The Australian Baseball League’s All-Star Game is coming up, and it pits the league’s best Australian players against the league’s best foreign players. This allows, interestingly, for something of a glimpse of what Australia’s World Baseball Classic team could look like.
The Australian roster for the ABL ASG, which can be found here, has seven players with MLB experience: pitchers Shane Lindsay, Chris Oxspring and Ryan Rowland-Smith, infielders Brad Harman, Luke Hughes and Justin Huber, and outfielder Chris Snelling, who was born in Florida but grew up in Australia. The WBC roster could add Grant Balfour, Rich Thompson and Travis Blackley, but they aren’t playing in the ABL, so they aren’t on this roster.
Some other notable names on the rest of the roster:
Allan De San Miguel, who has been confirmed to be playing in the WBC, is, as I noted back during my August projections for the Aussies, a light-hitting but good-fielding catcher who spent the past year in the Orioles organization.
Stefan Welch, who was in the Pittsburgh system last year, is a utility guy who can player first and third, although he played mainly third last season.
Brendan Wise had a tough year in AAA, but he’s done well in the ABL this season so far, and well-deserves the spot he has on the team. He also will likely be on the WBC team.
One of the players who I did not have on my projections who is on the ABL Australian roster is Paul Mildren. Mildren, a lefty, spent eight season in the minors, reaching as high as AAA. However, he eventually washed-out, but is now pitching professionally down under. While he’s only 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA so far this season, there can never be enough lefties, so it’ll be interesting to see if he make the WBC roster.
Another player who wasn’t on my earlier projections? Corey Adamson. The San Diego prospect has been blazing his way in the ABL this season, one of the league’s leaders in batting average.
Overall, the Australians would do okay if they went to the WBC with this all-star-game team, but they’d probably have trouble advancing, since they are in a tough pool with Korea, Taipei and the Netherlands. Of course, in baseball anything can happen, and if enough MLB players take part for the Aussies, they could be a Cinderella team.
You can expect a full new projection for the Baseballroos sometime in the coming days.