Team Australia will return to international competition with next month's WBSC World Baseball Classic (running from March 8-21) in Japan, Taiwan, and the United States, hoping to get out of the first round for the first time (from four previous WBC tournaments).
Ranked 10th in the world, Australia will be in Pool B along with hosts Japan (ranked number one), South Korea (ranked number four), the Czech Republic (ranked number 15), and China (ranked number 30). The top two teams in each pool advance past the group stage.
Team Australia's playing roster for this year's World Baseball Classic includes:
Seven of eight ABL teams represented
A combined 4,607 ABL games
Five Helms Award winners
Five ABL Rookie of the Year Award winners
Two ABL Defensive Player of the Year Award winners
One ABL Reliever of the Year Award winner
One ABL Hitting Champion Award winner
36 Claxton Shields
Two players with MLB experience
Nine players are currently prospects in MiLB
Below is an in-depth look at Team Australia's 30-man roster for the World Baseball Classic.
After a career-best year with the Perth Heat, Jake Bowey has made his way onto the senior national team roster for the first time. The 26-year-old has been with the Heat since the 2013/14 season and has experience in rookie ball after being signed by the Houston Astros organisation in 2013, playing 62 games across two seasons of Minor League Baseball. In the most recent ABL season, Bowey had 37 hits, 15 runs, and 30 RBIs, and averaged .291 with the bat with eight home runs in the regular season. In the postseason, Bowey had a .286 batting average, collecting seven runs from six hits with nine RBIs and five home runs.
A San Diego Padres prospect, Jarryd Dale made his way to Triple-A for the El Paso Chihuahuas in 2022, averaging .222 over 10 games. The short-stop played 33 games for the Melbourne Aces in the 2022/23 ABL season, claiming 35 hits, 10 runs, and 11 RBIs, with a batting average of .265. The two-time Claxton Shield winner has most recently represented Australia at the Under 23 World Cup in October 2022 where he batted .269 with five hits, three runs, and four RBIs.
A veteran of the ABL having played for the Melbourne Aces since the 2011/12 season, Darryl George is no stranger to being in the national team setup - though this is his first WBC tournament. In the most recent ABL season, the third baseman celebrated his 300th ABL game and throughout his campaign batted .247 with 21 hits, 11 runs, and 23 RBIs while fielding 1.000. George is a two-time Claxton Shield winner and won the Helms Award in 2020/21.
A Kansas City Royals prospect and 2018/19 ABL Rookie of the Year, Robbie Glendinning spent the entire 2022 MiLB season in Double-A with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, averaging .252, collecting 108 hits, 77 runs and 76 RBIs, with 19 home runs. In five seasons of playing in the ABL, he averages .331 with the bat and this past ABL season - his first with the Melbourne Aces after four years with the Perth Heat -, he hit .291 with 37 hits, 20 runs, and 17 RBIs.
The 2022/23 ABL Rookie of the Year, Liam Spence benefited from an SEC college season with the Tennessee Volunteers in 2021 which earned him a fifth-round selection in the MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs. He spent most of last year's MiLB season in Single A, averaging .208 with the bat. In his first ABL season with the Adelaide Giants, Spence had a batting average of .260, with 25 hits, 19 runs, and 14 RBIs in the regular season. In the postseason, he had a batting average of .222 with four hits, three runs and three RBIs.
A four-time Claxton Shield winner with the Brisbane Bandits - and 2016/17 ABLCS MVP -, short stop Logan Wade has made it onto his second WBC roster. In the 2022/23 ABL season, the switch-hitter had 29 hits, 21 runs, and 16 RBIs, for a batting average of .259. This is his second WBC selection.
A Philadelphia Phillies prospect since 2018, Rixon Wingrove played most of the 2022 MiLB season in High A with the Jersey Shore BlueClaws where he posted 55 hits, 28 runs, and 43 RBIs for a .251 batting average. In the 2022/23 ABL season with the Claxton Shield-winning Adelaide Giants, Wingrove had 34 hits, 22 runs, and 22 RBIs for a .279 batting average in the regular season, and in the postseason, put up two runs on four hits for a .167 batting average.
Ulrich Bojarski completed a career-best year with the Perth Heat in the 2022/23 ABL season, posting a .352 batting average in the regular season along with 51 hits, 33 runs, and 35 RBIs. In the postseason, he had a batting average of .292 with five runs from seven hits, along with three home runs and five RBIs. Spending time with the Detroit Tigers organisation before being released last year, Bojarski spent most of the 2022 MiLB season in High A with the West Michigan Whitecaps where he scored 14 runs on 16 hits with 17 RBIs - though did make one appearance in Double A for the Eire Seawolves.
The four-time Claxton Shield winner with the Brisbane Bandits, Andrew Campbell has played every ABL season since its re-launch in 2010. In the 2022/23 ABL season, Campbell had 14 hits, 16 runs, and 11 RBIs, with a .133 batting average. This is the infielder's first WBC tournament though has national team experience at the Premier12 in 2019.
