GOLD COAST, 24 July - 16-year-old first baseman Connor MacDonald has signed with MLB franchise Houston Astros.
The four-time Queensland representative has been on the scout’s radar for some time; and cemented his talent at the Major League Baseball Australian Academy (MLBAAP) on the Gold Coast this month in front of the Australian and USA Houston scouts.
Connor’s dad Ken is a former baseball player for Brisbane in the old Australian Baseball League, and the strong pedigree has been beneficial to the South Brisbane teen’s development.
“Connor is a young, developing baseball player who has a lot of projectable tools and especially a very strong bat. His father Ken played in the old ABL with the Brisbane Bandits and was a decent sized player, and we believe Connor will grow to at least that size” explained Greg Morriss, Australian International Scout for the Houston Astros.
He has come up through the Australian baseball development pathway; playing club ball for his local Redlands Baseball Club since the age of seven, attending the Queensland Baseball Academy for three years, and this is his second year at the MLBAAP.
The six-foot four first baseman is understandably very happy with his signing.
“This is really just the start. My ultimate goal will be to play in the big leagues and represent my country, but for now even getting signed is awesome” said Connor.
Finishing school is very important to Connor who is currently in Grade 11 and, according to his father, is also academically inclined. “The Astros have been very good with this, to them, Connor finishing Grade 12 was always a given,” said Ken.
Connor’s baseball development will be taken to the next level when he starts spring training for the Astros in Florida in the next two years.
This is a significant signing for the MLB club; Connor is the first Australian to sign with the Astros in over twenty years. It marks the first step for Houston in the current Australian player talent pool, and is a program which they are committed to continuing in the years ahead.“We (the Astros) are looking forward to making our stamp on the Australian market and will continue to work hard to get the best players and offer them the best opportunity to succeed,” said Morriss.