The 2015-2016 winter season has come and gone with an unprecedented 53 IBC members signing overseas for the winter, primarily in Australia. Of these 53 members, some had more success than others while all made their impact on international baseball and had an experience of a lifetime as they spent their free time on some of the most famous beaches in the world. The majority of these members played in the state leagues of Australia while some split their time between the state league and the Australian Baseball League (ABL), while others managed to spend their entire winter in the ABL. Many on these lists probably would have been called up to the ABL had contracts with their state league clubs not prohibited them from doing so.
These top performers lists were compiled based on results while also taking into account the different levels of play within the various leagues. The order on these lists is arguably interchangeable and also does not contain some members who played in the Capital Territory State League (ACT) since the league does not publish stats. In this case individual members were asked to submit their stats which were provided by the clubs. If you are an IBC members and played overseas this past winter and feel you deserve to be on one of these lists, please let me know as there may have been an oversight!
Top 10 IBC Batters, 2015-2016 Winter
#1. Tyler Krobetzky – This left handed hitting catcher out of Spring Arbor University (NAIA) made his overseas debut playing for the Golden Grove Dodgers of the South Australian Baseball League (SABL). He made the top of this list not only because his numbers were absolutely outstanding, but also due to the reputation the SABL has for being full with talent including many ABL players. Tyler was second in batting average at .441, had a slugging % of .766 (3rd), an obp of .512 (2nd) while smacking 8 home runs (3rd). Tyler is currently playing for the Hanover Regents in the German Bundesliga.
#2. Tommy Lyons – A graduate of New Mexico Highlands (NCAA II) and former Sonoma Stomper, Tommy took his game overseas for the first time when he signed on with the Woden Rebels of the Capital Territory State League based in Canberra. When the dust settled on the season, this left handed hitting utility player hit a whopping .442 with an OBP of .516, enough to earn him the league batting title and team MVP.
#3. Gary Owens – This international baseball veteran has bounced back and forth between Australia and Europe since 2013 after a couple years playing independent baseball in the U.S. This past season Gary had another successful season hitting .403 with 8hr and 39 rbi for Woodville District and was a major reason they made it to the SABL championship series. Gary was also a major part of the pitching staff logging 52.2 innings and is one of the top two-way players on the international baseball market. Gary is currently playing for the Stuttgart Reds of the German Bundesliga.
#4. Mike Perrone – Mike holds the record for almost all offensive categories at Vassar College (NCAA III) and this success continued post college in the Pecos League and the German Bundesliga. This past winter was the shortstops first stint in Australia and he didn’t disappoint as he won the Queensland State League batting title with a bating average of .402 while also swiping 13 bases for the state champs Ipswich Musketeers. Perrone also logged 12 innings in relief. Mike is currently taking the summer off of baseball after a year straight overseas.
#5. Max MacNabb – Despite being brought over as a pitcher, this former Minor Leaguer and University of San Diego graduate made the top 10 list as a hitter after putting up big numbers for the MacArthur Orioles of the New South Wales State League. His .410 batting average (5th), .519 OBP (3rd), 28 rbi (2nd) and 3 triples (1st) were a major factor in the Orioles making it to the championship series. Max is currently playing for the Templiers Senart of the French Elite League. Check out this video Max put together on the lifestyle of a pro ball player in Australia:
#6. Kyeongmin Kim – This Korean player who spent some time in the Pecos league and independent baseball in Korea was a standout in the Victoria Summer League playing for the champion Melbourne Baseball Club behind his .397 batting average. He also contributed on the mound in a relief role for Melbourne. Kyoengmin is currently looking for a club in Europe to play for.
#7. Robin Fox-Pappas – A graduate of a Canadian community college out of Ontario, Robin was a major force in the Capital Territory State League for the Weston Creek Indians batting .371 with an obp of .504 while tallying 34 rbi in 28 games. Robin is seeking a club to play for for the 2016 summer.
#8. Dominic Morbidelli – Dominic was a standout catcher in the competitive Western Australian State League while playing for the Morley Eagles this past season. He hit .363, which was 3rd in the league, while smacking 4 home runs. Dominic is a graduate of Holy Names University (NCAA II) and is currently playing in the Czech Extraliga for Hrosi Brno.