Team Australia co-captain, Tim Kennelly, will be entering his third WBC tournament in 2023. The Perth Heat co-captain is a two-time Helms Award winner (2011/12, 2018/19) and a four-time Claxton Shield winner and throughout the 2022/23 ABL regular season, hit .282 with 35 hits, 32 runs, and 18 RBIs. In the postseason, he hit .250 with five runs from six hits, including three RBIs. Kennelly spent seven seasons within the Philadelphia Phillies organisation from 2005-2012, making it as high as Triple A.
The Adelaide Giants captain and 2016/17 ABL Rookie of the Year, Jordan Mcardle lead his side to a Claxton Shield victory this past ABL season, while also winning the ABLCS MVP where he hit three home runs and eight RBIs in the series against the Perth Heat. In the 2022/23 ABL regular season, Mcardle hit .256 with 33 hits, 20 runs, and 24 RBIs with nine home runs. In the postseason as a whole, he hit .318 with seven hits, four runs, three home runs, and eight RBIs. The former Arizona Diamondbacks and current Philadelphia Phillies prospect make his WBC debut in 2023.
One of two players on Team Australia's WBC roster with MLB playing experience, Whitefield made his Los Angeles Angels debut in 2022, playing five games - adding to his three games with the Minnesota Twins in 2020. Whitefield has averaged .260 over the past two seasons of Double A - including setting a franchise-high 21-game hitting streak with the Rocket City Trash Pandas. For the Melbourne Aces this past ABL season, the two-time Helms Award winner (2016/17, 2019/20) averaged .186 with 21 hits, 12 runs, and 10 RBIs. The three-time Claxton Shield winner and 2016/16 ABL Rookie of the Year is making his second WBC appearance.
Team Australia co-captain, Tim Atherton makes his second appearance at the WBC. The three-time Claxton Shield winner, he has reached as high as Triple A while in the Oakland Athletics organisation in 2014. In the most recent ABL season with Brisbane Bandits, Atherton appeared in nine regular-season games - starting each one. He pitched 52.1 innings with 48 strikeouts for a 3.27 ERA and a 5-1 record. In one start in the postseason, he pitched 1.0 inning and was credited with the loss after giving up two earned runs, with one strikeout. In December, the right-hander became the modern ABL leader for strikeouts.
In his second ABL season - and first, since 2017/18 with the Canberra Cavalry -, the now-Sydney Blue Sox right-hander appeared in four games out of the bullpen, pitching 6.2 innings, only allowing one hit and zero runs, finishing with a 0.00 ERA, as well as striking out seven batters. He makes his first WBC appearance after a college career split between Lamar Community College and Wesleyan University.
The Auckland Tuatara right-hander appeared in two games for two starts in the most recent ABL season, pitching 5.2 innings and finishing with a 0.00 ERA, only giving up three hits, along with three strikeouts. Making his WBC debut, Glogoski has four years of MiLB experience with the Philadelphia Phillies organisation, playing most of the 2022 season in High A with the Jersey Shore BlueClaws where he pitched 65.0 innings for an ERA of 2.77 through 16 appearances with 75 strikeouts. He was picked up by the Cincinnati Reds organisation late last year.
A starting pitcher, right-hander Joshua Guyer had 10 appearances for the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2022/23 ABL season - including one complete game. He finished the regular season with a 2-6 record and a 5.09 ERA from 53.0 innings, recording 51 strikeouts. This year's WBC tournament will be the former Minnesota Twins prospect's second.
The 2022/23 ABL season was right-hander Sam Holland's best in his eight-year career with the Brisbane Bandits. He appeared in 15 games (seven starts) and posted a 2.14 ERA through 42.0 innings, finishing with a 5-1 record and 30 strikeouts. In the postseason for the Bandits, he pitched 0.2 innings, giving up two runs on two hits with a strikeout. The four-time Claxton Shield winner previously played MiLB within the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels organisations, making it as high as Double A, and is making his WBC debut this year.
The Melbourne Aces left-hander threw 17.2 innings in 13 appearances during the 2022/23 ABL season, ending the season with a 2.55 ERA and a 1-1 record along with 14 strikeouts. The two-time Claxton Shield winner who reached as high as Triple A in 2018 with the Atlanta Braves' affiliate, the Gwinnett Stripers, will be entering his second WBC tournament this year.
An ABL veteran with 12 seasons under his belt, Steven Kent joins the Team Australia roster for his third WBC tournament. In the 2022/23 ABL season with the Melbourne Aces - after 11 years with the Canberra Cavalry -, Kent appeared in 13 games (four starts), pitching 34.2 innings for an ERA of 4.41 and a 2-2 record with 39 strikeouts. The left-hander had six years in the MiLB, reaching as high as Triple A with the Atlanta Braves' affiliate, the Gwinnett Stripers, in 2016.
This year's WBC tournament will be Daniel McGrath's second, with the Melbourne Aces left-hander having transitioned to a closing pitcher late in the 2022/23 ABL season. He appeared in 12 games (four starts) with one complete game for a 3-4 record with five saves, posting a 4.56 ERA with 23 strikeouts. He's had seven years of MiLB experience from 2013-2019, reaching as high as Triple A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, the Pawtucket Red Sox.
