Werribee Giants will enter the Baseball Victoria summer league division 2 season in a familiar position.
The Giants will once again be chasing promotion to the top flight after a near miss the season before.
“We’ve been the bridesmaid so many times,” Giants president Ben Bavdek said.
“Two seasons in a row we’ve been knocked out of semi’s by one or two hits.
“It’s tough, but we do it all again and hopefully the planets align and it’s our year.”
Werribee has kept its faith in coach Charles Thompson. The Giants believe he is the man to take the club to the top of Victorian baseball.
While the Giants situation will be the same, their personnel will look a bit different this summer, as they try to assemble a younger squad with an eye for the future. “We’re trying to do it a bit differently,” Bavdek said. “We’ve blooded a lot of kids over winter, a lot of 14 and 15-year-olds that weren’t even there last year.
“They’re going to be pretty good names in the next two or three years, so I’m excited for that.”
The biggest fish to land at Werribee is American import Dustin Biell. Biell, an outfielder/utility, is formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays system, so comes with high expectations.
“The Americans are so talented, they can play in every position, but he’s normally in the outfield,” Bavdek said.
“He’s a left-handed batter, so he’ll mix up the order a little bit, which is what we need.”
Biell’s impact will not only be felt on the field, but with his leadership off it.
Biell will play a key role in accelerating the learning of the young Giants players making their way into senior baseball.
“He’s really focused on club development,” Bavdek said. “We really want to get these young kids across the line and he will help with that.”
Star pitcher Josh Lee is back on board for Werribee this season. Lee was the most valuable player in all of division 2 last season.
And Bavdek has dispelled rumours of a season-threatening injury to catcher Oliver Box, who played football over the winter and suffered a broken leg. Bavdek confirmed that Box will be in the new Giants uniform when they face Doncaster on the road in the season opener on Sunday.