#9. Karl Hoschke – Karl is an Australian outfielder who spent some time in the Atlanta Braves organization and within the Australian Baseball League. This past season he spent the majority of his time playing for the Redlands Baseball Club of the Queensland State League where he posted a .352 batting average (3rd) while hitting 9 home runs (1st).
#10. Nick Lombardi – This former Dartmouth College( NCAA I) infielder led the Swan Districts Swans of the Western Australian Baseball League in all offensive categories this past winter including a .347 batting average and .589 slugging percentage. Nick signed on to play for the Rockland Boulders of the CanAm league for the 2016 summer.
Mike Stowers hit .317 and stole the most bases in the SABL at 19 while playing for Norther Districts. He is currently playing for the Therwil Flyer of the Swiss NLA. Mike is in his third straight season overseas since leaving for Europe in the spring of 2015 to play in the Czech Extraliga.
Davis Page saw 18 games with the Adelaide Bite, hitting .250 with 2 home runs. When not with the Bite, he played in the SABL for Southern Districts and hit .322.
New Zealand native Connar O’ Gorman was a regular starter in the catching position for the Adelaide Bite of the ABL. He hit .246 with 4 hr in 40 games. He is currently playing independent baseball in Japan.
Eric Herman batted .333 and stole 15 bases for the Carina Red Sox of the Queensland State League. Eric just signed his first European contract to play in France with the Montpellier Barracudas.
Will Thorp was a standout defensive catcher for the Pine Hills Lightening while also hitting .303 and swiping 11 bags in 11 attempts. Will also saw a little playing time with the Brisbane Bandits of the ABL. Will has been overseas since the spring of 2015 when he first came to play in Austria. He is currently playing for the Munich-Haar Disciples which compete in both the German Bundesliga and the upstart Euro Baseball League.
Utility Zach Nadolny hit .309 with 4 home runs and 22 rbi for the West Stirling Indians of the WABL.
Top 10 IBC Pitchers, 2015-2016 Winter
#1. Jimmy Jensen – This is Jimmy’s (Menlo, NAIA) second time on such a list as he continues to shine overseas, this time in Australia in his second season of international baseball. For the MacArthur Orioles of the NSW State League, Jimmy posted a 7-1 record behind a 1.32 era (2nd), 68 Ks (3rd), and 7 walks in 68 innings. The highlight of Jimmy’s winter came in an exhibition dominant performance against the South African National Team as they played the Orioles in preparation for the WBC qualifier. Jimmy is currently in his third straight season overseas as he signed on to play for the Templier Senart of the French Elite League where has already thrown two complete games including a no-hitter.
#2. Rudy Jaramillo – The former University of New Mexico standout left-handed pitcher took his game overseas for the first time to play in the Victoria Summer League this past winter for the Geelong Baseball Club where he posted a 5-1 record, 1.62 era (2nd), and 88 k’s in 83.3 innings work. Rudy remained on with Geelong to play through the 2016 winter (North American summer) season and through their next summer season.
#3. Evan Brisentine – A very similar story to Rudy (above), Evan is a former NCAA I pitcher (University of Santa Clara) who got his overseas start in the Victoria Summer League with the Melbourne Baseball Club where he also posted a 5-1 record, an era of 1.99, while fanning 54 in 54.3 innings en route to a championship. Evan also signed on to remain throughout the Aussie winter and following summer season.
#4. Elroy Urbina – Elroy is a graduate of the University of Incarnate Word (NCAA I) and is a former Arizona Diamondback who took his game overseas this past winter for the first time to play for the East Torrens Red Sox of the SABL and was called up to pitch for the Adelaide Bite (ABL). For the Red Sox Elroy pitched a whopping 102.2 innings while striking out 121 and posting an era of 2.67. For the Bite he received two starts in which he pitched a total of 11.2 innings, striking out 7 while posting a 2.31 era. Elroy is currently playing for Hrosi Brno of the Czech Elite League.
#5. Heath Gray – The 6’7″ pitcher and Erskine College grad (NCAA II) got his overseas start with Baulkham Hills of the NSW State League and posted an impressive 10-2 record (Most wins), 2.30 era (3rd), while striking out 67 in 97 innings work. Heath is currently pitching for the Hanover Regents of the German Bundesliga where he has impressed early on.
