FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
21-Year Old Victorian Pitcher drafted in Highest Position by an Australian in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, first Australian to go the College World Series
Australian left-handed pitcher Josh Spence has had a record setting week. The Geelong-native pitched a complete game for his Arizona State Sun Devils on Sunday to deliver the club to the NCAA College World Series.
On Wednesday Spence was selected by the LA Angels of Anaheim in the MLB First-Year Player Draft in the third round of selections, he was the 110th player taken overall.
Both of these are ‘Firsts’ for an Australian player – Spence is the first graduate of the Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program (MLBAAP) to go to the NCAA College World Series and the first Australian to be selected so early in a First-Year Player Draft.
Spence attended the MLBAAP from 2003 – 2006 and was a member of the 2006 Australian AAA National Team that travelled to Cuba to compete in the 2006 IBAF World Championships. He then attended and played for Central Arizona College in the 2006-’07 and 2007-’08 academic years. While there he was a two-time winner of the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference player of the year award, two-time All-American, all-district, all-region and all-conference honoree and a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s All-Star team in 2008.
He was selected in the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 25th round (768th pick overall) but chose not to sign with them in favour of transferring to NCAA Division I school, Arizona State University to complete a Business Degree. Spence was named the PAC10 Pitcher of the Week in April 2009.
Spence has four weeks to negotiate and sign a contract with the Angels. If Spence signs with the Angels, he will look to join fellow MLBAAP alum Rich Thompson on the Big League roster, who made his Major League debut with Anaheim in 2007.
The Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program begins its 9th season on Saturday 13 June at Palm Meadows on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
There are currently over 100 Australian professionally signed MLB players and similar numbers of college players competiting in international baseball competitions in 2009.
For further information please contact Jennifer Stockman (Australian Baseball) on 0402 654 899 / email@example.com or Elizabeth Cage (Major League Baseball International) on 0415 260 094 / firstname.lastname@example.org.