AUSTRALIAN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
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PAGE LAST UPDATED 9 FEB 2014

  
2 MAY 2010 - WILSON LEE THE NEWEST PIRATE!


Wilson Lee

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing: 

18yo SA (former NT) LH pitcher WILSON LEE who is the latest Aussie to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates organisation. The following story comes courtesy of Stuart Hanrahan and RUNWAY SPORTS MANAGEMENT. 

The story is transposed incomplete but to visit their web site, just click below for: http://www.runwaysports.com.au

Northern Territory native Wilson Lee has become the latest Aussie baseballer to sign a professional baseball contract after inking a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates this week. Pittsburgh’s Australian based scout Tony Harris made the offer through Wilson’s manager Stuart Hanrahan of Runway Sports Management who also coached Wilson when he represented Australia in the Australian Schoolboys team that toured the USA in September 2009.

 A left handed pitcher, Lee has recently been based in Adelaide while attempting to fulfill his professional baseball dream. He began playing baseball at age 8 in Darwin and started state representation when he was 11 when he was selected in the Northern Territory U/14 team. He was selected to attend the prestigious Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program (MLBAAP) in 2007 after a stellar performance for the Northern Territory Provincial team that year. It was at this time that he also accepted an invitation from South Australian Institute of Sport (SASI) coach Warwick Marks to join the SASI baseball program. Wilson packed his bags and left his family and friends to pursue a career in baseball in Adelaide, the city he now calls home.

 The move to Adelaide came with the advantage of having Harris (current Australian junior coach and former Claxton Shield catcher) as his club coach this past season as he played for the Woodville Senators in the South Australian Baseball League. Wilson’s baseball experience has undoubtedly been enhanced due to his affiliation with several of South Australia’s premier coaches. ‘I would like to thank my PE Teacher and Seaton High School mentor Mr Peter Gee, State Team coach Ron Harvey, Warwick Marks and the many other coaches who have believed in me and helped to keep me focused’ said the often shy teenager from his home in Adelaide. ‘I have also been extremely fortunate having had tremendous support from my NT crew including my parents, Lisa Hooley, Ray Brown and Don Boyanton. My SA host mum Christine Borg has also been a huge influence on me by assisting me at home and ensuring I stayed focused on why I was here in Adelaide’.  

Harris and the Pirates are delighted to have the southpaw link with the club saying ‘we are extremely excited to have Wilson join the Pirates organisation. He is a young pitcher originally from Darwin who has progressed very well since coming to Adelaide a few years ago. Wilson has the potential to be anything he wants to be in pro baseball if he puts his mind to it. He has a great work ethic and desire to succeed at the highest level, and he will be given all the help from us to achieve his goals and dreams’.
  

  
  
14 JUNE 2009 - DYLAN CHILD PENS WITH PITTSBURGH


Dylan Child

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing: 

18yo SA utility DYLAN CHILD who is the latest Aussie to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates organisation. The following story comes courtesy of Stuart Hanrahan and RUNWAY SPORTS MANAGEMENT. 

The story is transposed incomplete but to visit their web site, just click below for: http://www.runwaysports.com.au

South Australian 18 year old Dylan Child has recently become the first member of the 2009 Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program to sign a professional contract with a US Major League team. Pittsburgh Pirates Australian scout Tony Harris, who also coaches Dylan at club level in Adelaide made the offer through Runway Sports Management agent Stuart Hanrahan. There was a ‘catch’ though. The agreement means that Child will have to turn his hand to catching, a position where he has undergone some basic instruction, but has had little game time.

Previously Dylan has played middle infield for his state and club but Harris has been working with him on his catching in the lead up to the MLB Academy. Clearly the young Woodville Senator did enough to convince Harris that with some hard work and rigorous training he could make the transition to catcher. ‘Dylan is an athletic, projectable kid who already exhibits many of the tools required to be a solid ML caliber catcher’ said Harris from the Gold Coast. ‘He is a good receiver with an above average arm and he should only continue to progress as he gets adjusted to the position switch.  Offensively, he has a line drive stroke and profiles to have decent gap-to-gap power’.

