in two Rookie League-teams, one based in the Dominican Republic. In his first season, he played in only 19 games and batted .212.

Brands also played at the Rookie League-level in 2016 and 2017.

In 2016, he played in 31 games for the team based in Florida and then batted .252 (27-for-107) with three doubles and one triple. He scored 11 runs and batted in nine.

...Paul Brands playing for Hoofddorp Pioniers... the 2017 Championship Pool...
(© Photo: Robert Bos)
Last year, Brands played for Bristol Pirates in the Appalachian League. He then appeared in 32 games and closed with a .311 batting average (26-for-118) with seven doubles, one triple and three homeruns. He also set career-highs with 18 runs scored and 15 runs batted in.

After his season ended last year, Brands returned home to the Netherlands and played in five games for Hoofddorp Pioniers in the Championship Pool of the Dutch big league. He then batted .316 (6-for-19) with a triple and homerun, while scoring five runs.

Of the 23 players with a Netherlands passport this year in Spring Training, Brands is one of only two that were born in the Netherlands. The other is Amsterdam-born Didi Gregorius, the short stop of New York Yankees. Gregorius partially grew up in Amsterdam when his father Didi Gregorius Sr. pitched in the Dutch big league for Amsterdam Pirates. He then moved to Curaçao, where he grew up and developed his baseball-skills. With that, Brands is the lone player in this years group who was born and raised in the Netherlands. All other players were born in Aruba, Curaçao or the USA also also grew up there.

(March 25)

Related Articles:
Jansen faces Simmons in Spring Training. (March 25)
Gregorius, Albies and Bogaerts hit homeruns. (March 24)
Basehits for Simmons, Gregorius and Profar. (March 23)
Kevin Josephina 22nd Dutch player in ML Spring Training. (March 22)
Jonathan Schoop hits sixth Spring Training-homerun. (March 21)
Only 3 Dutch players in Spring Training-action on Tuesday. (March 20)
Xander Bogaerts hits 2nd HR; Andrelton Simmons 3-for-3. (March 19)
Eugene Helder debuts in Spring Training with basehit. (March 18)
Hendrik Clementina & Darren Seferina in Spring Training. (March 17)
Ozzie Albies hits 2 homeruns (from both sides) for Atlanta. (March 16)
Spring-debut Jansen; Simmons returns; Schoop HRs again. (March 15)
Jonathan Schoop helps Baltimore to win with 4th homerun. (March 14)
Didi Gregorius hits third homerun in Spring Training. (March 13)
Sharlon Schoop in Spring Training; Italian Gasparini makes debut. (March 12)
Gregorius HRs; Sicnarf Loopstok, Jiandido Tromp in action. (March 11)
Schoop hits 2nd Spring Training-HR; Pieters doubles. (March 10)
Spring Training-debut Kenley Jansen postponed. (March 9)
Gregorius homers, Simmons injured in Spring Training. (March 8)
3 Hits & 2 Runs by Dutch players in Spring Training. (March 7)
Xander Bogaerts homers for Boston. (March 6)
Only two Dutch players in Spring Training-action on Monday. (March 5)
Productive day Dutch players in League Spring Training. (March 4)
Another Kieboom in Major League Spring Training. (March 3)
Didi Gregorius collects three hits in Spring Training-game. (March 2)
Spencer Kieboom, Chadwick Tromp deliver game-winning hits. (March 1)
Andrelton Simmons plays in first Spring Training-game. (February 28)
Seattle adds Aruban Eugene Helder for Spring Training-game. (February 27)
Jonathan Schoop homers for Baltimore. (February 26)
Spencer Kieboom collects 2 basehits for Washington. (February 25)
Baltimore adds 2 Curaçao-players for Spring Training-game. (February 24)
First Dutch players in action in Major League Spring Training. (February 23)
Major League Spring Training-season opens. (February 21)

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