Originally written on The GM's Perspective  |  Last updated 11/2/14

Seven years and nearly 600 Independent games later, Blake Gailen is one step close to the Major Leagues. Late last week, in the midst of another stellar season, the Toronto Blue Jays signed Lancaster Barnstormers' OF Blake Gailen to a minor league deal and assigned him to their Triple A affiliate in Buffalo. Gailen is no stranger when it comes to receiving news this important. Last year Gailen had one of the best Independent seasons ever. Playing for the Barnstormers, he put up staggering numbers; .338/.415/.534, with 26 doubles, three triples, 22 home runs, 89 RBI, and 25 stolen bases. His league leading .338 average was his second consecutive batting title. As a member of the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association in 2011, he topped the leader board with a Ted Williams-eque .406. After being voted the teams’ MVP by the fans, earning the Atlantic League MVP award and Baseball America’s Independent Player of the Year, he signed with the Colorado Rockies organization, but was released on the last day of spring training. Gailen returned to Lancaster, and continued to impress. His numbers aren't as earth shattering as last year, but rank amongst the best in the league. According to the Atlantic League, he ranks fifth with a .385 on base percentage and fourth in runs scored (72). He leads the team in doubles with 35, to go along with 11 home runs and 52 RBI. His .288 average ranks fourth on the team. Since signing his minor league deal, Gailen is batting .333 in seven games with the Bisons. At 28, Gailen still has plenty of years left in the game. He's taken the long road to get where he's going, but sometimes it's the diamonds in the rough that achieve what so many strive for. Undrafted out of UNLV in 2007, Gailen has bucked the odds, while continuing to impress wherever he goes. A career .330/.413/.500 hitter, he knows how to play the game and gets the job done. This might not register on the ESPN ticker, but it's another proud moment for the Atlantic League and for someone with a history of exceeding expectations. Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bo Pelini calls Nebraska AD a ‘c–t’ and ‘p-ssy’

49ers release Ray McDonald

Take your pick: Colin Kaepernick or Derek Carr

Report: Bears to bench Jay Cutler, start Jimmy Clausen

Jim Harbaugh to Michigan speculation building

Heat lose a key player with McRoberts out for rest of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Belichick: Ryan is 'buttering me up' with Hall of Fame praise

Marshall: Bears need to gel and do some kumbaya

Red Sox appear content with rotation despite lack of true ace

Iguodala gets technical for mocking Conley travel

Bo Pelini takes shot at Nebraska during introductory presser

Belichick: Patriots need to play better against the Jets

Royals sign Edinson Volquez to 2-year deal

12 candidates to replace Paul Chryst at Pitt

Brad Halsey claimed he was on cocaine for Bonds record HR

Wade Miley confident in health, diet after trade from D-Backs

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson lead in 2014 athlete Google searches

Max Scherzer next domino to fall in free agent market

Another "Fire John Idzik' plane flies at Jets practice

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

Report: Some Browns shunned Manziel during pregame

Making an attempt to understand Celtics' priorities

Gronk makes awkward sausage joke on 'Top Chef'

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

5 NFLers who must step up in Week 16

Most impressive college hoops teams

Five reasons why FSU is going to win the CFB Playoff

Boxer admits to dive in Rourke bout

FCC heard about Brady's swearing?

Embracing the hate of the Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry

DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.