Dylan’s excitement can be best summed up after he met with Harris at the camp and it was evident that the Pirates were considering making an offer. ‘I couldn’t sleep last night’ said Child when he was informed of the offer early the next morning. ‘This is what I have been working for over the last few years. While the change to catcher will be difficult I am looking forward to the challenge’. Child also recognises the advantage of having an international quality coach and scout in his own backyard. ‘Having Tony coach at our club this past season has been fantastic. I have learned so much from him already. I am looking forward to improving my catching knowledge and skills this season over the Summer under his guidance’.
  

  
  
2 APRIL 2009 - FIENEMAN TO PLAY WITH PIRATES


Mitchell Fienemann

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing: 

18yo SA right-hand pitcher MITCHELL FIENEMANN who is the latest Aussie to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates organisation. The following story comes courtesy of Stuart Hanrahan and RUNWAY SPORTS MANAGEMENT. 

The story is transposed incomplete but to visit their web site, just click below for: http://www.runwaysports.com.au

Heartbreak, despair and anguish were words that could once be used to describe the feelings of West Torrens baseballer Mitchell Fienemann. Just days after agreeing to a professional baseball contract in late 2007 Mitch suffered a debilitating shoulder injury. With an athletic frame around 6 foot 4 inches and a fastball in the upper 80’s (miles per hour) it was easy to see what attracted the baseball scouts to the young pitcher. According to Mitch’s agent Stuart Hanrahan from Runway Sports Management ‘There were a number of scouts very interested in Mitch during this initial period’.

Perseverance, tenacity and patience were now Mitch’s catchwords as he slowly began to rehabilitate from the arthroscopy to a point when he was finally able to begin throwing a baseball in June 2008. Painful sessions in the gym were replaced by long sessions at the field gradually stretching the throwing out to ‘long toss’. Mitch’s persistence and resolve paid off when made his first visit back to the pitching mound in December 2008. As his innings and pitch count increased word again began to spread throughout the scouting fraternity that Mitch was back! However, it was locally based and newly appointed Pittsburgh Pirates scout Tony Harris who was the first to give Mitch a proper workout since the ill fated injury. There are reports that Mitch actually surpassed any previous highest velocity when his fastball touched 90mph during the session.

This was enough to impress Harris into recommending to the Pirates front office that they make an offer for the lanky right handed pitcher. An offer that was good enough that Mitch agreed to sign even though he was due to pitch in front of additional scouts at Easter. As such, Mitch became a buccaneer, much to the delight of Harris.

It will be straight to work for Mitch as the Pirates make plans to send him directly to Florida and Spring Training where he will finalise his rehabilitation under the watchful eye’s of the Pittsburgh training staff. If Mitch’s approach to his injury is any indication, he is sure to give himself every opportunity to take the mound at PNC Park , the home of the Pirates Major League team, at some point in the next few years.

  

  
  
19 MAR 2009 - BYRON AIRD BOUND FOR DETROIT


Byron Aird

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing: 

17yo NSW infielder BYRON AIRD who is the latest Aussie to sign with the Detroit Tigers organisation. The following story comes courtesy of Stuart Hanrahan and RUNWAY SPORTS MANAGEMENT:

The Detroit Tigers made it clear that they are serious about getting back into the Australian market this past Christmas when they signed Baulkham Hills teenager Byron Aird to a professional Minor League baseball contract. The Tigers have been scouting Australia for over 10 years on a part time basis, however it has been sometime since they signed a young Aussie out of high school. 

Newly appointed full time scout Kevin Hooker wasted no time in making the Tigers intentions clear by making a move to sign Aird after only a few months in his new role. Truth be known, according to Aird’s agent Stuart Hanrahan from Runway Sports Management, Hooker had been following the young Australian and NSW representative for over 12 months before the Tigers finally made the offer. ‘Byron is one of the hardest working players in Australia for his age group. He has the strength, body and work ethic along with the ability to compete in professional baseball and take his game to the next level’ said Hooker when quizzed on what is was the Tigers liked so much about Aird.

