Australia finalise talented roster for XXXI WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup

Australia finalise talented roster for XXXI WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup
Second-year manager Andy Kyle will count on a talented group of players. The core of the team won the qualifying tournament. Catcher Declan Speirs is the only professional.

Baseball Australia announced its 20-player roster for the XXXI WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.

National Player Development Manager Andrew Riddell said on Baseball Australia's official website that the selection process was difficult.

“This was tough,” he said. “Camp was super competitive, and that didn’t make things easy for selectors.”

The 20 names on the roster were selected after an eight-day camp on the Gold Coast with fifty of the best U-18 players from around Australia.

"Some guys stepped up and had great weeks and pushed their way into the team or consideration," added Riddell. "We had an initial list of 28 players named after January's U-18 National Championships, but some guys who weren't on that list made the team."

Fifteen players on this roster were on the squad that went to New Zealand for the qualifiers last year. Catcher Joshua Davis, right-handed pitcher Adam Bates and infielder Jayden Kim participated in the XXX WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2022. Kim and fellow infielder Joshua Nati are still in the U-16 age bracket.

Catcher Declan Speirs is the only professional on the roster. He plays in the Dominican Summer League for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Andy Kyle, the head coach of the Perth Heat, will be the second-year manager. His staff includes pitching coach Mark Petit, bullpen coach Coen Wynne and assistant coaches Shayne Watson and Damien Shanahan.

World No. 9 Australia will play the inaugural game against No. 5 Chinese Taipei on Thursday, 31 August, at Tianmou Stadium in Taipei City.

Australia will then move to Taichung to face the other Group A teams, No. 3 Mexico, No. 5 Korea, No. 11 Puerto Rico and No. 16 Czechia.