SLBA teams fill marquee player spots – Announcements and Analysis

With less than three weeks until the draft, the four inaugural Super League teams have filled up most of their marquee spots.

The Crushers, Wasps and Clippers have named their four key players who will suit up on their teams this year while the Carp still have one spot to fill.

Each team is permitted to name four ‘marquee’ players before the September 26 draft at the Highway in Glenelg.

Now, the GMs turn their focus to picking from a talented pool of player who have registered to play in the new Wednesday competition featuring the best talent in South Australian Baseball.

Let’s review each of the teams, where they stand, and what they may need. Baseball Australia Hall-of-Famer and Adelaide Giants legend Andrew Scott had his expert take on each of the team’s rosters so far.

Have a look below.

MARQUEE SPOTS-01 (1)

CRUSHERS

Crushers-01Coach: Scott Gladstone
GM: Michael Dunn

  1. Landon Hernandez, Catcher, Henley and Grange – A former Bite player who has finished second in Capps Medal voting the last two seasons.
  2. Josh Cakebread, 2B, Goodwood – A former cornerstone of the Bite and SA Claxton Shield sides, key part of the 2018 Goodwood premiership side
  3. Jeremy Cresswell, SS, Goodwood – Formed a dynamic duo with Cakebread for years across all levels. Now moves to the Crushers.
  4. Gary Owens, OF, Woodville – Five years of consistency and leadership with Senators in the SABL, a handful of Bite games, and lots of experience in Europe makes this a great pick

What GM Michael Dunn is saying: My aim in picking marquee players was to have a solid spine with senior guys who can execute plays when needed under pressure.  This is a pretty good 1-4 hitting line up without any draft players or import players. We will have some good power surrounded by some speed to score runs quickly in the shortened format of the Super League style. These are four very strong leaders who’s reputations are unquestionable in SA baseball.

Andrew Scott’s “Expert” Take: It’s a strong spine up the middle with a quality catcher. The double play combination up the middle is as good as it gets. They’ll need to look for some pitching in the draft to adapt to this year’s format. Their GM is their weak link in the competition.

CLIPPERS

ClippersCoach: Paul Mildren
GM: Chris Lawson

  1. Dylan Brammer, INF/P, Southern Districts – The reigning back to back SABL Capps medalist gives the Clippers a great 2-way option.
  2. Terrell Joyce, OF, Sturt – A back-to-back SABL All-Star and ex-Astros minor leaguer. He has big league “pop” and will anchor the heart of the line up. Can also pitch.
  3. Jordan McArdle, 1B, Sturt – One of SA’s best young players who plays in Arizona’s MLB system. At 20 he is a young, big-hitting lefty who can chew up the middle of a line up.
  4. Evan LeBlanc, OF, Kensington – A professional hitter and leader who knows what it takes to win. 3x SABL all-star.

What GM Chris Lawson is saying: We have recruited great “people” whom will bring a fun and exciting brand of baseball to the field. In going after our marquee players we looked to cover as many positions as possible, with athletes that show flexibility in the field. Come draft day this will give us some room to pick the best available players, rather than selecting purely by a positional needs basis.

Andrew Scott’s “Expert” Take: This is as experienced and as powerful as a line-up as it comes in this competition. The additions of Terrell and Brammer are key as they can both pitch which will be very handy in this format. They’ll need to add some guys who can get on base, preferably guys who have speed, so the big boppers can drive them home.

WASPS

wasp_FB (1)Coach: Adrian Chenoweth
GM: Scott Pratt

  1. Bas Nooij, Catcher, Kensington – Adelaide Bite player, SABL All-Star and a Dutch national team player with some skill behind the plate and in the batter’s box.
  2. Stefan Welch, 3B, Goodwood – Maybe the most prolific South Australian player in the modern-day ABL. He leads the Bite’s all-time hit, home run and RBI list. As good a guy, and as good a player, as it comes in the SABL.
  3. Austin Gallagher, INF, Kensington – Serious power and a 2-time SABL All-Star is as many year’s in the competition. He brings pop, pedigree and a sure-fire bat in the middle of the line up. A former 3rd round pick of the LA Dodgers.
  4. Jackson Brebner Russ, P, Sturt – A converted pitcher from his days as a catcher, “JBR” can pitch and hit. He has a couple year’s experience as a pitcher with the Adelaide Bite and keeps developing his stuff to be one of the best in South Australia.

What GM Scott Pratt is saying: We’ve got two of the most damaging hitters in the SABL which combined is guaranteed to provide some STING for the line-up for the Wasps. It’s important we can have guys that can generate runs with the long-ball but also be consistent hitters. We have [some of] the best in the competition.

Andrew Scott’s “Expert” Take: Getting two left-handed power hitters is massive for the Wasps and will cause some match-up nightmares. They have a solid C/P combination already sorted and guys that can play a few different positions. You’d think they need to add another pitcher to the line up as well as some speed on the bases.

CARP

carp_FBCoach: Paul Green
GM: Mark Haylock

  1. Mason Clavell, Catcher, Glenelg – One of the best young talents in the country was a key part of the U16, U18 and Adelaide Armada teams that recently won national championships. He may be young but his experience is chalking up, trademarked by time with the Bite in 2017-18.
  2. Curtis Mead, 2B, West Torrens – Curtis has had a big couple years for SA baseball and was rewarded with a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. The 17-year-old hit .374 as a rookie with the Adelaide Bite and is considered one of the best Australian prospects in a long time.
  3. Wilson Lee, P/OF, Woodville – Wilson has almost a decade of experience with the Bite both as a pitcher and a hitter. He will add a powerful bat that has a proven track-record in the middle of the line-up for Woodville. He also is a perennial contender for pitcher of the year in the SABL.

What GM Mark Haylock is saying: The Carp looks to develop young Bite prospects to the next level by giving them exposure and opportunity in this Super League.  Curtis Mead (SS) and Mason Clavell (C) are two of the most exciting prospects in the State. Both will hold down key infield positions and hit strongly in this league.  Wilson Lee (P) is a strong 2 way player who can feature on the hill, as a utility in the field and provide strong offence in the box. A hot commodity in this off season of district Club ball, Lee spends our off seasons playing in Europe.

Andrew Scott’s “Expert” Take: There’s a lot to like about this young team. They have some of the most versatile players in the state who can play multiple positions and will bring tremendous energy to the game. It will be a fun environment but I suspect the Wasps will need to add some experience to the roster to settle down the young, energetic heads that will be out on the diamond. 

——————
ANDREW SCOTT’S POWER RANKINGS

Before the draft occurs, Andrew Scott gives his first edition of the “POWER RANKINGS” based on these Marquee Players.

  1. Clippers
  2. Wasps
  3. Carp
  4. Crushers

Scotty says: “The Clippers have so much experience, power and a couple guys that can pitch. That gives them the edge.”

 

What do you think of the teams?

Draft-02 (1)

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