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Roster confirmed for Australian Baseball League debut

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Auckland Tuatara manager Steve Mintz has confirmed the roster for the franchise’s Australian Baseball League debut series in Perth this week.

Mintz has named a 22-man squad to take on the Perth Heat across four games starting Friday in Western Australia, cutting the large squad they had in Brisbane over the weekend for a string of pre-season games.

Confirming their place after strong performances against the three-time reigning ABL champions is American outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr and infielder Luke Hansen. Dunston Jr is the son of former Chicago Cubs star Shawon Dunston - a former number one overall pick in the MLB Draft. Hansen is from Auckland and is a product of the powerful Howick Pakuranga Hawks club.

Mintz’s pitching staff will be led by for Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Josh Collmenter and promising young Kiwi star Kyle Glogoski. Those two along with Taiwanese star Chen Yu-Syuan and New Zealand representative Jimmy Boyce are likely to form the starting rotation against the Heat.

The Tuatara side contains nine New Zealanders - one more than the league’s minimum requirement.

"We are very happy with the 22 we have picked, Mintz said from Brisbane. "I have made these rosters in the ABL before and this is by far the toughest one I have done. There were lots of good choices but in the end we went with these 22.

"We hope that we can use all involved to help us as we move forward in the season.

"The Tuatara are excited to begin this new tradition with baseball in New Zealand."

Franchise GM Ryan Flynn was delighted with what he saw from an enlarged squad against the Bandits, including the emergence of some young up-and-coming Kiwi baseball talent.

"The preseason games here in Brisbane were a perfect opportunity for us to see a dozen or so players, both local and imports, which allowed the coaches and I an opportunity to see what we’d look like going into week one in Perth," Flynn said.

"Mintzy and the coaching staff were able to take a look at 33 players, including dozens of our top young players, and there were some pleasant surprises and some guys who opened some eyes.

"During the first game, watching four young Kiwi pitchers take on a veteran Bandits line-up, including a 17-year-old, an 18-year-old, a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old-that’s good for today, and for tomorrow for this franchise."

The team will stay in Brisbane before heading to Perth later in the week. They make their ABL debut Friday night (midnight NZT) before a double-header on Saturday and a fourth match on Sunday.

The team then travels back across the Tasman for their first ever home game next Friday against the Bandits.

Pitchers

Josh Collmenter (USA)

Kyle Glogoski (NZL)

Chen Yu-Syuan (TAI)

Jimmy Boyce (NZL)

Elliot Johnstone (NZL)

Yuki Harada (JAP)

Scott Cone (NZL)

Brandon Marklund (CAN)

Ross Vance (USA)

Nathan Crawford (AUS)

Catchers

Te Wera Bishop (NZL)

Kuo Chun-Wei (TAI)

Infielders

Daniel Lamb-Hunt (NZL)

Duncan Izaaks (NZL)

Luke Hansen (NZL)

Tsai I-Hsuan (TAI)

Kris Richards (USA)

Outfielders

Eric Jenkins (USA)

Zach Clark (USA)

Max Brown (NZL)

Guiyuan Xu (CHI)

Shawon Dunston Jr (USA)

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