The staff of the Carp went fishing for talent and reeled in some of the best young talent in state.
GM Mark Haylock and Head Coach Paul Green will have a youthful, energetic and exciting team when the competition kicks off on October 10. As Haylock said after the draft: “Be careful. Don’t underestimate the young guys.”
With some of the pedigree these “kids” have the rest of the teams will surely tread carefully.
Let’s take a look at how the Carp are built. They had the fourth overall pick in the draft which means they didn’t get a “Top 3” player but they did haul in two picks in the first five.
MARQUEES: Curtis Mead (2B, West Torrens), Wilson Lee (P/OF, Woodville), Mason Clavell (C, Glenelg), Tyler Thompson (P, Goodwood).
The Carp have an excellent starter in import Tyler Thompson. You would imagine Wilson Lee will bat and play right field until the last inning or two when he hits the mound. Curtis Mead is South Australia’s most exciting young prospect after hitting .374 with the Bite last season. Mason Clavell has starred with all of SA’s champion teams – the U16s, U18s and Senior League winners. He broke in with the Bite last season.
Pick 4 – Angus Roeger (OF, Sturt) – He’s one of the best hitters in the competition and has starred with the Adelaide Bite for the better part of the last decade. His best ABL season came in 2014/15 when he earned an All-Star selection for Team Australia. Roeger hit .378 with Sturt last season.
Pick 5 – Nathan Vanderlinden (INF, West Torrens) – The man they call “VDL” can play nearly every position, can run bases, has a great attitude and pitches too. He won the 2017 Grand Final MVP with the Eagles.
Pick 12 – Harry Knuckey (OF, Sturt) – He’s only 18 but Knuckey had a memorable multi-hit debut with the Bite last season. He finished his second full-season with Sturt and hit .270. Knuckey on track to feature more-and-more at the top level of baseball in Australia in the coming years.
Pick 13 – Tyson McKee (P, Port Adelaide) – Tyson was on track to finish among the SABL leaders last season as a 16-year-old. He had a 2.73 ERA as a starter before he got hurt. If he can rebound this is a fantastic pick for another promising young star on the Carp.
Pick 20 – Ryan Duncan (P, East Torrens) – The Carp added another pitcher early and they got Ryan Duncan who moved to SA last season. He featured with the Bite in the Australian Baseball League so this level will be no adjustment for him.
Pick 21 – Jay Sanderson (INF, East Torrens) – Sanderson hit .330 with an OBP of .430 with the Red Sox in 2017-18. Those sort of numbers will be great for the Carp.
Pick 28 – Ryan Muggleton (OF, West Torrens) – Muggleton memorably had the game winning home run in the 2016-17 Grand Final. He hit .288 last year.
Pick 29 – Ben Keeping (OF, Glenelg) – The 21-year-old just returned from a few years in the USA chasing his baseball dream. He picked up some valuable high school and college experience. Another rising star for SA who returns to Adelaide looking to take his game to the next step. Great value in the 8th round.
Pick 34 – Blake Farr (1B, Kensington) – Had a stint in Div 1 with Kensington and hit .230. He’s always improving and is part of the U16 and U18 champion teams from South Australia.
Pick 35 – Nick Carfora (P, Kensington) – Can play the field and can pitch. Will likely come in for a key middle inning or two.
Pick 42 – Liam Bull (Util, Henley and Grange) – At 16 he will be one of the youngest players in the competition. But the young ram has shown a lot of promise and is rising the ranks. This will be a good test for him in an environment loaded with promising talent.
Pick 43 – Thomas Norley (P, Golden Grove) – Norley made 21 appearances with Golden Grove last season and will feature as a pitcher for the Carp this year.
Pick 50 – Lachlan Burrows (INF, Henley and Grange) – Lachlan Burrows played SS for Henley and Grange last season and hit .272.
Pick 51 – Ryan Broome (Util / P, West Torrens) – Broome is another young kid who featured recently on state teams. He had an appearance in Div 1 but mainly spent time in Division 2 with a solid Eagles team. This is a great way for him to get more game time vs. quality competition.
Pick 58 – Jesse Toepher (Util, Woodville) – He’s worked his way up the ranks from Div 3 a few years ago and keeps developing. Now gets a shot at the SLBA.
Pick 59 – Jack Higginbotham (P, Woodville) – This will be the biggest test yet for a player who is about to make the jump to U18s. Another promising young arm who plays at Seaton.
Pick 64 – Nicholas George (P / Util, Northern Districts) – An 18-year-old player with state team experience looking to get on track in the Super League.
ROOKIE: Zak Trevaskis (Henley and Grange)
POTENTIAL PITCHING ROTATION (40 pitches or 2IP limit, 7-innings or 2 hour timed games):
*Note: Completely Unofficial
P – Tyler Thompson
P – Tyson McKee
P – Ryan Duncan
P – Nathan Vanderlinden
P – Wilson Lee
The Carp have three solid pure pitchers to get to VDL and Lee who will need to be subbed out of the game once they pitch. They’ll use the bench but they have no shortage of pitchers.
POTENTIAL OPENING DAY FIELDING LINE UP
C – Mason Clavell
1B – Wilson Lee
2B – Jay Sanderson
SS – Curtis Mead
3B – Nathan Vanderlinden
OF – Ben Keeping
OF – Harry Knuckey
OF – Angus Roeger
DH – Ryan Muggleton
POTENTIAL BATTING LINE UP
Note: Completely unofficial. A well balanced line up with solid pitching and batters. There’s not as much power as other teams but there’s plenty of talent and lots of players who have hit for high averages. Good defense too. It’s a balanced attack with loads of young talent. They should be fun to watch.