Toronto Tigers outfielder Nic Anderson-Vine will play in front of hundreds of scouts in Arizona next month after being named in Major League Baseball’s inaugural World Select Team.
The 17-year-old is one of 10 Australians in the 30-man squad after impressing at the MLB Australian Academy in July on the Gold Coast.
Anderson-Vine, who hits left-handed and throws right-handed, was in the top 10 for batting average, on-base percentage, runs batted in and walks at the month-long camp. He had twice as many stolen bases as anyone else, a factor he believed had helped him stand out.
He will leave on October 5 for a series of games against college programs in Memphis before moving on to the Arizona Senior Fall Classic, where MLB and college scouts gather every year to run their eye over some of America’s best young talent.
“It’s a bit clichéd, but I can’t believe that I’m going to America to play baseball. It’s every kid’s dream that plays it,” Anderson-Vine said.
“From what I know all 30 MLB clubs have scouts going to the tournament. I think there’s at least 100 colleges going. I think all up there’s 300 scouts going to be there.”
The event is designed purely to showcase talent. No scores are kept and each inning is limited to six batters.
“I’ve been doing a fair bit of work in the lead-up to it,” Anderson-Vine said.
“I’ve been getting into batting cages and working my butt off to get where I can to play at my peak.”
The former Australian under-15 World Cup representative hopes to impress scouts and secure a college scholarship with a view to eventually signing with a Major League franchise.
“If I play well in college and make the most of it, hopefully a contract does come of it,” he said.
Anderson-Vine has been playing second grade for Toronto and for the Central Coast Marlins in the State Baseball League.
Baseball Australia’s head of high performance, Glenn Williams, said BA had chosen players who would “benefit most from this trip”.
“These 10 very fortunate young men will be the examples of what Australia has to offer,” he said.