Pitcher Jesus Del Rosario plays for Rockford

Former Taft College pitcher Jesus Del Rosario has taken an unconventional route to professional baseball.

Del Rosario, who pitched for Rogers University (Claremore, OK) in last month’s NAIA World Series, signed a contract with the Rockford (Ill.) Aviators of the independent Frontier League.

In four appearances since signing earlier this month, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound lefthander, who was an All-Central Valley Conference closer for the Cougars in 2010-11, has worked 5.2 innings.

He has given up three earned runs, allowed six hits, struck out six and walked two.

According to Wikipedia, the Frontier League is a professional, independent baseball organization located in the Midwest. It operates mostly in cities not served by major or minor league teams and is not affiliated with either.

There are 14 teams in the league with nicknames like Otters, Freedom, Greys, Crushers, Beach Bums, Wild Things, CornBelters, Rascals and Slammers.

Pay is minimal as each team has a salary cap of $72,000, and the league minimum is set at $600 per month.  Due to the low pay, players typically live with host families.