What's Up Down Under?
Halfway through the MLB Australian Baseball Academy Program (MLBAAP) season at Palm Meadows (Gold Coast), here's how the five Cubs players playing "down under" are doing:
19-year old RHP Ryan Searle leads the MLBAAP in wins, strikeouts, and IP, and 17-year old OF Sean Williams (bats & throws left) leads the league in hitting, and is tied for the league lead in doubles, tied for 3rd in hits, tied for 4th in runs scored, and tied for 5th in SB.
Former star cricket player (bowler) LHP Cody Hams (who was at Cubs Minor League Camp and EXST at Fitch Park for two months) has struggled with his control, although he does have 19 K in 14.2 IP. (The 6'5" Hams' pitching style closely resembles Rich Hill's, so I guess it's probably no longer a compliment to tell Cody that he is Rich Hill Redux).
RHP Ryan Searle: 3-2, 2.35 ERA, 30.2 IP, 24 H, 15 R (8 ER), 7 BB, 38 K, 0 HR, .197 OBA, 1.01 WHIP, in 6 games (6 GS)
RHP Adam Spencer: 2-0, 4.37 ERA, 22.2 IP, 19 H, 14 R (11 ER), 11 BB, 23 K, 1 HR, .224 OBA, 1.33 WHIP, in 5 games (5 GS)
LHP Cody Hams: 0-0, 4.91 ERA, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 13 R (8 ER), 15 BB, 19 K, 0 HR, .236 OBA, 1.91 WHIP, in 5 games (5 GS)
CF Sean Williams: 354/411/477, 6 2B, 6/13 BB/K in 73 PA, 7 SB (2 CS)
SS Hak-ju Lee: 286/444/500 (was at the MLBAAP on the "Two-Week Phase" program, played in only five league games before returning to South Korea).
The MLBAAP season ends on July 26th.
Based on the way he has pitched so far, it's possible that Ryan Searle (who has a full-year visa) could return to Fitch Park for the last month of the AZL season, and/or for the AZ Instructional League in September/October. While Cody Hams resembles a young Rich Hill, Searle would be most camparable to Sean Gallagher.
The other four are supposed to report to Cubs Minor League Camp at Fitch Park next March, although Lee (who received a bonus somewhere in the neighborhood of $1M) might get an invite to Instructs if it doesn't conflict with his school schedule.