GM Chris Lawson and Head Coach Paul Mildren were looking to build around a really solid core of BaseballSA super stars. They added arms early and look like they could be a wagon in the inaugural SLBA season.
Let’s take a look at how they did.
MARQUEES: Alex Carter (C, Port Adelaide), Terrell Joyce (OF, Sturt), Evan LeBlanc (OF, Kensington), Dylan Brammer (P/SS, Southern Districts)
Note: Alex Carter was a late swap for a marquee player for Jordan McArdle, who will be a mid-season marquee player after he returns from the U23 World Cup.
Pick 2: Chris Burkholder (P, Glenelg) – Returning for a second season as an import pitcher, Burkholder is looking to build off an impressive injury-shortened SABL season where he had a league leading 1.05ERA.
Pick 7: Dylan Ridding (3B, Sturt) – A rising star in the making, Ridding was top 10 in the SABL in hits, average, RBI, runs, doubles and triples. Ridding hit .407 last year.
Pick 10: Tim Day (P, Glenelg) – A 6-2 record with a 3.41 ERA with the Tigers and a solid stint with the Adelaide Bite gives the Clippers some pedigree.
Pick 15: Tyler Chappell (P, Sturt) – A 3.54 ERA in the SABL and has two years under his belt in the ABL. Has experience facing a higher level of competition so that will come in handy.
Pick 18: Sam McGarry (2B, West Torrens) – McGarry had a solid .361 batting average with the Eagles last season and is another weapon in an already seriously scary batting line up.
Pick 23: Karl Hoschke (OF, East Torrens) – Another big bat to round out the Clippers outfield. He has three years of ABL experience with the Bite and started in the ABL last year. A high value pick to grab this calibre of player in sixth round.
Pick 26: Dalton Probert, (INF, East Torrens) – A young player who loves the game and keeps getting better each year. Probert had an excellent defensive season with the Red Sox last year and should form a solid combo in the middle of the infield.
Pick 31: Grif Weber (C, West Torrens) – Grif has an U18 and U16 title under his belt and had his first stint in Division 1 last year with the Eagles. Now he’ll push his game to the next level in the SLBA.
Pick 34: Connor Hill (P, Glenelg) – A great guy who can pitch and play the field. Hill will be a valuable asset likely to eat a few innings this season.
Pick 39: Luke Rackebrandt (1B, Port Adelaide) – Talk about a value pick. The Clippers grabbed a DH or 1B from Port who has been to back-to-back grand finals.
Pick 42: Austin McLure (P, Sturt) – McLure has big game experience in Senior League with the Armada and the U18 state team. He keeps getting better and will be a name most people know in the SABL if you don’t know him already.
Pick 47: Andrew Chapman (DH, Woodville) – Has some solid experience with Woodville and another bat to add to the line up.
Pick 50: Phil Acosta (INF, Henley and Grange) – The big addition here is speed. Acosta was fourth in the SABL in stolen bases and will be very useful on a team with big bats who can drive runs home.
Pick 55: Jack Dawson (Sturt) – A great opportunity for young Jack to push his game to the next level after some great experience at the Div 2 level. Great relationship with Sturt-man and Clippers head coach Paul Mildren.
Pick 58: Daniel Chapman (OF, West Torrens) – A solid pick up for a starting OF in the SABL of the team that’s been the “wagon” the last two years.
Pick 63: Declan Steel (P, Henley and Grange) – Pretty surprising Steel fell this far. He’s just returned from playing college baseball and is a solid LHP.
Pick 66: Allesandro Zoufail (P, Austria) – An unknown commodity, but could be solid if he cracks the line up.
ROOKIE PICK: Adam Wurfel
POTENTIAL PITCHING ROTATION (40 pitches or 2IP limit, 7-innings or 2 hour timed games):
P – Chris Burkholder
P – Tim Day
P – Tyler Chappell
P – Connor Hill
P – Dylan Brammer
They have four pure pitchers to use before they get to 2-way superstar and defending Capps Medalist Dylan Brammer in the last to close it out.
POTENTIAL OPENING DAY FIELDING LINE UP
C – Alex Carter
1B – Luke Rackebrandt
2B – Dalton Probert
SS – Dylan Brammer
3B – Dylan Ridding
OF – Karl Hoschke
OF – Evan LeBlanc
OF – Terrell Joyce
DH – Sam McGarry
You could go with a number of combinations. The Crushers have some depth.
POTENTIAL BATTING LINE UP
Note: Completely unofficial. A very scary, well rounded line up. You’d think with this experience they’ll be able to put up runs.