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Thompson hopes to lead Aces revival
New manager to pilot intriguing mix of young talent, vets
10/28/2014 9:26 PM ET
Darryl George headlines Melbourne's young, talented core.
Darryl George headlines Melbourne's young, talented core. (SMP Images/ABL Media)

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

MELBOURNE, 29 October - After narrowly missing out on the Postseason in 2013/14, the Aces have retooled for the new fixture. Chicago White Sox coach Tommy Thompson is in as manager as Melbourne look to return to the ABL Championship Series for the first time since 2011/12.

Thompson replaces Australian baseball fixture Phil Dale, who had piloted Melbourne through the club's first four seasons. The 57-year-old Thompson has managed in the White Sox system since 2009, most recently serving as skipper of the Class A Advanced Winston-Salem Dash of the Carolina League.

The Aces take the field with arguably the deepest roster of Australian professional talent, starting with former Major Leaguer Brad Harman, who serves as part of the club's veteran backbone.

This year, Melbourne bring MLB imports from the Texas Rangers, including former second-round MLB Draft pick Cody Buckel, the White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. Chace Numata, a Phillies prospect, and Rangers Minor Leaguer Kellin Deglan will handle catching duties for a talented pitching staff.

Melbourne begin the season with a bye week, getting a final opportunity to evaluate their roster ahead of the 2014/15 fixture. The Aces will host the Brisbane Bandits, proudly presented by WellDog, in their home schedule opener beginning on 7 November at Melbourne Ballpark.

Tyler Maun is the Australian Baseball League's staff writer and a contributor to, 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.