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Meet the Team: 2019/20 Player Announcements
07/05/2019 12:31 AM ET
 

Keep up to date with the player signing announcements for the upcoming 2019/20 ABL season.

ANNOUNCEMENT | WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 2019

Brought to you by Red Stitches Baseball & Softball Equipment Specialists.

Marksberry

Welcome to our newest recruit, former Atlanta Braves LHP Matt Marksberry!

The lefty reliever made his MLB debut for the Braves in 2015 and is currently pitching for the Lancaster Barnstormers in the Atlantic League alongside his new Blue Sox teammate Gift Ngoepe.

Blue Sox Manager Shane Barclay had plenty to say about the new recruit:

"Matt has been a target of ours since the early planning days for this season. He comes with Big League experience, and adds that Lefty option out of the pen that wasn't there once Ando had to switch to a starting role last season."

"His record against left hand hitters is very good, and he has performed well over the past 2 seasons in the strong Atlantic League."

He has been extremely keen and excited to join our club in the ongoing negotiations and we warmly welcome Matt to the Blue Sox!" Barclay added.

Quick Q&A with the man himself:

Q: What has attracted to you to come to the Blue Sox?

A: What attracted me to the Blue Sox is the organisational will to want to win and make a Championship club.
 
Q: What do you think it will take to see the Sox return to playoffs baseball and finally reach that Championship Series?

A: It'll take everyone on our team pulling together and becoming a tight family that plays for each other.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about being in the Blue Sox clubhouse?

A: Seeing the team that Adam has put together plus meeting new faces and old ones! 

Q: What is a career highlight for you?

A: Playing in the MLB. It was a dream since I was a little boy!

 

ANNOUNCEMENT | MONDAY 5 AUGUST 2019

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Gift

Welcome back, shortstop Gift Ngoepe!

Since taking out the ABL Golden Glove (Defensive Player of the Year) last season, Gift Ngoepe has attended MLB Spring Training with the Philadelphia Phillies (alongside our boy Rhys Hoskins) and played at AA and AAA level for the Phillies and the Pirates pipelines.

Gift strutted his stuff for the Blue Sox last year, topping the team stats with a batting average of .379, slugging .644 and batting in an impressive 32 runs!

Quick Q&A with the man himself:

Q: What did you like most around the ballpark last season?

A: The fans and the atmosphere. Really felt like they had our backs. Oh and the pizza was GOOD.

Q: What do you think it will take to see the Sox return to playoffs baseball and finally reach that Championship Series?

A: It's going to take ALL of us, working together & making every game count.

Q: What was a favourite moment for you last season?

A: Playing with Craig Anderson on his last season of playing baseball.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this season?

A: Bringing the Championship Trophy to Sydney.

Q: What have you been up to in the off-season?

A: There is no off-season. Baseball. All year round.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT | FRIDAY 26 JULY 2019

Brought to you by Middy's Data & Electrical.

Crouse

Join us in welcoming our newest recruit, Michael Crouse!

The Canadian outfielder played the backend of last season with Canberra Cavalry and the year before with the Melbourne Aces, and punched out some impressive stats with a .429 batting average last year.

Crouse has played in the minors in the Toronto Blue Jays pipeline, was a 2011 Baseball World Cup bronze medallist with the Canadian national team and is currently playing Indy ball with Somerset Patriots in the Atlantic League.

A quick Q&A with the man himself:

Q: What are you most looking forward to about being in the Blue Sox clubhouse? 

A: The team chemistry, and a relaxed and winning atmosphere!

Q: What do you think it will take to see the Sox return to playoffs baseball and finally reach that Championship Series?

A: Having a good set of core imports [to complement the local talent].

Q: What drew you to the Blue Sox this season?

A: I want to be part of Adam Dobb's vision to create a dynasty in Sydney.

ANNOUNCEMENT | THURSDAY 25 JULY 2019

Brought to you by Middy's Data & Electrical.

Campbell

Welcome back Blue Sox Outfielder Michael Campbell!

Cambo finished last season with a solid .339 batting average and 43 hits. He was even named to the BRUT ABL Team of the Week four times out of ten last year!

New Blue Sox manager Shane Barclay said, "Michael's approach to the game is the benchmark to which our club will aspire. A man who has always gets the most out of his ability, Mick gets better as the situation get tougher. A fantastic team man and a very underrated right fielder."

Quick Q&A with the man himself:

Q: What was your favourite change around the ballpark last season?

A: Food vending & entertainment to help with fan engagement. As a player when you have more fans coming to the game & wanting to be part of the success of the Blue Sox organisation it provides a really good energy. That in turn has improved immensely due to the off-field services for fans to enjoy a whole ballpark experience.

