More professional baseball leagues are prepared for first pitch with four San Diego Padres players set to begin play in the Australian Baseball League.
Play ball, Australia! Professional baseball leagues in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Mexico have been underway for a few weeks with a number of top San Diego Padres prospects putting up impressive numbers across the offseason landscape. On Thursday, four more Padres players will join the party and begin their participation in the Australian Baseball League.
The eight-team league features two new franchises, the Aukland Tuatara and Geelong-Korea and many games can be viewed through the league’s official website. Gabriel Arias and Buddy Reed both made a big name for themselves last season in the ABL. Reed hit .326 and finished among the league leaders in batting average and home runs (10). He led the league in triples with four. Arias added five home runs and made a number of highlight reel plays from the shortstop position.
Starting pitching prospect Lake Bachar also experienced a very successful winter (summer?) in Australia. He finished the season with five wins (tied for the league lead), a 2.91 ERA (second-lowest in the ABL), and 29 strikeouts in 55 innings.
You can find the list of Padres players participating in the ABL this winter, along with complete league rosters below.
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The most notable San Diego name playing in Australia is former San Antonio Missions outfielder Michael Gettys. Gettys hit .230 last season, a career-low for the former second-round pick of the Padres. He logged 15 home runs, 22 doubles, and 17 stolen bases in 125 games.
Two Friars will suit up for the Cavalry this season, infielders Justin Lopez and Kelvin Melean. Lopez is coming off a season where he hit .224 with a .280 OBP for the Fort Wayne TinCaps. He is still only 18 years old and jacked six home runs in 2018. Melean split his season between Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore, hitting .252 with four home runs and 18 doubles.
Returning for another season in his native country of Australia is infielder Jarryd Dale. An extremely raw prospect, Dale played in the Arizona League in 2018, hitting .183 with six doubles and three stolen bases in 40 games. Dale began to play in the ABL when he was 16 years old and improved his slash line to .265/.312/.388 last season while chipping in seven doubles, one triple, and three home runs.
Stay tuned as we keep you updated on their progress throughout the ABL season.