Exclusive report from down under, and other random tidbits...
Allard Baird and co. are presently in Australia taking in the local culture and planting organizational roots. (Full Disclosure: RC may have taken a few liberties with this photo. RC means no harm by our gratuitous stereotypification of the land down under. On the contrary, Australia is the Official Ally of RC.)
There are certain advantages in having one of Australia's most popular players in your minor league system. Not only is Justin Huber a top notch prospect, but his fame in his home country has prompted the Royals to send a small delegaion, led by Allard Baird and Dan Glass, to conduct a one-week scouting and goodwill tour around Australia. Details of the trip have been limited to small blurbs in the KC media, but thanks to RC's new Australian Correspondent, Adam Ramsey, we've obtained some new information.
Adam reports that "Baird and sundry are currently in Melbourne at the moment, 'perusing' the National U/18 Championships." He continues, "Justin Huber (who I have played with a couple of times in club ball back in my younger days) has been instructed that he is NOT allowed to play any baseball while home. That includes any club games (Upwey Ferntree Gully Tigers) or for Victoria in our Claxton Shield competition. Claxton Shield is a short tornament for senior players (as opposed to juniors), where Australia's states play against each other."
Adam also mentioned that the Royals are reportedly interviewing around five people for a scouting position in Australia, and he added that this is a good site for news on Australian baseball. RC will be sure to check it regularly, and we encourage our readers to do the same.
Folks, this is a seemingly minor development, and it may indeed yield minor results, but it shows us the Royals are constantly looking for new ways to add talent to the organization. While countries like the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are already heavily scouted, Australia is a largely untapped resource. If these efforts produce even one decent prospect, it will be well worth it, and we already find this trip very encouraging. A big thanks to our newest foreign correspondent, and we hope he will continue to keep us informed of the goings on down under.
A huge thanks goes out to Emily, as her efforts will no doubt be a fantastic addition to RC. Also, we highly encourage you to visit her site, where you'll find some of the best baseball photos around.
Unfortunately, Lowery's removal from the roster brings us one step closer to the possibility that 2001's disastrous draft won't yield a single Major League player. We suppose first rounder Colt Griffin still has an outside chance of breaking in as a reliever, and shortstop Angel Sanchez made some great strides this season, but beyond those two, there's really nothing left. Thank God we haven't had any more drafts like that...
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