For Aird, who began playing for the Baulkham Hills club when he was just 4 years old this is the realisation of one of his baseball dreams. ‘To sign a professional contract is a dream come true’ he said from Perth where he was representing the NSW U/18 team at the Australian Championships. ‘I realise that this is just the first step and that it will take a great deal of hard work to reach my main goal – playing in the Major Leagues’ he commented. The Tigers would certainly agree, especially since they have taken a punt that the versatile young infielder can make the transition to catcher. A position that Aird had never actually played in a game until he was thrust into the fire in one of New South Wales games in the recent Perth Championships. According to Hooker ‘we feel he can play second base if needed in the future but we want to explore the option of having him catch as this where he profiles the best.  His physical tools and mental toughness give him every chance to succeed in making this position switch’.

For now Byron will continue to develop his catching skills as he begins to get some more game time in his new position. The Tigers will send Aird to the Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program (MLBAAP) on the Gold Coast this winter so he can further hone his skills.
  

  
  
25 FEB 2009 - OLIVER BOX & NICK BIDOIS SIGN PRO


Oliver Box

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signings: 

18yo Victorian catcher OLIVER BOX who is the first ever free agent Aussie to sign with the Oakland A's organisation. 
  

16yo ace Queensland short stop NICK BIDOIS who has signed with 
the Toronto Blue Jays organisation.


Nick Bidois

  

  

  
  
29 JAN 2009 - JOSH HENDRICKS JOINS TWINS


Josh Hendricks

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing, 16yo Victorian utility slugger JOSHUA HENDRICKS who is the latest to sign a professional contract with the Minnesota Twins organisation. Josh is the second sibling from the Hendricks family to sign a pro contract following his left-hand pitching brother Donavon who signed with the Atlanta Braves before moving on to play Independent League baseball.

The following story was transposed incomplete from the BJS web site:

From the traditional "variable" climate of Melbourne to the constant heat and humidity of Florida.  

That's the journey that Josh Hendricks will be making next year when he sets off on his dream of making it all the way to the Major Leagues. First stop - Ft Myers, Florida spring training home of the famous Minnesota Twins Baseball Club.  The Twins are the club that gave Aussies Grant Balfour, Brad Thomas and fellow Melbournian Michael Nakamura their Major League starts. The other connection is that all of these players were signed by the Twins experienced scout Howie Norsetter who also calls Melbourne home after moving here from the US a number of years ago.

Howie has been scouting Josh for a couple of years now. That's not surprising considering that Josh has a long history of State representation starting with the Rubbber Ball team to Japan in 2003 then playing for Australia with the Carl Ripken team in 2004 and Victoria in the U14's U16's & U18's following which he was sent to the MLB funded Academy on the Gold Coast.   He pitched well enough at the Academy to gain a coveted place in the Australian AA [U17] team.

"That Australian AA team selection was fantastic but getting a scholarship to the VIS [the kindergarten for so many young professionals] was a huge part of my development as a player" -  There he worked under the very experienced Matthew Sheldon-Collins and then Damian Shanahan and improved his hitting technique and continued to gain strength through their demanding gym program. It proved to be a winning combination and soon had the scouts watching his development closely.

"I began playing at the age of 6 at the Waverley Baseball Club following in the footsteps of my brother Donavon and I have been lucky that coach Phil Dale has given me so many opportunities to develop my game there, especially giving me the chance to play 1st Division which certainly helped me improve my game" he said from his Melbourne home. His brother Donavon and his family were a great influence on his development of course and having Donavon in professional baseball during his formative years gave him an important insight into the world of pro ball.

It was whilst playing for Waverley in 1st Division this season that Howie saw what he was looking for, a powerful presence at the plate with the ability to hit the long ball. A 6 figure bonus and college scholarship eventuated and he signed on the dotted line this week. 

  

  
  
4 JULY 2008 - SON OF A GUN COREY ADAMSON JOINS PADRES


Corey Adamson

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing, 16yo WA outfielder COREY ADAMSON who is the latest to sign a professional contract with the San Diego Padres organisation.

While the name "ADAMSON" is not particularly unusual, baseball fans would probably put together the name Adamson and his WA home with the fact that his father TONY ADAMSON is one of WA's greatest ever baseball products. Tony is a Claxton Shield Helms Award Winner and ABL star slugger who became an inaugural inductee into 'Flintoff & Dunn's AMLB Hall-Of-Fame'.

The following story was transposed incomplete from media releases:

Baseball WA and the San Diego Padres today announced the signing of Corey Adamson to a U.S. professional baseball contract for an undisclosed 6-figure sum.  Adamson attracted interest from a number of US Clubs after he lead the Western Australian Under 16’s to a national championship in January. 

