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Mead stays grounded for second season
2017/18 Bite Rookie of the Year commits to club
08/10/2018 9:55 PM ET
 

In the space of just over six months, Curtis Mead won a national Under-18 Championship, was named Rookie of the Year for the Bite, signed for the Philadelphia Phillies and made his Minor League debut.

With all those achievements, you could say it's been a whirlwind start to his career with the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks.

Mead was thrown into a team struggling to win and in his first six games he was a late-inning substitute, getting just one at-bat.

Then, on December 16, Manager Chris Adamson started Mead at second and the 17-year-old scored in a 6-1 win over Brisbane.

The next day Adelaide lost 5-0 to the Bandits but fans at West Beach saw something special.

They saw a teenager record three hits against the defending champions and Adamson says it was fantastic to see Mead shine straight away.

"It was really special seeing a homegrown kid get an opportunity at the highest level and really take it with two hands and excel," Adamson said.

Mead finished the season with a .373 average from 20 games and that hot hitting, combined with a strong showing at the Australian MLB Showcase, had the Phillies knocking at his door.

In July he made a surprise debut with their Gulf Coast League team, one year ahead of schedule, during a brief two-week trip.

While game time was not the main priority he had a hit on debut to shake off the nerves.

"It was exciting," Mead said.

"I was a little bit nervous, but I didn't really have any expectations, so I just went out there and tried to do the best I could."

The next year will see Mead working towards a larger role in the Bite squad as a regular starter at second base, and he says the focus is on both parent clubs.

"I think being in America has given me a good idea of where I wanna get to by the start of next year in America and I think a full season with the Bite will help tremendously for playing at a very good standard," Mead said.

"I'm looking forward to working towards some more success this season with the Bite and hopefully putting together a better year and being really competitive."

Adamson, meanwhile, says he will keep Mead grounded ahead of a crucial stage of development.

"The goal is for him to just work hard on areas that will continue to help him be successful," Adamson said.

"To just build off the platform he set for himself. He has more experience and a taste of baseball from the States."

Mead will be 18 by the time the season starts, and Adelaide will not carry in expectations for him to light the world on fire but the upside is already clear.

There is no denying it, the Bite have an ever-improving homegrown middle infielder who will be able to round out the best line-ups the ABL has to offer and home fans can witness something special.

For a greater insight into Mead's journey so far, tune into Channel 7 on Saturday following the Adelaide v GWS Giants game for a feature on our young gun at 10:30PM local time on Footyplus.

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