Jamie D’Antona (star of Jim Collins’ book, “The Last Best League”) is re-discovered this week on the latest Baseball America podcast by John Manuel (my favorite baseball writer). Manuel, a top observer of the Cape league, says he believes D’Antona – who has bounced around professional baseball since his days on the Cape (most recently with the Tennessee Smokies) – “still has some offensive upside.” D’Antona, who hit .310 in Tennessee, has struggled defensively, but Manuel sees him playing first or third base in the majors, and offering some versatility as a utility man.
D’Antona came up during a podcast discussion of the Rule 5 Draft in advance of the upcoming MLB Winter Meetings. Rule V states that after three years as a pro, a player must be protected on a team's 40-man roster, or he is eligible for the Rule 5 draft .
D’Antona was a major focus of Collins’ book about a season in the CCBL. He was portrayed as a talented, sincere player who seemed always on the edge of greatness or failure. He played in college at Wake Forest and in the CCBL for the Chatham A’s.