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From the Bite to the Big Leagues
06/12/2018 1:05 AM ET
Brandon Dixon shows off his fast hands for the Adelaide Bite during the 2015 ABL Championship Series.
Brandon Dixon shows off his fast hands for the Adelaide Bite during the 2015 ABL Championship Series. (Wendy van den Akker/SMP Images/ABL Media)

This is the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks. We are the home of future stars and over the past nine years Adelaide has become the breeding ground for Major League Baseball talent. Check out our list here of players that played here before they were big stars in the big leagues.

Brandon Maurer (2010/11) - MLB debut in 2013 (Seattle Mariners) - After pitching a 5-1 record as a raw 20-year-old Seattle prospect, Maurer's career took off in 2013 when he made his MLB debut for the Mariners. Initially a starter, he moved to the bullpen - and San Diego - becoming a regular for the Padres. Now he's with Kansas City and his six-year MLB career includes 257 appearances, 344 innings and 298 strikeouts.

Brandon Bantz (2010/11) - MLB debut in 2013 (Seattle Mariners) - Bantz had a short lived MLB career, making just one appearance for the Mariners. A seven-year Minor League career saw the catcher play over 350 games with a .234 career average.

James Jones (2011/12) - MLB debut in 2014 (Seattle Mariners) - An unstoppable force during his time in Adelaide, the outfielder hit .307 with 51 hits in 45 games for the Bite. In 2014 he became the third Bite player to play for the Mariners and with 108 appearances that season he was making the most of his opportunity. His MLB career only lasted two seasons but Jones is now pitching in the Texas Rangers organisation and a return could be on the cards.

Ji-Man Choi (2012/13) - MLB debut in 2016 (LA Angels) - It's been a journeyman career for South Korea's Choi, who averaged .309 over 40 games for the Bite. He was in Seattle's Minor League system from 2010-15, before briefly flying through Baltimore's on his way to the LA Angels in 2016. Choi finally debuted with the Angels in 2016 but despite strong hitting the first-baseman has never been first-choice, appearing for the NY Yankees in 2017 and Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. Now, he's at Tampa Bay having been traded the day after hitting a grand slam.

Andrew Kittredge (2012/13) - MLB debut in 2017 (Tampa Bay Rays) - From 2011-2016, Kittredge was a Mariner and for the Bite we saw some of his best pitching. The reliever had three separate stints in Seattle's AAA club, Tacoma, before being signed by Tampa Bay for 2017. Pitching a career best 1.45 ERA over 41 games, his call up was obvious and the good form followed to MLB.

John Holdzkom (2013/14) - MLB debut in 2014 (Pittsburgh Pirates) - Initially pitching for Canberra, Holdzkom's career for Adelaide was brief but it helped him make his Pittsburgh debut just a few months later. There was plenty to love about his form for the Pirates also, with the 6' 9" reliever pitching a 2.00 ERA in nine appearances. So far he is also the only Bite player to have a taste of postseason baseball as well.

Blake Smith (2013/14) - MLB debut in 2016 (Chicago White Sox) - Smith impressed for the Bite with a 2.00 ERA in 18 relief appearances with his trip down under a part of a whirlwind four-year pitching career. After being signed by the LA Dodgers in 2009 as an outfielder, he swapped bat for ball. With the Dodgers his MLB career never eventuated but in 2015 he was signed by the Chicago White Sox and one year later he received his call up. In the fast paced world of pro ball, that was all she wrote, however, and come 2017 he was no longer in the system.

Rocky Gale (2014/15) - MLB debut in 2015 (San Diego Padres) - The Former Padre has been playing AAA baseball since his second year of pro ball (2011) with stints for San Diego in 2015 and 2017. His Minor League career average is .262 and that consistency is keeping the catcher firmly on the radar for his current organisation, the LA Dodgers.

Brandon Dixon (2014/15) - MLB debut in 2018 (Cincinnati Reds) - Signed by the LA Dodgers in 2013, Dixon was one of the best hitters to come through Adelaide's ranks. He averaged .289 over 47 games with 59 hits and nine homers. In their Minor League system he was one of the most consistent but AA was as high as he could get. Then he was traded to Cincinnati in 2017 and over the past two seasons raked for their Triple-A side, Louisville. With the Reds struggling in 2018 he made his MLB debut and the 26-year-old is on the way to a promising MLB career.

ON THE RADAR

Kevin Comer (2015/16) - Injuries curtailed Comer's time in Adelaide but since making the jump to AAA for Houston in 2017 and now Detroit, he has taken his game to the next level. So far in 2018 he's 2-0 with a 3.10 ERA in relief from 23 appearances for Toledo with 29 strikeouts in 29 innings. For Comer it will be a matter of time, and opportunity.

Travis Demeritte (2015/16) - Sitting at No. 20 on Atlanta's prospect list, 23-year-old Demeritte still has plenty of room to develop. He's been a part of AA Mississippi's roster for the past two seasons but has struggled to consistently get his average above .250. He has the power to rake, and once that consistency comes he'll move up the ranks quickly.

Jordan Cowan (2015-17) - Rounding out the 2015/16 trio, we enjoyed two seasons of Cowan's best with the Seattle prospect hitting .291. Right now he's coming back from shoulder surgery and is slated for an August return at AA Arkansas. With a .269 career average he has the form, and we hope 2019 is his year.

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