According to reports, The Boston Red Sox have signed 18 year old Australian pitcher Brad Inglis to a contract.
I’ll confess I don’t know much about the kid, but according to Nocco and Alex Speier, Inglis can throw a heater anywhere from 86-90 mph with a sweeping curve and a developing changeup.
For an 18 year old, that’s very impressive.
The Sox weren’t the only team in on the Aussie, as the article states Boston beat out The Cincinnati Reds and The New York Yankees for his services.
Other teams saw something in the six-foot-four, 200 pound boy from down under, so I don’t believe this is the result of The Sox scouting being frivolous. Inglis has what many scouts believe to be some real talent.
Hey! If you want to see six solid seconds of our new farm-hand’s delivery, please enjoy!
As far as the intangibles go, (sorry sabermetric people), there’s potentially a lot to be excited about:
The limited number of Australians to come and play in MLB have been known to bring a certain intensity and drive with them to the bigs. Grant Balfour comes to mind, as does Graeme Lloyd, who was a key piece of that 1996 Yankees bullpen. I’m not saying Brad Inglis is going to have a roaring fire in his heart every time he takes the mound, but judging by history, The Australians teach their baseball players to play with a raw intensity and focus, which is excellent for a game that now features so many divas and whiners.
As for Australia and baseball alike, this should be at least moderately exciting I know Inglis is an 18 year old who hasn’t even gotten his Visa validated yet, but he just signed a deal with one of the more storied franchises in sports. If everything goes well, he probably won’t see Major League time until a few years from now, but having international players is a big deal… especially when they’re from countries that don’t boast baseball being their premier sport.
Spreading our game across the globe is a must, since more and more kids are growing bored with baseball.
Is Brad Inglis the answer to baseball’s prayers? No, probably not… but if he can cut his teeth in the minor league level and mature into a reputable young pitcher, who knows? Maybe Australia will be the next country with players that MLB teams fight for the services of.
Let’s let Inglis have some fun and show us what he’s got in the Gulf Coast League first, though.