Miles Godfrey State Political Reporter/Daily Telegraph
MAJOR League Baseball is set to return to Australia following the success of last year’s historic season opener between the LA Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks at the SCG.
But there is no guarantee Sydney will win the right to stage the match — with other states said to be queuing up to snatch the marquee event, which would be worth millions to the local economy and garner a massive global audience.
“I can confirm that there is interest from other states in hosting a MLB Opening Series at some stage in the future,” said Jason Moore, whose Moore Sports International marketing firm was the driving force behind last year’s hugely successful match between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks at the SCG.
South Australia confirmed its interest in hosting the next MBL game in Australia, while Victorian Major Events Minister John Eren said his government will “work hard to secure every event worth having.” Western Australia is another possible destination for the MBL.
South Australia acting sports minister Stephen Mullighan pointed to the redeveloped Adelaide Oval as the perfect venue for the game.
“The state government is interested in all events that will deliver a strong return on our investment including one-off sporting events such as Major-league Baseball which can be held at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval,” he said.
A spokesman for the Queensland government said: “The Palaszczuk government is always looking at opportunities to bring top sporting events to Queensland.
Eddie Michels ABD reporter
Detroit Tigers prospect allowed just an unearned run over two innings on Tuesday in GCL action against the Phillies in Lakeland, Fla. The Sydney native allowed just one hit, walked one and struck out two in his fifth appearance of the season.
The Chunichi Dragons held a press conference today to announce the additions of Drew Naylor and Rafael Perez. Naylor was assigned the uniform number 54 and Perez the number 49. According to media reports, both players were signed to contracts through to the end of the season. Naylor’s contract is worth an estimated 100,000 US dollars. Perez agreed to a contract and signing bonus worth the same amount.
Peter Moylan [Braves] is now pitching in AAA but is currently on the DL.
The SS and Rookie Leagues are now well under way and we have listed the players accordingly. Whilst we have no record of any players being actually released recently we do note that two players are listed as on the restricted list which can often indicate that a player has resigned but not been released.
A few players [ Hutchings, Leslie, McDonald and Turnbull] have not so far appeared in any games which might suggest that they are either injured or back in Australia finishing school.
Players in full season teams
Majors: Liam Hendriks (Blue Jays),
Players in short season teams
Short Season A: Sam Holland (Padres),
Rookie: Dean Aldridge (Tigers), Beau Bishop [Brewers], Jake Bowey [Astros], Jared Cruz (Astros), Ryan Dale (Royals), Josh Guyer (Twins), Nick Hutchings (Pirates), Sam Kennelly (Pirates), Ben Leslie [Giants], Connor MacDonald (Astros), Lachlan Madden (Astros), Todd McDonald (Rangers), Aaron Sayers [Tigers], Brad Simon (Rangers), Aaron Sookee [D’Backs], Brandon Stenhouse (Yankees), Jake Turnbull [Reds], Lachlan Wells [Twins]
Rehab: Lewis Thorpe (Twins),
Ryan Battaglia [Indians],
Jack Barrie [Twins],
John Hussey (Padres),
Travis McDonald (Reds)
Dakota Mitchell (Reds),
James Philibossian (Tigers),
Adam Silva [Yankees],
Hayden Timberlake [Astros],
Elliott Hargreaves [Reds], – Elliott is listed as on the restricted list.
Aaron Whitefield (Twins), – Aaron is listed as on the restricted list.
BRISBANE — After helping lead the Brisbane Bandits, proudly presented by Welldog, to a strong finish in the 2014/15 Australian Baseball League season, starting pitchers Drew Naylor and Ryan Searle took their talents overseas for 2015.
Both right-handed starters are currently playing for independent teams in Japan.
Steady starter Searle is putting together a strong campaign for the Ishikawa Million Stars of the Baseball Challenge League, posting a 2-5 record and 1.86 ERA in The longtime national team representative and former Chicago Cubs farmhand also sits tied for the league lead with 63 strikeouts.
Searle’s success with the Million Stars comes after he posted a 3-4 record in 12 games (10 starts) for the Bandits in 2014/15. He also led the ABL with 69 strikeouts and reached an impressive career milestone on the mound when he struck out his 200th ABL batter.
