Sydney teenager makes pitch for Boston Red Sox history


Sydney teenager Adam Bates aims to fill a glaring gap in Australian baseball - no player from the country has played in the Major Leagues for the Boston Red Sox.

While one of the sport's most famous teams have kept a close eye on Australian talent, no one has progressed through their system to the top level.

Bates is now among 34 Australians signed to play professionally in the United States, with relief pitcher Liam Hendrix (Chicago White Sox) and third base Curtis Mead (Tampa Bay Rays) turning out this season in the major leagues.

When Mead made his Major League Baseball debut in August, he became the 37th Australian to reach 'The Show'.

Joe Quinn, Australia's first major league player, played in Boston at the top level during the late 1890s - but the Red Sox were formed in 1901.

Bates, 18, is a right-handed pitcher who has impressed playing for Australia over the last two years at the under-18 World Cup.

He is a product of the Macarthur Orioles in Sydney's southwest and last summer was a development player for the Sydney Blue Sox in the Australian Baseball League.

He had considered going to college in the US, but was swayed by the Red Sox and signed with them instead.

"This offer was the deciding factor to head straight to pro ball. The Red Sox have a reputation for producing high-class athletes ... it's a lifelong dream," he said.

Bates will probably head to Boston's instructional league by the end of this year before going into the Red Sox minor league system.