Adamson was the top performer in a number of offensive categories during the tournament including home runs, RBI (runs batted in), slugging percentage, runs scored, triples, and total bases.  Baseball experts describe Adamson as an outstanding athlete who should end up being a complete 5 tool player.

Adamson, an outstanding footy player as well, and projected top AFL draft pick, will take the road less travelled by for most West Australians and pursue the opportunity to play Major League Baseball.  Adamson was excited and eager to get his professional baseball career started with the announcement coming on the first day he was eligible to sign (July 2nd following his 16th birthday) according to Major League Baseball Rules. 

At just 16 years of age, the Perth native will not make his U.S. debut until the completion of his year 12 studies at Guildford Grammar in December 2009. 
  

  
  
16 JUNE 2008 - BJS SIGNS ANOTHER MOANAROA FOR BOSOX


Moko Moanaroa

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing, 18yo NSW outfielder MOKO MOANAROA who is the latest to sign a professional contract with the Boston Red Sox organisation, joining his brother Boss who signed with the World Champions last month.

The following story was transposed incomplete from the BJS web site:

History has been created by the Boston Red Sox in signing Moko Moanaroa, 18yr old brother of Boss who signed late last month with Boston .  This is the first time in Australia , at least, that two brothers have both been signed by the same club.

Boston scout, Jon Deeble was impressed with Moko's statistics in the Sydney Major League and when Moko attended a work-out for his younger brother in Sydney Jon spoke with Craig Shipley who is the Special Assistant to the Red Sox General Manager and it was decided that on the day that Boss was to come to Sydney to sign his contract Jon would work out Moko and send film of his hitting to Boston.

Moko, like so many other young players commenced his baseball involvement playing in T-ball and junior baseball in Newcastle with the Toronto Tigers.  He progressed through the usual channel of NSW Country Championships and NSW Country teams but it wasn't until he competed in the NSW Combined High School Carnival that Auburn Coach Shaun Smith realising that he had potential approached Moko. Shaun suggested to Moko and his father Joe that he thought Moko would do well in the Sydney U/18 Competition. 

Well the proof is in the pudding. Moko not only did alright but he won the U/18 Sydney Competition Batting award with an average of .436 and steered Auburn to a Grand Final win hitting an impressive 11 hits from 14 at bats in the final Series. 

Moko has continued to impress taking out Auburn 's hitting award and players’ player awards in his first year of first grade in 2007 and then an Opportunity came his way when he was asked to participate in the Inaugural Israel Baseball League. Moko was the youngest player in the League but once again proved his wort
h when he completed a good season for the Modiin Miracle making the final and being one of their top hitters. His average of .321 which included 6 Home Runs proved that this young 18 year old could compete at higher levels if given the opportunity.

The Yr12 student at Hunter Sports High School showed similar hitting power from the left to his younger brother and Boston were immediately interested in signing him after his workout with Jon Deeble and made approaches to him and his family through agent Trevor Jarrett who represented both players

Moko will more than likely either join Boss at the MLB Academy on the Gold Coast when they return from Florida next week or stay to compete in the Gulf Coast League if arrangements can be made regarding his continuing education.

  

  
  
20 MAY 2008 - BJS SIGNS MOANAROA FOR RED SOX


Boss Moanaroa

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing, 17yo NSW infielder BOSS MOANAROA who is the latest to sign a professional contract with the Boston Red Sox organisation.

The following story was transposed incomplete from the BJS web site:

Outside Newcastle, where he lives, he was not a well known baseball name although he had achieved some fame [no fortune] in the BMX world, becoming a State, National and World Champion plate holder in his early teens.  The Yr11 student at Hunter Sports High School started playing T ball for the Toronto Tigers Club because as he says "I was pretty young but I was getting bored just watching my brother play." 

By his early teens he was considering his various sporting options but with the encouragement of his brother Moko, and Auburn and State coach Shaun Smith, he decided to stay with baseball.   He soon justified that choice by rising through Newcastle representative teams to selection in NSW Country teams in 2005 [U14] including the Championship winning NSW Country U16 team in 2007.