Meanwhile in the Shikoku Island League, Searle’s fellow Bandits righty Naylor is also dominating hitters for the Kagawa Olive Guyners. He recently played for the Shikoku Island League All-Stars on an overseas tour, during which the team played against several North American teams, including those in the independent Canadian-American Association.
Naylor went 2-1 with a 4.34 ERA in three starts on the tour, striking out 18 batters in 18.3 innings. Prior to the tour, Naylor had a 1.37 ERA in 11 games for the reigning champion Olive Guyners. He made three starts for the Bandits in 2014/15, going 0-2 with a 7.24 ERA.
Written by Ian McDonald
Baseball New Zealand Names Top Professional Coaching Staff for 2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifier A world class staff of baseball professionals has been named to lead Baseball New Zealand’s attempts to qualify for the next World Baseball Classic, tentatively scheduled for February of next year.
Major League Baseball and the International Baseball Federation have not confirmed dates or location of the important ‘world cup’ qualifying event, but it is expected that New Zealand Diamondblacks’ likely foes will be regional powerhouse Australia and top 30 nation South Africa, while there is also a chance some Asian teams may be put into the mix.Current Seattle Mariners first base/infield coach Chris Woodward will be the head coach for the Diamondblacks, following up on his last stint with New Zealand’s 21U national team in Taichung last year, which saw New Zealand claim its biggest victory to date over top ten baseball nation Mexico along with several heartbreaking losses against South Korea, the Netherlands and Venezuela, all top ten baseball nations.
The outstanding pedigree of Woodward’s coaches includes former Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke (Bench Coach), Los Angeles Dodgers scout Josh Bard (Hitting Coach), Seattle Mariners Quality Control Coach Chris Prieto (Base running and Infield Coach), former Samurai Japan 侍ジャパン and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) pitcher Naoyuki Shimizu (Pitching Coach) and former MLB Pitcher D J Carrasco (Bullpen Coach).
Five of the six coaches named have strong links to New Zealand having either visited the country, or been involved in coaching both senior and youth levels within the Baseball New Zealand system, and this will be crucial for team cohesion and performance, believes Baseball NZ CEO Ryan Flynn.
“To me this is a ‘dream team’ of coaches,” said Flynn about the handpicked staff.
“Not only are the coaches world class on every level, but they care about our young men and the future of our national program. Woodward will now have worked with four of our national teams over a four year period. Ron signed Te Wera ‘Beau’ Bishop to a contract with the Brewers when he was out here, and Naoyuki believes enough in our country’s baseball future that he moved his family to Auckland to help us build within. We couldn’t do any better in our dugout.”
And the staff agrees, according to Carrasco, who earlier this year spent time in Wellington, Southland, and Christchurch teaching the game to all age grades and skill levels.
Reliever Lachlan Maddon of Melbourne got the save on Thursday during the Gulf Coast League Astros 4-3 win over the Tigers in Lakeland, Florida. Madden got two outs on the infield and one strike out but did allow one single to fellow Australian Aaron Sayers. The save was Madden’s first in American baseball.
Aaron Sayers. Is currently hitting.280 in his 7 games
TRIPLE A: Peter Moylan is 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA for the Gwinnett Braves… Victorian and former Melbourne Ace James Beresford had a multi-hit game recently and is hitting .317 on the season… Travis Blackley (Melbourne Aces) has a 2-4 record, 5.35 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in eight games, including five starts.
DOUBLE A: Tim Atherton (Canberra Cavalry) has won three consecutive starts, including tossing eight shutout innings and striking out seven batters in his latest win… Warwick Saupold (Perth Heat) is 2-6 with a 4.83 ERA in 13 starts.
HIGH A: Logan Wade (Brisbane Bandits) is hitting .227 with two home runs an 16 RBIs… Todd Van Steensel (Sydney Blue Sox) has 62 strikeouts in 45.2 innings pitched.
