International athletes flock to the Australian Baseball League

ROBERT CARSWELL

CJ Beatty hits a home run Source: Scott Powick / SMP Images

CJ Beatty hits a home run Source: Scott Powick / SMP Images

Founded in 2009, the Australian Baseball League (ABL) already has a reputation as a proving ground for up-and-coming international prospects.

The league, which contains six teams is being inundated with international athletes looking to prove their skills in the American Major League offseason.

Former Brisbane Bandits third baseman, CJ ‘Hollywood’ Beatty said that many minor league players are eager to get to Australia to improve their game.

“Playing ball in Australia gave me a better edge on the competition since I played through the winter, I was in better shape and timing for hitting was better as well,” he said.

“Most [American] people stop playing in early September and the ABL plays til end of January”.

General Manager of the Brisbane Bandits, Paul Gonzales said that more international players are trying to get into the ABL as a result of the improvements seen in returning players.

“Remaining active in a 12 month calendar puts you in a much better position for spring training when you get back to The States,” he said.

“I came to Australia in ’92 as an import player with the San Diego Padres, and there wasn’t nearly as much information about the ABL as there is now”.

The 2015/2016 season of the Australian Baseball League begins on 23rd October.

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