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Best of 2010-2018: Sydney Blue Sox
Who makes the Sox best ABL line-up?
04/27/2018 10:00 AM ET
 

We complete our look at the best of each ABL team by naming our Sydney Blue Sox lineup.

Sydney - five-time playoff participants - have had plenty of talent take the field, including a current big league star and long-term veterans.

But which ones make the Best of Sox lineup?

The team at theabl.com.au have sat down and debated the options, and now we've come up with our best Sydney lineup from the opening eight seasons of the current ABL.

It was no easy task but we completed a line-up card with nine hitters and starting, relief and closing pitcher.

Selection is based on what players achieved during their time in the ABL and there are no restrictions on imports.

To level the playing field between long term players and one-year imports, we have given more weight to players' best single-season output but it is not simply a comparison of stats.

Here is theabl.com.au's Best of Sox team:

 

1. Trent D'Antonio - C

D'Antonio has been a mainstay of the Sydney lineup across eight seasons of the ABL, racking up 276 regular-season games. An all-time .266 hitter, D'Antonio averaged a career-high .344 in 2015/2016. He also achieved career highs in hits (54), RBIs (32) and walks (32) in a standout campaign. In 2012/2013 he hit .304 with six home runs in 33 appearances.

Honourable mentions: Michael Quesada

 

2. Tyler Bortnick - 2B

Bortnick spent two seasons with the Blue Sox, finishing with 79 hits in 78 appearances. His best campaign was in 2015/2016 when he averaged .305 and drove in 15 runs in just 33 appearances. Bortnick stole 11 bases and finished with an OBP of .366. He committed just four errors after making 12 a season earlier.

 

3. Rhys Hoskins - 1B

Now starring with Philadelphia in the MLB, Hoskins put together an impressive season for Sydney in 2015/2016. Hoskins hit .301 with eight homers and 43 RBIs, also doubling an equal franchise record 16 times.

 

4. Chiang Chih-hsien - 3B

Chiang tied with Canberra's David Kandilas on a league-high 44 RBIs last season, despite playing seven fewer games and missing eight all up. The Taiwanese power hitter went deep 10 times, to go with seven doubles and a triple as he racked up 91 total bases in 32 games. Chiang's OBP finished at. 410 (ninth in the ABL)

 

5. Mitch Dening - CF

A two-team player, Dening spent four seasons patrolling the Blue Sox outfield. Dening hit .286 with 11 home runs in his time at Sydney. His best return was in 2012/2013 when finished second in the ABL with 60 hits, finishing equal second with Canberra's Jeremy Barnes and Adelaide's Stefan Welch on 32 RBIs. Dening finished with 13 doubles, two triples and five homers.

Honourable mentions: Brandon Barnes

 

6. Chris Snelling - RF

Snelling reached base almost every second at bat he took, leading the league with 32 walks despite missing 16 games during the 2012/2013 season. His OBP of .492 was 69 points better than anyone else in the league. Snelling finished a .273 hitter with five doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs.

Honourable mentions: David Kandilas

 

7. Trent Oeltjen - LF

Oeltjen spent parts of three seasons in Sydney, before winning a championship with Brisbane. He ranked equal-third in the league with 33 RBIs for the Blue Sox in the 2014/2015 season. He averaged .284, hitting 16 doubles (tied for franchise record), two triples and six home runs. A season earlier he drove in 14 runs and hit .435 in 13 games.

Honourable mentions: Keon Broxton, Tyler Collins

 

8. Joshua Dean - DH

Dean made more than 200 appearances for the Blue Sox in six seasons. A career .273 hitter, Dean averaged .329 with 10 doubles and five homers in 2014/2014. He drove in 28 runs in 43 appearances, and finished with a career-high 32 RBIs in 52 appearances a season later.

 

9. Jacob Younis - SS

Younis is a veteran of the league despite being just 24. He has featured for the Blue Sox in all eight seasons of the league and is a .261 career hitter. Younis finished with a career-best .361 average last season, 12 months after hitting .297. His 18 RBIs, 16 doubles and 18 walks in the 2017/2018 season were all personal highs.

 

SP - Craig Anderson

Anderson has made 84 career starts for the Sox, compiling a 3.71 ERA and 33-31 record. The left-hander finished with an 8-2 record and 2.10 ERA in 2012/2013, one of several impressive seasons in the league. His 81.1 innings were a league-high, while his WHIP of 1.06 ranked third. Anderson finished with 39 strikeouts. He set a career-high for strikeouts (60) in 2014/2015.

Honourable mentions: Chris Oxspring, David Welch

 

RP - Matt Williams

Williams spent three seasons with Sydney, finishing a with an ERA of 2.30 or less in each of them. In 2011/2012 he put together a 1.23 ERA across 29 1/3 innings, limiting opposition hitters to a .192 average. His WHIP finished at 0.89. A year later he went 1-0 with a 2.14 ERA, completing 15 saves on as many attempts, before moving to Adelaide.

Honourable mentions: Todd Van Steensel

 

CP - Dae-Sung Koo

Koo held the ABL all-time saves record until Brisbane's Ryan Searle broke his mark of 35 this season. The South Korean came to the league with a wealth of experience and did not fail to deliver. He set an ERA of 1.00 in the inaugural season, allowing just three earned runs in 27 innings for the Sox. His WHIP was 0.81, with the opposition's batting average .144. All-time, Koo's ERA in the ABL sits at 2.15.

 

 

How did we go? Who would you have in your best Sydney Blue Sox team?

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