SYDNEY, 19 September - The first Australian Baseball League Supplementary Player Draft will be held Thursday, 19 September, one of the final pieces in the puzzle of assembling rosters for the fourth season of ABL action. Players from across the globe will be hoping their names are called as the ABL’s six clubs put the finishing touches on their rosters, looking to stock up on additional talent ahead of the 2013/14 campaign. Thursday's draft gets underway from 3pm AEST.
An international pool of dozens of players has been assembled from Australia, the United States, and beyond, with hopeful and eager baseballers expressing their interest in playing Down Under for the upcoming season. Players who submitted their information to the ABL sent videos and documentation of their skills and prior baseball experience, from local Aussie club players to former minor leaguers signed to play MLB-affiliated ball in the United States.
This year’s pool of players will face stiff competition. For the 2013/14 season, 12 Major League Baseball clubs have committed to sending prospects to play in the ABL, the most of any season so far in league history. That leaves only a precious few slots on ABL team rosters for the upcoming season, and teams are not required to draft any players if their 2013/14 roster needs have already been satisfied.
Today’s draft will be conducted in reverse order of the league’s 2012/13 finish. The first pick of this year’s selections will go to the Melbourne Aces, followed by the Adelaide Bite, Brisbane Bandits, Sydney Blue Sox, Perth Heat, and last season’s Claxton Shield-champion Canberra Cavalry in that order.
Players who have entered the 2013 ABL Supplementary Player Draft will hope to follow the pathway blazed by many ABL players before them, from major leaguers like Travis Blackley and Brandon Barnes to 2013 Helms Award winner Adam Buschini who turned a dominant ABL season into a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres.
The fourth season of Australian Baseball League play opens on Thursday, 31 October when the reigning league’s champions Cavalry host Melbourne at Narrabundah Ballpark. Single-game tickets and memberships are on sale now for all six ABL member clubs by contacting the team head offices or visiting www.TheABL.com.au/tickets.