12/16/2020 : Australian Baseball League (ABL ) - Part Two
The 2020/2021 Australian Baseball League ( ABL ) is set to open play today as Melbourne faces Sydney. The Phillies minor league system will be well represented in the ABL this season with players on the Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney rosters. The other clubs in the loop are Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.
Adelaide and Brisbane won’t open the schedule till January 5th while the other four teams will all begin this week.
I detailed the four Phillies players on the Melbourne and Sydney rosters here ... https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/12-12-2020-winter-league-roundup
This is part two of my ABL preview ... today we look at the Adelaide Giants.
The Manager and as many as twelve Phillies players are slated to perform for the Giants. Here’s a look at the skipper and the Phillies/Giants pitching contingent ... I’ll break the article series into one more part following this one for brevity and suspense 🤓.
Manager Chris Adamson : 32 years old ... in his collegiate career he was a two All-American catcher at Angelo State in Texas ... Chris is from Adelaide, Australia and played five seasons for the Bite ( former name of the now Adelaide Giants club ) before turning to coaching. He was the bench Coach for Adelaide from 2013 to 2016 before being named manager in 2017, he’s also served as an assistant coach for the Australian National Team. 2020 would have been his first venture as a Manager in the Phillies organization as he was slated to take the helm of the Lakewood Blue Claws. Nicknamed “Tank” we were able to introduce ourselves to Chris in Clearwater this spring before camp broke ... I asked him recently how he got his nickname and this was his response ... “ I have had the nickname since I was about 9 years old, I was a pretty big kid and as slow as a wet week (extremely slow) so it was fitting. A coach called me "Tank" in passing one day and it stuck.” We look forward to chatting baseball with Chris going forward 👍⚾️.
LHP Jonathan Hennigan : 26 years old ... pitched for both Advanced A Clearwater and AA Reading in 2019 ... was the Phillies 21st round draft choice in the 2016 draft from Texas State. Jonathan features pitches with very high spin rates, a slider and split finger change up are his key off speed pitches with his fastball sitting in the 92-94 range with flashes in the mid nineties. He’s a very hard worker that takes nothing for granted, part of his Texas upbringing 😎. Jonathan’s wife Randi is also a professional ballplayer, she’s a softball pitcher for Athletes Unlimited. The young couple are amongst our favorite folks we’ve gotten the pleasure to know a little bit from within the organization. Jonathan is also an avid outdoorsman, he hunts wild boar back home, maybe something he can do on off days in Australia 🤔.
RHP Austin Ross : 26 years old ... pitched at Advanced A Clearwater in 2019 ... was the Phillies 35th round draft choice in the 2018 draft from Radford College. Austin hails from the Beaver, PA area. He returned from labrum surgery after missing his entire 2017 college season ... hard work and perseverance brought him back to the mound for a solid senior campaign. Austin has reached the mid 90’s with his fastball but generally sits in the 91-93 range and features two solid off speed deliveries ( curve, slider ) ... he has recently been working on developing a split-change up as a fourth delivery. He’s a strike thrower who is consistent and focused. I like the bespectacled appearance ... we have that in common 🤓.
LHP Taylor Lehman : 24 years old ... pitched at both Williamsport and Lakewood in 2019 posting a 2.55 overall ERA in 14 games ( 49.1 IP ) with 37 K’s and 22 walks. He was signed as an amateur free agent on 6/18/18 out of Penn State and hails from the Pittsburgh area.
Taylor is a big fella at 6’8” 240 and he uses his size well to deliver the baseball, it seems to be on top of the hitters. He features three pitches ... a FB that generally sits in the 92-94 range, a slider and straight change up. Watching him pitch it’s evident he’s been well coached, has great consistency and discipline in his delivery. Word is he’s a very diligent worker who respects the game ... that bodes well for any player. It’s expected that Lehman will be a part of the starting rotation for the Giants this winter aligning with the projected role he will continue on within the Phillies system.
RHP Tyler Burch : 23 years old ... pitched primarily at Williamsport in 2019 posting a 4-1 record with a 1.56 ERA in 11 games ( 35.2 IP ) with 34 K’s and only 6 walks 😳 ... was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent out of Lewis-Clark State on 6/12/19.
Tyler has shown increased velocity since turning pro, he worked on his lower half mechanics with former Williamsport pitching coach Hector Berrios and was able to gain speed without sacrificing movement or command. His fast ball sits in the 93-95 range with a very good slider as a secondary delivery and a developing change up. The first time we saw Tyler pitch he closed out a no hitter in his one and only appearance in the Gulf Coast League. He’s a very pleasant young man who this spring endured a bit of a health scare and was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. The issue has now been addressed bringing him back to full health and ready to resume his baseball career. Coach Adamson told me that Tyler will be a key part of the Adelaide starting rotation.
RHP Kyle Glogoski : 21 years old ... pitched at both Lakewood and Clearwater in 2019 and had an outstanding season with a 5-3 record in 19 games ( 80.1 IP ) posting a combined 1.68 ERA with 90 K’s and 28 walks ... opponents hit just .179 against him. Glogoski was signed by the Phillies on 1/8/2018 as an amateur free agent from Auckland, New Zealand.
Kyle didn’t start playing baseball till he was 12 years old and didn’t take the mound till he was 14. At the age of 17 he was pitching for the New Zealand national team in the World Baseball Classic 😳. His fastball generally has been in the 90-93 range ... it’s got great life and ride ... jumps on hitters. He features an excellent change up and a decent curve with a cutting break. The young man is all business on the hill, he presents an almost menacing demeanor ( Bob Gibson like ) ... that’s a good thing, very competitive.
Although he’s listed on the team roster it’s not certain that he will pitch this winter for the Giants, rather than travel, he is exploring alternate training programs in New Zealand instead.
Will chat the following fellas up in the next part of the series 🤓 ... gives ya something to look forward to eh 😜
C Mitchell Edwards :
C Colby Fitch :
INF Jamari Baylor :
INF Kendall Simmons :
OF Cornelius Randolph :
UTL Luke Williams :
1B Rixon Wingrove :
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️