He was still flying under the radar however, and it was only this year that he received a coveted scholarship to the NSW Institute of Sport.   Head Coach at the Institute, Andre Desjardin had admired his hitting potential and felt that with advanced coaching and a gym program he could become a successful left handed hitter.

His coach Shaun Smith was beginning to tell all who would listen that this player had genuine power at the plate.  One who did listen was National Coach and Red Sox scout Jon Deeble.   He saw Boss in action at the National Schoolboys in Lismore two weeks ago and liked what he saw.  

Three things immediately happened in Lismore.   Boss was selected in the All Star team, was added to the Academy set to commence on the Gold Coast at the end of the month and Jon decided to fly to Sydney to give Boss a solid workout and film him for review by the Boston hierarchy.  The Red Sox had seen enough and commenced negotiations almost immediately.   "Boston liked his pure power from the left side," said his agent Trevor Jarrett, "and saw him as another player in the mould of David Ortiz."

Its a long way from the Toronto Tigers and Wyong Roos to Fenway Park but that's the journey Boss is now about to embark upon.  He's expected to be flown over to Florida in the next few days and then he will be off to the MLB Academy on the Gold Coast.  He has to return to school next year to finish his HSC but will be sent again to the Academy, or as it is known to MLB, the Australian Winter League.  Education is important to Boss and his family so his 6 figure bonus package includes a scholarship component.

  

  
  
9 APR 2008 - DAVID KANDILAS SIGNS WITH 'ROX'


David Kandilas

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing, 17yo NSW outfielder DAVID KANDILAS who is the latest to sign a professional contract with the Colorado Rockies organisation.

Seventeen year-old David Kandilas from the southern Sydney suburb of Dolans Bay has secured a professional baseball contract with the Colorado Rockies. David generated interest from several Major League clubs over a considerable period of time, however it was the Rockies who ultimately secured David's signature with a six figure $USD signing bonus.

David will start spring training in Arizona in early 2009 for the Rockies, and then move to Wyoming to play in the Pioneer League that same year.

David started playing 'T-Ball' with Birrong aged five, and then to the Bankstown Sports Baseball Club before moving to the Cronulla club in the Sutherland Shire.

In 2003 David competed in the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, USA and on returning from the US was selected in the first of many successive Cronulla representative teams.

David showed great athletic ability at a tender age and as a result in 2007 he broke a 27 year-old school under-17 100-metre sprint record with a time of 11.02 seconds. Also in this same year David gained a scholarship with the NSW Institute of Sport and as a 16 year-old recorded an outfield throwing velocity of 100.6 mph (162km/h).

Another milestone in 2007 saw David invited to the prestigious Australian Major League Baseball Academy on the Gold Coast, where he was awarded MVP for Sessions 1 & 2. Head coach David Nilsson, a veteran of 9 years in the Major Leagues, at that time commented, "I am very impressed with David's speed, work ethic, above average throwing arm and overall ability". Nilsson added recently on hearing of David's signing, "If David has patience and perseverance he has the potential to go all the way to the Major Leagues. I am thrilled to hear about David signing with the Colorado Rockies".

During visits to 'Playball' Baseball Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in both 2006 and 2007 David was seen by various scouts, and this was the beginning of the road to his contract.

However, the road had a slight bump. On the eve of the 2008 AAA under-18 Australian Championships David suffered appendicitis, which resulted in surgery, and as such he had to withdraw from the NSW state side. He bounced back hard though, that being his nature. First he competed in Series 5 of the Claxton Shield with the Australia Provincial team, recording respectable batting averages. Then, as a member of the NSW state under-23 team competing in the Australian Championships, David recorded a stellar performance hitting 0.765 while connecting for three home runs in just 17 at bats, and as a result lead almost all offensive categories.

It was at this tournament that David further caught the eye of Phil Allen the Rockies Australian based scout. "David has continued to impress me from the first time I saw him in a competitive environment a couple of years ago. An associate of mine, Wayne Finney, alerted me to David's talents and I have followed his progress ever since. David's competitive natures combined with an uncompromising spirit of endeavor are two of the components of a complexity of tools I consider necessary to succeed at a professional level. He has displayed above average arm strength, above average speed, an ability to get the head of the bat to the ball, and is developing power at the plate. These tools combined with an energy and an appetite for the game, and an inner competitiveness lead me to believe he has a very real chance of success".