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Curtis Mead signs with Philadelphia
Bite Rookie of the Year takes the next step
05/09/2018 2:02 AM ET
17-year-old rookie Curtis Mead has signed a professional contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
17-year-old rookie Curtis Mead has signed a professional contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Infielder Curtis Mead will be playing in the USA in 2019 after signing with the Philadelphia Phillies, joining a new wave of affiliated talent from the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks.

Mead, 17, joins teammates Jack O'Loughlin (Detroit Tigers) and Jordan McArdle (Arizona Diamondbacks) as affiliated Bite players, while former Adelaide pitcher Josh Tols is also signed to Philadelphia.

Since claiming the Australian U16 title with South Australia in 2016, SA's first title in over 30 years, Mead also won the 2016/17 SABL Championship with West Torrens, the 2017 Australian Junior League title with the Adelaide Armada, and the 2018 Australian U18 title - SA's first in 30 years.

"I couldn't even imagine signing before the last few weeks," Mead said.

"Especially in that [under-16] championship, that was a very team orientated victory. We didn't necessarily have all the best players but we just worked hard together as a team."

Playing in some underdog SA teams, Mead rose to the occasion whenever it was required of him, even at the Australian Baseball League level, where he averaged .373 in 20 appearances and was named Adelaide Bite Rookie of the Year.

Growth in the Adelaide Bite Academy has also played a huge role in Mead's development, likewise with coaching experience at all levels and the SABL.

"People like Chris Adamson and Tyrone Hambly have moved it along a long way and bringing back their experience from college has been good. It's given us more of an insight," Mead said.

"For the first 14 years of my life, Dad [Giants player Tim Mead] was really big in my progress. I spent a lot more time with him out in the backyard training. Getting into the A-Grade team at West Torrens took me a long way in my development as well. Once I got used to that I found my baseball was taken to a whole new level."

Prior to signing with the Phillies, Mead had committed to Grayson College in Texas, with his recent performances at the MLB Australian Prospect Progam drew the attention of a handful of MLB organisations, leaving him with some big decisions.

"You just have to make sure it's the right fit for you and where you feel most comfortable," he said.

"Me and my parents made sure this was what I wanted to do rather than go to college.

"Having different guys in Australia really helped too. Having Josh Tols, Rixon Wingrove and Kyle Glogoski makes it easy so when I go there's guys I'm familiar with."

Mead has also been selected in the Australian Schoolboys team that will tour the USA in September and October after helping guide SA to a silver medal at last week's Australian Schools Baseball Championship.

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