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FEATURE: Aussies to watch in 17/18
Six locals key to your team going all the way this season
10/30/2017 11:22 PM ET
Pitcher Josh Tols in action for the Melbourne Aces (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA
Pitcher Josh Tols in action for the Melbourne Aces (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA 

Home grown talent is the foundation of the Australian Baseball League and in 2017/18 a wealth of local talent will again take centre stage.

With the league home to Australian stars with Major League, Minor League, college, overseas and green-and-gold experience; we have narrowed down a list of the locals key to each team.

Here is a list of the Australian stars from each team we think you should keep an eye out for during the 2017/18 season:

 

Angus Roeger (Adelaide Bite)

Roeger enters his sixth season with a key role to play for the Bite as they chase an elusive Claxton Shield. The 27-year-old outfielder missed 13 games last season following the passing of his father Craig but finished the season hot. Roeger hit .321 with seven RBIs in the second half of the season. New manager Chris Adamson could well turn to Roeger to fill a spot in the heart of Adelaide's batting order. Roeger is known for his power and in 2015 became the first player in the ABL to hit a grand slam in consecutive games.

 

Mitch Nilsson (Brisbane Bandits)

After a breakout Australian Baseball League campaign in 2015/16, Nilsson was again a key cog in Brisbane's title run last season. The 26-year-old infielder hit .317 as the Bandits went back-to-back and led the team with seven home runs. Nilsson was particularly dangerous at Holloway Field, hitting six of his homers at the ballpark and averaging .328.The former Cleveland Indians prospect spent in the off-season in Germany, winning the championship with Heidenheim alongside Brisbane pitcher Justin Erasmus.

 

David Kandilas (Canberra Cavalry)

Kandilas enters his second season with Canberra in2017/18 after crossing from the Sydney Blue Sox. The 27-year-old enjoyed a solid first season with the Cavalry, playing all 40 games and hitting .264 with four home runs. The outfielder is set to play a big role in the heart of Canberra's line-up this season, with the Cavs hoping to make a return to the postseason. Kandilas will close in on 200 ABL games this season and is a .273 career hitter in the league.

 

Josh Tols (Melbourne Aces)

Tols successfully made the switch from Adelaide to Melbourne last season, recording a tidy ERA of 0.91 in 16 appearances for the Aces. The left-hander allowed just three earned runs in 29.2 innings, striking out 42 hitters and walking 13. Tols recorded two saves and had a WHIP of 0.94. The only lowlight for the 28-year-old was he joined the exclusive club of players to have featured in three-straight ABL Championship Series defeats. The former ABL Rookie of the Year played in Japan during the off-season and is expected to figure in Melbourne's starting rotation this season.

 

Tom Bailey (Perth Heat)

Bailey, 25, led the Heat's starting rotation in ERA and strikeouts last season. In a lean season for Perth, Bailey led all Australian pitchers with 62 strikeouts (second amongst all pitchers). His ERA of 4.97 and 1-6 win-loss record do not reflect on how well the right-hander pitched. Bailey pitched two complete games and was one of two Heat pitchers to start a game in every round. The long ball proved costly for Bailey with 10 home runs accounting for 17 of the 38 runs he allowed.

 

Jacob Younis (Sydney Blue Sox)

At just 24 years of age Younis could easily be classified as a veteran of the Australian Baseball League. The infielder has played more than 200 games for the Blue Sox and last season put up career-highs in runs batted in and batting average. Younis hit .297 in 38 games for Sydney and drove in 15 runs while stealing four bases. He has also established himself as a top defensive player for the Blue Sox. Younis finished the 2016/17 season hot, hitting .390 across his final 10 games.

 

Who is your Aussie to watch during the 2017/18 Australian Baseball League season? Let us know below!

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This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.