Levine: Where are all the Australian position players?

From SABR member Zachary Levine at Baseball Prospectus on March 20, 2014:

As the Dodgers and Diamondbacks embark on their mission to go Fightin’ Around the World and bring baseball to a new frontier in Australia, the challenge they face isn’t as enormous as the setting of their showdown—a cricket ground—would lead you to believe.

No, baseball doesn’t rank highly in the hierarchy of sports on the smallest continent. Cricket laps it in popularity among bat sports. There’s also soccer, which they have generally called “soccer,” and their own kind of football.

But this mission isn’t exactly bringing baseball to China, which will be an enormous undertaking that you can expect in the near future (as Ben Lindbergh wrote in his recap of the SABR Analytics Conference). Australia, despite late entry to the game, has already produced more than a full roster of baseball players: 28 major leaguers to be precise, and many more who never reached the big leagues.

But the job of bringing baseball to Australia is only halfway done, you could argue. The pitchers have arrived. The hitters have not.

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23076

Originally published: March 20, 2014. Last Updated: March 20, 2014.