The five Herts senior league teams have announced their preliminary rosters ahead of the 2013 Herts Spring League which gets underway next Saturday, 23 March.
Since the start of Spring Training Herts players have been pushing themselves to secure a roster spot within the Herts adult team structure. Some have been targeting a move to a Herts team playing in a higher league. Others have been looking to reinforce their place within their current team. It is a moment of trepidation for the players as they learn whether they have met that target, as illustrated in the movie Major League (see video clip).
But don’t worry folks. Herts has room for all its players and no one is going to get cut – everyone plays. The club is continuing to receive enquiries from new players every week and players can be added to the rosters at any time of the year. For more information on how to join the club or to give baseball a try contact the club.
Those who were hoping to secure a spot in a higher league team should bear in mind that this is just a preliminary roster. We still expect player movement over the next three weeks of HSL action as the managers will be assessing not only the players in their roster but those in other rosters with a view to promoting them or to assess backup options for later in the season. As always there is bound to be player movement up and down the rosters throughout the season, just like MLB teams move their players up and down their affiliated minor and major league teams.
A quick look through the rosters reveals interesting information ahead of the season. The core of each team remains intact, but there is a visible movement of players upwards, which was expected due to the creation of the Herts Ravens as the club’s fifth team which will compete in AAA. Most of the previously announced new additions such as Carlos Velazco-Carus, Joe Gray, John Blose, Xavier Gonzalez and Dave Westfallen have been added to the NBL roster.
But there are some significant reinforcements in the other teams. The club has been joined by Elie Colin who played in the French league last season and he goes into the AAA roster for Manager, Carlos Casal, to have a first-hand look before making a decision. Gilberto Medina has moved up two leagues to the Ravens from the Raptors. Other players moving up into the AAA squad are the club’s U17 prospects Carlos Casal Jr, Jake Caress, Kyle Lloyd-Jones, Tom Everex-Armstrong and the club’s new arrival, catcher Conner Brown. All of these young players are currently in the preliminary rosters of the Great Britain U19 or U16 teams and playing in the AAA league will challenge them to push themselves even harder. An interesting late addition is returning right-handed pitcher, Pete Kikel, announced just a few hours ago.
The Hawks have added to the core from last year’s successful squad, by drafting John Kjorstad and Ben Marques from the Raptors, returning catcher and infielder Hunter Devine and the fastest man on the planet, Ross Asquith, who during fitness sessions this Spring with fitness coach Tony Marshall was discovered to have the extraordinary ability to jump up in the air higher than the average professional athlete. The other two additions are Callum Vangundy, Jonny Compton-Weight and Jose Morillo from the Herts U17 team.
Right-handed pitcher Jeff Witter makes his return with the Raptors. Moving into the roster from last year’s Eagles team is the South African duo, Theo Scheepers and Craig Le Roux, as well as infielder Sonny Lama, pitcher Will Zucker and his younger brother Martin Zucker who looks likely to be pushing up the leagues in the coming years as a catcher. Warwick Byrne is another addition from the club’s U17 team.
The Eagles will be missing Joseph Osborne-Brade as he is on the long-term DL after a serious injury last season. They will look to fill the gap left by Osborne-Brade and the others who have moved up to the other teams by adding Rob Crouch, Manny Banson, father-and-son combination of John and Tom Jansson, debutants Harry Douglas, Jonny Gates, Ashley Hughes and the exciting prospect of Daniela Phillips who joined the club after bumping into the Herts teams during her indoor cricket training session at the same venue as the Herts baseball teams.
|Jeff House *
|Kevin Niedringhaus *
|Matt Spaulding *
* – subject to confirmation