LOW A: Sam Gibbons (Melbourne Aces) had his best start of the season recently, tossing six shutout innings and striking out five batters… Midwest League All-Star Zac Shepherd (Sydney Blue Sox) is hitting .269 with three home runs and 35 RBIs in 72 games… Victorian Sam Street is 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 17 appearances… Robbie Perkins (Canberra Cavalry) is hitting .207 with five doubles in 24 games.
SHORT SEASON A: Dean Aldridge (Sydney Blue Sox) has an 11.57 ERA in two relief appearances… Sam Holland (Brisbane Bandits) has allowed just two hits in four appearances spanning 3.2 innings.
ROOKIE: Aaron Sookee (Sydney Blue Sox) is 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA in three appearances… After getting off to a hot start, Ryan Dale (Melbourne Aces) is hitting .281 in nine games… Lachlan Madden (Melbourne Aces) has a 6.00 ERA in three appearances… On a rehab assignment, Daniel McGrath tossed three scoreless innings in the Gulf Coast League.
RockHounds starting pitcher Tim Atherton held the Naturals to two runs, seven hits and no walks in six innings. Atherton struck out eight batters. Atherton tossed 60 of his 79 pitches for strikes.
Read more: ROCKHOUNDS REPORT: Angle’s hit lifts Midland past Naturals –
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
Lynn Henning, The Detroit News
Always in the case of minor league talent, age matters as much as skill.
If a 24-year-old is bashing the ball somewhere along the Class A circuit, chances are this gent is going nowhere.
But, if it’s a youngster, there’s potentially a future brewing in the bushes.
Zach Shepherd, 19, and one of the first serious Tigers development stories from Australia, is batting .382 in his last 10 games and .274 overall for Single A West Michigan. He is a right-handed hitter and former shortstop who now works at third base, all because a player 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds was never going to be Jose Iglesias when it came to range.
He handles third capably for the Whitecaps, which is fine with the Tigers when it’s his bat that is making him one of the brighter lights in a minor league system begging in 2015 for breakthrough stories.
“One thing that stands out for me, also being from Australia, is that he has very advanced baseball instincts,” said Andrew Graham, West Michigan’s manager who, like Shepherd, is a native of Sydney. “We don’t play high school or college baseball there, so you might only play one or two games on a weekend, and that’s significant, because Zach is in so many ways advanced.
“He’s mature for his age, mentally. He can handle ups and downs. He’s got a great eye at the plate (.360 on-base percentage, with 34 walks in 76 games), and good pitch recognition. And that’s why he’s having more success this year in not swinging at balls out of the zone.”
Shepherd’s OPS is a so-so .745, all because of a .385 slugging percentage that the Tigers expect will rise as he gets older. Shepherd, who has three home runs, 17 doubles, and a triple, won’t turn 20 until Sept. 14.
“I like Zach a lot,” said Bruce Fields, the Tigers’ roving minor league batting coach. “One thing is that he has been so even-keel, staying within a certain range with his batting average.
“It he’s not swinging well, he seems to manage it, grasps a few things, makes the correction, and stays fairly consistent. He uses the whole field, he’s got some gap power now, and some occasional power to the pull-side, which should broaden as he matures and figures out how to leverage the ball.
“He’s got to learn how to hit the off-speed stuff better, like all young kids do. But he has a decent eye at the plate — sometimes a little too much so. I think he’s been getting a bit more aggressive of late. I like where he is.”
Defensively, Shepherd has been the kind of player Graham can throw at any lineup any day and not worry about.
“Average arm and good range,” Graham said. “We drafted him as a shortstop, knowing he would move to third base because of his size. But I think he has the makings of a good everyday big league third baseman.”
Shepherd was signed in 2012, which wasn’t a difficult decision for a 16-year-old whom the Tigers paid $325,000, the highest bonus handed that year to an Australian position player. He had been named Australian Youth Baseball Player of the Year in 2011 and steadily became a high-profile prospect as the Australian National Team played in Korea, Mexico, and throughout the world.
Shepherd made his American debut in 2014, playing for the Tigers’ Gulf Coast League entry, in Lakeland, Fla., where he batted .301, with an .870 OPS, in 51 games.