In a Claxton Shield-winning season with the Adelaide Giants, 2020/21 Rookie of the Year, Mitch Neunborn will be making his WBC debut. In the 2022/23 ABL season - his third overall -, the right-hander appeared in 13 games, pitching 28.0 innings for a 3-0 record with a save, a 2.25 ERA and 40 strikeouts. He appeared in three postseason games, and through 6.1 innings, finished with 1-0 record and a 1.42 ERA with eight strikeouts.
In his third ABL season - and first since the 2017/18 season -, left-hander Jack O'Loughlin was part of the Adelaide Giants' Claxton Shield winning side. In the regular season, he appeared in seven games (seven starts) and pitched 22.0 innings, finishing with a 3.27 ERA with 26 strikeouts. In the postseason, O'Loughlin pitched 6.0 innings in two games (two starts) for a 1.50 ERA with seven strikeouts - including being the starting pitcher in Game 3 of the ABLCS. O'Loughlin has been a part of the Detroit Tigers organisation since 2018 and played all of last season in High A with the West Michigan Whitecaps where he appeared in 27 games (six starts) and ended the year with a 2-1 record with three holds and a 4.01 ERA with 50 strikeouts and makes his WBC debut this year.
Warwick Saupold spent three seasons in the MLB with the Detroit Tigers from 2016-2018, appearing in 82 games for a career ERA of 4.98 and an 8-4 record with 70 strikeouts. He mostly played Double A and Triple A during his MiLB career from 2012-2018. In the ABL, Saupold appeared in 10 games (eight starts) for the Perth Heat in season 2022/23, posting a 5.56 ERA and a 3-2 record with 26 strikeouts from 43.2 innings. This year's WBC tournament will be Saupold's third.
The youngest member of Team Australia's WBC roster, 20-year-old Will Sheriff will be making his senior men's national team debut. The left-hander has been with the Perth Heat since the 2019/20 ABL season and has just 18 games under his belt. In the 2022/23 ABL season, Sheriff appeared in nine games (one start) for a 3.46 ERA from 13.0 innings with 12 strikeouts. In three postseason games, Sheriff pitched 3.1 innings and saw an ERA of 13.50 and a 1-0 record, along with six strikeouts.
A Seattle Mariners prospect, Blake Townsend appeared in two games for the Melbourne Aces across the 2022/23 ABL season. He pitched 2.0 innings and finished with a 0.00 ERA with three strikeouts. In the 2022 MiLB season, the left-hander rose up from rookie ball to Triple A but spent most of the season in Single-A with the Modesto Nuts. Across the 2022 MiLB season, Townsend appeared in 20 games and pitched 29.1 innings for a 4.60 ERA and a 2-2 record with 37 strikeouts. He is making his WBC debut this year.
Todd Van Steensel
The closing pitcher who secured the Game 2 and deciding Game 3 of the ABLCS for the Adelaide Giants, Todd Van Steensel makes his second WBC roster. Having pitched around the world including Mexico, Venezuela and France, he also spent seven years in the Minors with the Minnesota Twins organisation, making it as high as Double A in the backend of his MiLB career. In the 2022/23 ABL season, the right-hander's 12th season in the league resulted in appearing on the mound 16 times for a 4.24 ERA, a 1-2 record with five saves, and 18 strikeouts in 17.0 innings. In the postseason, Van Steensel appeared in three games, pitching 3.0 innings with one save, three strikeouts, and a 3.00 ERA.
A 12-year veteran of the ABL, Luke Wilkins makes his WBC debut in 2023, fresh off the back of a Claxton Shield victory with the Adelaide Giants. For the Giants this past 2022/23 ABL season, the right-hander appeared 10 times (three starts) on the mound, pitching 27.2 innings for a 2-0 record with a save for a 4.23 ERA, while collecting 28 strikeouts. Wilkins has predominately played Independent Ball in the American Association, most recently in 2019 with the Chicago Dogs.
Ryan Battaglia has been with the Brisbane Bandits since the 2010/11 ABL season and in the time since, has won four Claxton Shields with the franchise. Battaglia played just seven games across the 2022/23 ABL season, collecting two runs on one hit and four walks. He makes his first WBC roster for Team Australia after a Premier12 appearance in 2019.
The 2022/23 Helms Award winner, Alex Hall lead the ABL in batting average (.360) and OPS (.440) with the Perth Heat, along with 50 hits, 31 runs, and 37 RBIs in the regular season. In the postseason, Hall had four runs from four hits for a batting average of .174 in six games. The Team Australia Under 23 captain who is part of the Milwaukee Brewers organisation spent the majority of the 2022 MiLB season in High A with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers where he had a .181 batting average with 17 hits, 11 runs, and 14 RBIs. Hall even received a call-up to the MLB for a day as injury cover though didn't feature in the game itself.
Robbie Perkins will be entering his second WBC tournament after an ABL season with the Canberra Cavalry where he posted a batting average of .240 that included 31 hits, 17 runs, and 24 RBIs. A Claxton Shield winner with the team in 2012/13, Perkins has six years of MiLB experience within the Colorado Rockies organisation from 2013-2018, playing as high as Triple A.
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