The Dunmark Crushers had the first overall pick and used it to their advantage.
GM Michael Dunn says he was debating picking recent QLD Bite recruit Todd McDonald or Port Adelaide import pitcher Anthony Herrera first overall. He ended up with both.
The Crushers already had a solid infield with arguably one of the best double play combinations in Jeremy Cresswell and Josh Cakebread patrolling the dirt. Add in 3x Capps Medalist Nick Talbot at third and perennial Best and Fairest contender Landon Hernandez and the Crushers are set up pretty before the draft even happened.
The Crushers needed a couple outfielders and a couple pitchers to really set themselves up. Let’s see how they did.
WHAT GM MICHAEL DUNN SAID: “I believe our selections were very solid. We have all bases covered which was the goal going into it. We have a good mix of imports, local talent and some up and coming juniors who will thrive around the class we have recruited.”
WHAT HEAD COACH SCOTT GLADSTONE SAID: “I’m really happy with our squad. We have a lot of quality players with plenty of moving parts and few unknowns that could surprise a few people. It should be and exciting competition.”
MARQUEES: Landon Hernandez (C, Henley and Grange), Josh Cakebread (2B, Goodwood), Jeramy Cresswell (SS, Goodwood), Nick Talbot (3B, Kensington)
Pick 1 – Anthony Herrera (Pitcher, Port Adelaide): Import coming to play SABL. Played university baseball at University of Louisiana-Monroe
Pick 8 – David Carroll (Pitcher, Gawler): Import coaching Gawler this season. Pitched at University of Maryland and has independent baseball experience in USA and Germany.
Pick 9 – Todd McDonald (P/OF, Southern Districts) : QLD Bite recruit who is a former position player who signed a contract with Texas Rangers. Converting to a pitcher so is a real dual threat. A big body who can smoke the baseball.
Pick 16 – Ben Andrews (1B/Util, Henley and Grange): Another import who has impressive power numbers in college and Europe.
Pick 17 – Joel Chapman (Pitcher, West Torrens): Chapman has been really solid the last few years with West Torrens. Had an ERA just over 3.00 last season and won a premiership in 2017 with the Eagles.
Pick 24 – Matt Hutchings (OF, Southern Districts): The Crushers secured a reliable outfielder who can get on base. A player in his young 20s who you feel like is ready to hit his stride.
Pick 25 – Charlie Ashcroft (Util / P, East Torrens): Ashcroft is another guy who could be used in a variety of roles – as a pitcher or batter. He also is dangerous with the bat hitting .300 last year with the Red Sox.
Pick 32 – Jordy Grose (P, Woodville): Another reliable arm who can fill up a key two innings. A great pick at #32 for a guy who’s pitched in a couple grand finals.
Pick 33 – Chris Sims (1B/DH): A guy who can help provide some great leadership and a nice reliable bat. Sims has coached the Magpies to perennial dominance and back to back grand final appearances.
Pick 40 – Josh Tindall (P, Sturt): Tindall featured regularly out of the ‘pen for Sturt last season. He had the second most relief appearances in the SABL last year so he brings reliability.
Pick 41 – Travis Underhill (1B, East Torrens): This was a sneaky good pick for the Crushers in the 11th round. Underhill hit a sizzling .338 last year and was swinging it with some of the marquee names. Had a 100% fielding percentage at first base.
Pick 48 – Jacob Scott (INF, West Torrens): At 16 years Jacob Scott keeps getting better every year. He’s reliable defensively and this competition will help push him to the next level.
Pick 49 -Blayke MacMillan (INF, Kensington): An U16 and U18 staple, Blayke will get a chance to show what we can do against SA’s best. An awesome development opportunity for a budding talent.
Pick 54 – Jasper Clark (P/OF, West Torrens): Another up-and-comer. Scott Gladstone coached Scott, MacMillan and Clark at the School Boys tournament back in April and will get a chance to help develop them in the SLBA.
Pick 55 – Alex McKenzie (C, Adelaide): McKenzie will likely get a chance to catch when guys like Landon Hernandez get the call to the bullpen. Solid depth addition.
Pick 62 – Jarryd Ferrel (P/Util, Softball): Could be a great sleeper pick. The man they call Chops is one of Australia’s best softball players. He can crush the ball and is a World Championship silver medalist pitcher for Australia. Let’s see how he goes.
Pick 63 – Luke Keogh (P, Goodwood): Impressive 1.80 ERA for Goodwood Div. 1 but only three appearances. This competition will test him to see what he can do in a stronger competition.
ROOKIE – Josh Ledgard (Kensington): A nice pick. Had a great Don Rice League last year.
MICHAEL DUNN ON THE TEAM’S BIGGEST STRENGTH: “We have experience and smarts we have on our roster. There’s a lot of big game players. There’s some unknowns with the imports but they all have impressive numbers overseas. Then, when we add Gary Owens as a mid season draftee , an MLB China player and 1st pick in mid season draft we will be a formidable force.
POTENTIAL PITCHING ROTATION (40 pitches or 2IP limit, 7-innings or 2 hour timed games):
P – David Carroll
P – Joel Chapman
P – Jordy Grose
P – Anthony Herrara
P – Todd McDonald
Quick Take: The SLBA has a strict pitch count with either 40 pitches or 2 innings pitched. A big strength of the Crushers is certainly the number of players that can pitch and hit. Guys like Hernandez, Herrera, Joyce and McDonald can all do both. But the problem they may run into is once a player pitches, he has to be removed from the game. The Crushers will be relying on a depth of pitching and guys on their bench to fill in for the players that may sub out. Luckily for them, they appear to have drafted a really strong side that will see them use all the guys on the bench.
POTENTIAL FIELDING LINE UP
C – Landon Hernandez
1B – Ben Andrews
2B – Josh Cakebread
SS – Jeremy Cresswell
3B – Nick Talbot
OF – Matt Hutchings
OF – Todd McDonald
OF – Anthony Herrera
DH – Travis Underhill
You could go with a number of combinations. The Crushers have some depth.
POTENTIAL BATTING LINE UP
Note: Completely unofficial. But if the Crushers have a guy that hit .338 in the SABL batting ninth, a 3x Capps Medalist batting sixth and an import batting seventh, and guys like Chris Sims and Charlie Ashcroft knocking on the door it’s the makings of a terrifying line up.