Perth Heat Head to Taiwan Undefeated

Last year the Perth Heat won the Australian Baseball League, qualifying them for the Asian Series because of the inability of China to participate.  This year they appear to be even more competetive, flying to Taiwan with an 11-0 record in the early season of the ABL.  Because of their dominance, no other team in the Australian league has a record better than .500.

Some of the hot hitters for the Heat include Tim Kennelly, who is hitting an ABL league leading .529 with a 1.237 OPS.  He has five three hit games in the eight games he has played for the Heat.  Last year Tim played for the Reading Phillies and hit just .215, his worst year of his minor league career.  Tim’s brother Matthew is also playing with the team and is hitting .256.

Shortstop Mitchell Graham is hitting .435 with an 8 for 15 streak in his last three games.  He also has four stolen bases and four homeruns.  The power has contributed to a 1.219 OPS.  His 16 RBIs lead the team and the ABL.  On the down side Mitchell has committed six errors.  He last played minor league baseball in 2004 for just one year with the Phillies organization.

Another big bat for the Heat is catcher Allan de San Miguel.  He is hitting .421, also with an 8 for 15 streak in his last three games.  He has three stolen bases, an impressive feat for a catcher.  The last two years in the minor leagues, Allan’s numbers have not been that impressive, hitting .166 in 2010 and .190 in 2011.

The leading homerun hitter on the team is Alex Burg, who has an ABL leading five.  He is second to Mitchell Graham in RBIs with 14.  Alex is 7 for his last 14, with six RBIs, raising his average to .356.  He has a 1.113 OPS.  Burg plays for the Giants franchise, where last year he hit .298 with 14 homeruns.  He was not born in Australia.

The Orioles have top prospect Mychal Givens playing for the team.  He has not been one of their better hitters, struggling with a .235 average, but he provides good speed and defense.  His three stolen bases are second on the team.  He is teamed with another Oriole, first baseman Aaron Baker, who is only hitting .205, but his 12 RBIs are third on the club.  On the downside, Aaron has 15 whiffs, eight more than the nearest player on the team.

Jamie McOwen is another player to watch.  He is hitting .311 with an ABL leading seven stolen bases in eight attempts.  As the leadoff hitter his 13 runs scored are tops in the ABL.

The top pitcher on the team has been 21 year old Australian Warwick Saupold.  In three starts Warwick has a 0.45 ERA.  As far as myworld can determine, he is not affiliated with any major league team, but before the season is over some team will sign him if he continues to put up those numbers.

Daniel Schmidt has been the next most consistent starter.  The 23 year old Australian is 2-0, 3.63 ERA in three starts.  He went eight innings in his last start.  Daniel last pitched in the Independent league for Grand Prairie in 2010.

The closer for the Heat has been Ben Grice, with his three saves.  Benn has a 2.57 ERA, giving up runs in two of the six games he has relieved.

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