In 2020, the Brewers began a partnership with the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League. During the Bandits season, which runs from November to January, the Brewers sent several of their minor leaguers to get some reps in. This would help the Brewers prospects get more live action while their counterparts played in the Arizona Fall League. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the Brewers were not able to send players last year. This move is one that shows an investment in the ABL from the Brewers and other Major League clubs.
The Brewers have a connection with Brisbane. Former Brewer catcher Dave Nilsson is the current President of Baseball Operations for the Bandits. Nilsson will also be the acting manager for the Bandits for the 2022-2023 season. The 8 year Brewer veteran has been a key piece in bringing American Baseball talent down under. Along with Nilsson’s ties to Milwaukee, the Bandits don the blue and gold similar to the Crew.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) January 27, 2017
Who are The Brisbane Bandits and the ABL?
The Brisbane Bandits are one of the six original teams of the ABL that was founded in 2010. The Bandits have experienced tons of success since the league was formed. Brisbane has won 4 championships in the 11 year history. All four of these championships were won consecutively from 2015-2019. Brisbane was managed by Dave Nilsson in their first year in the league before he was promoted to the front office. Along with Brisbane there have been a lot of notable players to come out of the ABL.
Brewers fans will recognize two major league talents from the league. Keon Broxton spent his 2014 season with the Sydney Blue Sox, while Michael Brosseau spent his 2018 season with the Perth Heat.
— Australian Baseball League (@ABL) December 30, 2017
Along with these two Brewers, the ABL has had some big names join them for Winter Ball. Ronald Acuna Jr., Liam Hendricks, Kevin Kiermeier, Rhys Hoskins and Didi Gregorious have all spent a season near the Outback. The league prides itself on developing players in all leagues and their short, yet, impressive track record points to that.
Who Have the Brewers Sent to Australia in the Past?
In December of 2020, the Brewers sent 5 players to play for Brisbane. Of those 5 the most notable was catcher Nick Kahle. Joining Kahle was RHP Brandon Ramey, RHP Matt Hardy, RHP Michele Vassalotti, and RHP Paxton Schultz. At the time Kahle was a top 30 prospect in the Brewers farm system and a significant prospect to be sending to Australia.
The Brewers organization has not yet announced the prospects that will be flying over in 2022. The players will be announced in the coming weeks. The Bandits did announce on their website that they will be bringing in a “significant number of highly credentialed prospects from Milwaukee’s system.”
It may be tough for Brewers fans to have access to watch the young guns compete, but it is very exciting to see the Brewers partnering with teams in other countries. The Brewers partnership is sure to bring some popularity to Brisbane and the ABL and will also give guys an opportunity to see it all.
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