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Heaters Abroad - 2018 Season
Let's take a look at where our Heaters will be playing in 2018
04/03/2018 12:57 AM ET
 

It's April, and in the United States, that means one thing. 

Baseball season.

In Australia, however, we are in the midst of one of the longest off-seasons in world sport, running until the 2018/19 Australian Baseball League season starts in November.

With this in mind, let's fill you in on where our West Australian and Heat players will be playing this American summer.

Major League Baseball

Western Australia has a proud history of producing MLB players, notably Mark Ettles (1993), Luke Hughes (2010-2012).

2018 is no different, and for the first time, there are three West Australian on an MLB Opening Day 25-man roster.

Warwick Saupold (Detroit Tigers), Liam Hendriks (Oakland Athletics) and Peter Moylan (Atlanta Braves) are all born-and-bred West Aussies who at some stage in their careers have played for the Heat.

Throw in 2011/12 import Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles), and the Heat have a strong representation in the majors.

AAA

To get to the Major League, players first have to prove their worth in the Minor Leagues. This journey can take years for players, and there is no guarantee they will ever make it to the big show.

The final step of the journey to the majors is AAA (Triple-A). 

In 2018, former Heat catcher Mike Ohlman will suit up for the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox affiliate).

Ohlman, who had a brief stint in the MLB with the Toronto Blue Jays last year, where he batted to a .231 average with an RBI in seven games, will look to impress at AAA and get a call-up to Boston.

AA 

One grade below AAA is AA (Double-A). This season, Mike Brosseau will line up for the Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays affiliate).

Brosseau played for the Heat during the 2017/18 ABL season, hitting .427 with 32 RBIs in 25 games before a broken hand cut short his season.

Since returning to the States, Brosseau had an impressive Spring Training for the Rays where he hit .400 in three games to earn a spot on their AA roster.

The 24-year-old will look to impress and earn a call-up to AAA before the season is over. 

A

Another one of the Heat's Rays prospects from last season, Zac Law, will play for the Bowling Green Hot Rods in Class-A.

Law, a former center fielder, made the switch to catcher at the start of last season and hit three home runs in a brief 13-game stint in Perth this summer.

Extended Spring Training

Jake Baker, Ulrich Bojarski (Detroit Tigers) and Robbie Glendinning (Pittsburgh Pirates) will spend some time in Extended Spring Training before joining their clubs for the 2018 season.

Baker is making his way back from an injury which prevented him from pitching for the Heat this season, while Bojarski and Glendinning had heavy workloads as the Heat made a run towards the ABL finals.

Glendinning was also a member of Team Australia for their recent tour of Japan last month. 

New Players

One of the most exciting things to see is when young players sign their first professional contracts with an MLB outfit. 

That's exactly what happened to Heat young-guns Jess Williams and Alex Hall who penned deals with the Milwaukee Brewers last November.

The Morley pair will arrive in the States over the weekend and are yet to find out where they will be playing in 2018.

After breakout ABL campaigns Williams was awarded Rookie of the Year (for both the Heat and the ABL) and Heat Fans' Player of the Year, while Hall earned his Team Australia debut against Japan.

Injury Front

On the flip side, one of the worst things to see is player injuries, and that is exactly what has happened to Rays prospects Jake Fraley and Garrett Whitley.

Fraley, who was named the Heat's Player of the Year after breaking the ABL's stolen base and Perth's home run-mark last season has suffered a broken foot which will keep him out for at least two months.

Before his injury, Fraley was expected to start the season with Mike Brosseau at the Montgomery Biscuits (AA).

Whitley, the Rays' 2015 first-round pick suffered a torn labrum which required surgery last week, which has ruled him out of action for the whole season.

It is disappointing news for the 21-year-old, who was expected to start the season with Charlotte Stone Crabs (A-Advanced).

Independent Ball

As well as having players competing in the Major and Minor Leagues this season, the Heat have some players who will play Independent Ball in 2018. 

Ace Alex Boshers (Southern Maryland Blue Crabs) will team up with former Heat shortstop and 2013/14 ABL Championship Series MVP Joey Wong. 

198cm starting pitcher Kyle Simon has re-signed with the New Britain Bees, while Joe Van Meter will ply his trade for York Revolution again in 2018.

If you're looking for a place to find plenty of Heat players, then look no further than the Sioux Falls Canaries, who will have three Heaters in their side for 2018.

Pitchers Dylan Thompson and Bo Hellquist will play alongside catcher Mike Hart as the Perth Heat flag continues to fly high in the United States.

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