Q: What do you think it will take to see the Sox return to playoffs baseball and finally reach that Championship Series?

A: Belief in ourselves!! We took some great strides last season and came up a little short, but I believe we will have a more mature and quality squad from that experience, and we in turn can feed off that.

Q: What was a favourite moment for you last season? 

A: There were a few - Max Brennans slide/jump over the Melbourne catcher De San Miguel to score on a pass ball. Or his walkoff bunt against Tuatura at a packed home series crowd. Or the Younis walkoff walk. Some great moments!!!

Q: What have you been up to in the off-season? 

A: Enjoying some low-key dad time! Now preparing to be ready to go for Game One to bring the shield back to Sydney for the fans. 

 

ANNOUNCEMENT | THURSDAY 18 JULY 2019

Brought to you by Middy's Data & Electrical.

Maestri

Welcome back Blue Sox starting pitcher Alessandro Maestri!

Alessandro was a solid starting pitcher for us last season, who had 5 wins last year and a 2.93 ERA. He is expected to continue getting a start for the first game of each series, and we are excited he will be back again from Italy!

New Blue Sox manager Shane Barclay said, "Obviously, the return of our Game 1 starter from last year was extremely important. The quality starts he provided last season played an enormous role in the team's success, setting up the pen for the remainder of the series in most rounds."

Quick Q&A with the man himself:

Q: What did you like most around the ballpark last season?

A: The ballpark itself is probably the best one in the league, but the fans and the atmosphere at game time is the best part!

Q: What do you think it will take to see the Sox return to playoffs baseball and finally reach that Championship Series?

A: I think we have to go about our season the same way we did last year. We don't have to change anything. We definitely had the best group of players in the league.

Q: What was a favourite moment for you last season?

A: Winning Game One against Perth Heath in the semi finals.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this season?

A: Again, the fans and the game time atmosphere.

Q: What have you been up to in the off-season?

A: I've been playing ball back home in Italy, season will finish in August. In September I will be playing with the national team, trying to qualify for the Olympics!



ANNOUNCEMENT | FRIDAY 12 JULY 2019

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Murphy

Welcome back Blue Sox catcher Jack Murphy!

The American behind the best mo in the ABL, Jack brings years of AAA experience to the team and has impeccable decision making skills behind the plate (not to mention he's a 3 time ABL All-Star). Welcome back Jack!

Blue Sox manager Shane Barclay said, "Jack is one of our most crucial signings for this season. His leadership and management of pitchers is second to none. I know every player in the squad is looking forward to his return."

Quick Q&A with the man himself:

Q: What did you like most around the ballpark last season?

A: Slip and Slide Sundays are a must!

Q: What do you think it will take to see the Sox return to playoffs baseball and finally reach that Championship Series?

A: I think we are right where we need to be. Everybody wants it to be right away. We took a lot of great steps last year, and we will look to build on that again this year.

Q: What was a favourite moment for you last season?

A: Jacob Younis's long at bat and walk off walk. It was just a really special night. The ballpark was just an incredible atmosphere.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this season?

A: I'm just really excited to get back on the field and hear that cowbell going off!

Q: What have you been up to in the off-season?

A: Thinking every day about how to get us that Claxton Shield!


ANNOUNCEMENT | FRIDAY 5 JULY 2019

Brought to you by Middy's Data & Electrical.

D'Antonio

Welcome back Blue Sox DH Trent D'Antonio!

With a team leading 34 runs last year and a 0.440 on-base percentage, we are excited to have our DH back on board!

New Blue Sox Manager Shane Barclay said, "It's fitting that Trent is our first re-signing officially announced for this season, the 14th consecutive year he has represented this State."

"He has developed an understanding of the strike zone which has made him the Country's leading On-base player. His ultra-competitiveness and determination make him an integral part of our roster."

Quick Q&A with the man himself:

Q: What was your favourite change around the ballpark last season?

A: The atmosphere in the crowd was definitely my favourite last year and hopefully it will be even better this year!

Q: What do you think it will take to see the Sox return to playoffs baseball and finally reach that Championship Series?

A: Nothing changes with what we are trying to do this year. Get to the playoffs and win that sudden death game that takes us all the way to a championship.

Q: What was a favourite moment for you last season?

A: My favourite moment was the walk-off win again Brisbane at home on the Saturday night! Anyone who was there knows what I'm talking about. I've never heard that stadium so loud!

Q: What have you been up to in the off-season?

A: *laughs* I've been working! But that keeps me hungry to play every year and helps me appreciate the game, the league and the fact that I can still compete at that level.

 

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