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Choi leads Bite alumni in MLB
Bite Watch returns for 2019
03/29/2019 9:12 PM ET
From high-fives at Norwood to home run celebrations in MLB, Ji-Man Choi has achieved his dream.
From high-fives at Norwood to home run celebrations in MLB, Ji-Man Choi has achieved his dream. (Ryan Schembri/SMP Images/ABL Media)

A new year means a fresh start for many players, whether it's at a new team or with new opportunities and expectations. It also means Bite Watch is back! From our old school imports to our current crop of talent we'll give you the lowdown on who is where and how you can follow.

 

This is just part one, covering our MLB and AAA players.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

 

Ji-Man Choi (2012/13 - 1B/DH, Tampa Bay Rays)

Is 2019 the year of Choi? Since 2016 we have seen the momentum build around the Korean as he went on a MLB journey with LA Angels, NY Yankees, Milwaukee and now Tampa Bay, but it is with the Rays that he has truly settled and found his home. He made his first opening day start in his 122nd MLB game and suddenly the first baseman has caught the attention of Rays fans with his defence and offence. We're not saying Choi is going to make a run for MVP, we just feel the colourful fan-favourite is going to turn some heads in a competitive AL East Division.

 

WHERE TO FOLLOW: Instagram @Ji_man_choi / @raysbaseball | Twitter @cjm0519 / @RaysBaseball | Facebook @Rays

 

INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE (AAA)

 

Andrew Kittredge (2012/13 - Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays)

The 29-year-old put together a clinical 2017 season from the bullpen to earn his MLB debut, and going into 2018 he looked like a full season at the top would follow. Unfortunately he was unable to hold his spot with a 7.75 ERA, although contrasting form at AAA with Durham had him close to the mark. Kittredge begins a new year with Durham again, where he has arguably been their best bullpen arm of the past two seasons. The Rays will be watching him closely.

 

WHERE TO FOLLOW: Instagram @durhambulls | Twitter @amkittredge / @DurhamBulls | Facebook @durhambulls

 

Brandon Dixon (2014/15 - Utility, Detroit Tigers)

Dixon's hitting power led to his MLB debut in 2018 with Cincinnati and while he showed plenty of promise a .178 average with the Reds was certainly below his expectations. During the off-season Detroit claimed the outfielder off waivers and good performances at spring training have him on their 40-man roster. For now, however, it's back to AAA with Toledo where he will aim to earn his spot back on the 25-man roster.

 

WHERE TO FOLLOW: Instagram @brandonadixon / @mudhens | Twitter @_badix / @MudHens | Facebook @mudhens

 

Brandon Maurer (2010/11 - Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates)

One of Adelaide's inaugural imports and most experienced MLB alumni, Maurer starts off 2019 in an unfamiliar position; a new team and at AAA. He has been a MLB staple since 2013 with Seattle and San Diego, however over two years with Kansas City he struggled for consistency and his trajectory went off course. Now at Pittsburgh on a Minor League contract he will have to impress with Indianapolis to earn his chance with the Pirates. His best from the bullpen has seen him become a classy closer.

 

WHERE TO FOLLOW: Instagram @indyindians | Twitter @indyindians | Facebook @indianapolisindians

 

Josh Tols (2010-16 - Pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies)

The former Bite pitcher proved age is no limit when he signed with the Phillies organisation as a 28-year-old last year. It was an exciting change of scenery for the Adelaide local following a season in Japan and he could be set for a rapid rise; his 3.27 ERA from the bullpen in AA has seen him promoted already and at Lehigh Valley the Phillies could be ready to pull the trigger if he shines early on.

 

WHERE TO FOLLOW: Instagram @tolsy21 / @lhvironpigs | Twitter @Tolsy21 / @IronPigs | Facebook @LHVIronPigs

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (AAA)

 

David Holman (2013/14 - Pitcher, Colorado Rockies)

Holman's career has been punctuated by injury concerns and since he was signed by Seattle in 20111 has managed just 125 regular season games. However, teams have held out plenty of promise for the 6'6" reliever, particularly Colorado, who signed him in 2016 as a free agent. Last year he went 5-5 with a 5.25 ERA from 20 games (including eight starts) and with a second season on the horizon with Albuquerque things are looking good.

 

WHERE TO FOLLOW: Instagram @abqtopes | Twitter @ABQTopes | Facebook @ABQTopes

 

Rocky Gale (2014/15 - Catcher, LA Dodgers)

Gale is arguably one of the most complete catchers at the AAA level and the 31-year-old veteran has been unlucky not to get an extended run in the Majors during three brief stints in his career. He had a late season call-up by the Dodgers in 2018 and a run at spring training which had many talking about his chances, but he was optioned out to Oklahoma City. As a third choice catcher he is waiting on the wings in the 40-man roster; if another strong season follows he will be knocking on the Dodgers' door.

 

WHERE TO FOLLOW: Instagram @okc_dodgers | Twitter @RockyGale / @okc_dodgers | Facebook @OKCDodgers

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