#6. Louis Cohen – This Cal State University Northridge (NCAA I) graduate took his game overseas this past winter to play for the ACT Bandits of the Capital Territory State League. He led his team to a state championship (stats not available) while also starting two games for the Canberra Cavalry (ABL) where he posted a 2.40 era and 17 k’s over 15 innings. Louis is currently playing for the Hamburg Stealers of the German Bundesliga where he had a dominant performance in his first start.
#7. Max MacNabb – Max is the first IBC member to make the Top Batters and Top Pitchers lists. In addition to his solid bat for the MacArthur Orioles of the NSW State league, Max posted a 4-2 record and an era of 2.36 (4th) while striking out 55 in 45 innings work. As a result of his accomplishments, Max has established himself as one of the most sought after two-way players among clubs overseas. Max is currently playing in France with the Templiers Senart.
#8. Jeremy Filipek – This University of Texas at San Antonio (NCAA I) graduate spent a partial summer in 2014 playing in the Czech Republic in between semesters to gain his first exposure to baseball overseas. Upon graduation Jeremy decided to pursue a career overseas and signed on with the Wembley Magpies of the WABL in Perth where he posted a 6-3 record and an era of 2.93 while striking out 65 in 76 innings work. Jeremy signed on to play with UVV of the Dutch First Class for the summer of 2016.
#9. Gabe Sandersius – This IBC OG has been a member since the website first launched in early 2013 and at that point he was already an established professional international player. This past winter he took his game back to Australia for the 3rd time, this time with the Newport Rams of the Victoria Summer League where he posted a 6-7 record and 3.12 era while striking out 116 (1st) in 107 innings work. The former Texas Christian University (NCAA I) pitcher is currently travelling and has taken the 2016 summer off of baseball.
#10. Jeff Barto – Jeff is a graduate of Utah Valley University (NCAA I) and first took his career overseas in 2014 to play in Austria and has not looked back returning to Austria in 2015 with two winters in Australia for the Gold Grove Dodgers of the SABL. This past season for the Dodgers Jeff pitched a ridiculous 124 innings where he racked up 82 strikeouts and an era of 3.41 while throwing 12 complete games. Fun fact: Jeff threw 17 straight innings in a game in Austria in the summer of 2015. Jeff is currently playing for Hrosi Brno of the Czech Extraliga.
Top 5 IBC Coaches, 2015-2016 Winter
Clayton Carson – This former San Diego State University grad continues to leave his mark overseas as one of the top coaches on the international circuit. Clayton returned to the Golden Grove Dodgers of the SABL for the second straight season to continue to groom his young team. In between winters Clayton has coached both in Austria and Switzerland. Most recently, he signed with the Novara Baseball Club of the Italian Baseball League.
Paul Phillips – This Covenant College (NCAA III) graduate took his career overseas to Germany before focusing on a full time coaching career when he signed on with The Hit Factory Singapore as an instructor in September 2015. Paul remains with The Hit Factory in Singapore where he lives with his wife.
Zach Nadolny – The corner infielder from Alumina University (NCAA III) had an creative arrangement for his first overseas assignment as he signed on as a youth coach with the North Coast Ball Club from Perth, Australia with the agreement to also continue his playing career for the West Stirling Indians of the Western Australian Baseball League. The North Coast Ball Club found Zach to be a perfect fit and have since made tremendous strides within their youth program. Read more about Zach’s story here.
Nick Stanley – This former Houston Astros utility player was one of the early members of the International Baseball Community website when he decided to pursue a coaching career overseas. He signed on with a club from New Zealand in 2013 and has since moved on to work with the national program as well as with various local clubs. His responsibilities have included scouting for and coaching the 12U national team that represents NZ in the Ripken World Series as well as coaching the U18 national team that competes internationally.
Bubbie Buzachero – This former Astros AAA pitcher has spent a number of years overseas playing and coaching baseball including a few years in the ABL with the Melbourne Aces. In more recent years Bubbie has turned his focus to coaching, although he is still actively pitching. This past winter he signed on with the Preston Baseball Club of the Victoria Summer League as the club’s player-coach. On the side Bubbie continues to work for Baseball Victoria as a Development Officer, a job he has been doing since 2012.