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Blue Sox hope to climb over hump
Third-place finishers each season, Sydney aim high
10/27/2014 7:13 PM ET
Trent Oeltjen batted .435 in 13 games for the Sox last season.
Trent Oeltjen batted .435 in 13 games for the Sox last season. (SMP Images/ABL Media)

With the 2014/15 Australian Baseball League season opening play on Thursday in Brisbane, TheABL.com.au will be previewing each club entering the league's fifth fixture.

SYDNEY, 27 October - Perennially one of the league's most talented teams by Opening Day, Sydney are still seeking their first trip to the ABL Championship Series despite earning playoff trips in all four years of league play. Manager Jason Pospishil hopes a potent lineup and experienced pitching will be the key to a Claxton Shield campaign.

The Blue Sox are, historically, the least import-reliant team in the league and will lean on a veteran starting pitching corps comprised of left-hander Craig Anderson and righties Vaughan Harris and Aaron Sookee. Sydney's bullpen was terrific a season ago. Right-hander Luke Wilkins pitched in 21 games and posted a 3-0 record and sparkling 0.28 ERA and joins Sydney regular Todd Van Steensel in the Sox relief corps. Legendary closer Dae-Sung Koo converted 11 of his 12 save opportunities.

A mix of organisations from MLB will send prospects to Sydney this season. Players from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, and Minnesota Twins will work with members of the Blue Sox coaching staff who have extensive experience with their clubs like Pospishil (a former Twins Minor Leaguer) and Glenn Williams (a Tigers scout). Diamondbacks prospect Markus Solbach, the ABL's first German player when he suited up for Melbourne in 2011/12, is back for another season Down Under.

The Blue Sox boast arguably the league's deepest and most talented outfield. Former Major Leaguer Trent Oeltjen is back in his hometown to anchor the Sydney lineup, and stalwart David Kandilas brings his rocket rigth arm back for another campaign patrolling Blacktown International Sportspark. The Sox welcome Arizona import Alex Glenn for 2014/15, fresh off a Minor League season during which he batted .285 with an .872 OPS for Class A Advanced Visalia.

New South Wales boasts a rising class of young talent, as well, in left-handed pitcher Lachlan Wells, shortstop Zach Shepherd, and catcher Guy Edmonds among others.

Tyler Maun is the Australian Baseball League's staff writer and a contributor to MiLB.com, the Official Site of Minor League Baseball. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.