After the website of L&D Amsterdam Pirates stated that Kalian Sams would play for an independent team in North Carolina, it only needed a little bit of research to find out that would be the Atlantic League team the Highland Rockers. It still took until today until the official confirmation came out.
The High Point Rockers are the newest addition to the independent Atlantic League, which is equal to AAA baseball according to connoisseurs. Perhaps the name sounds a bit quirky like Rocket City Trash Pandas but the town the team is located at is really named High Point. High Point is located right between Winston-Salem and Greensboro.
So far the most famous name on the roster of the Rockers is former Minnesota Twins great Frank Viola, the left-hander who helped the Twins win the World Series in 1987. Next to the Twins, Viola also played for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, the Cincinnati Reds and the Toronto Blue Jays. Viola will be the Rockers’ pitching coach.
The High Point Rockers aren’t the first Atlantic League team for Sams. In 2013, Sams played five games for the now defunct Camden RiverSharks before his contract was picked up by the Texas Rangers with whose AA farm team he finished the season but wasn’t able to get a new contract with. So in 2014, Sams returned to the RiverSharks but when he was hit by an injury, the RiverSharks eventually released him. Sams then went to Taiwan to play in the newly erected Popcorn League in an attempt to draw attention from CPBL teams and Korean and Japanese teams. Eventually, Sams ended up with the Québec Capitales with whom he played four seasons and won the 2017 CanAm League championship with them.
Kalian Sams is a speedy outfielder with quite some pop in his bat. In his four seasons with the Québec Capitales, Sams hit 62 home runs, five triples, and 69 doubles. Sams is also a valued member of team Kingdom of the Netherlands.