The 2017 Major League Baseball season is underway, marking the start of a marathon, 162 games strong.
Nine players with ties to the Australian Baseball League are present on MLB Opening Day rosters, whether in place in a team's starting nine, riding the bench in search of a chance to be clutch, or warming up in the bullpen to save the game.
Peter Moylan - Kansas City Royals (Melbourne 2015-17)
In addition to going 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA and striking out eight batters in 10.0 Spring Training innings, Moylan also had a pair of scoreless appearances for Team Australia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Those performances combined to earn the 38-year-old Aces' reliever a spot in the Kansas City bullpen.
Liam Hendriks - Oakland Athletics (Perth 2010/11)
Hendriks has come a long way since pitching from the Heat in the ABL's inaugural season. He posted a sub-4.00 ERA and struck out 71 batters in 64.2 innings out of the A's bullpen last year, his second in Oakland. Hendriks' performances have shown improvement each of his seasons on the West Coast, and he'll be a major factor again this year.
Kevin Kiermaier - Tampa Bay Rays (Canberra 2011/12)
Kiermaier's doubly metallic glove will be a presence in the Tampa Bay outfield for years to come, thanks to a new six-year contract the 26-year-old signed in March. Despite battling a rash of injuries last year, Kiermaier hit a decent .273 in 19 Spring Training games and he's continued to develop at the plate with each new season.
Brandon Maurer - San Diego Padres (Adelaide 2010/11)
A rarity among ABL alums as an inaugural season import, Maurer has been an integral part of the Padres' bullpen the past two seasons. He put together a solid spring in Arizona, posting a 2.57 ERA and striking out seven batters in 7.0 innings pitched, and will return to his role with the Friars this season.
Jacob May - Chicago White Sox (Sydney 2013/14)
The White Sox No. 26-ranked prospect per MLB.com, May earned a spot in Chicago's Opening Day lineup by hitting .319 in with three RBI and six extra-base hits. A young outfielder with strong skills on both offence and defence, May's ascent to the top has been swift since his season in Blue Sox colours, and when he debuts he'll become the 22nd former ABL player to also spend time in the Show.
Tyler Collins - Detroit Tigers (Sydney 2011/12)
The first ABL ASG MVP, Collins' big bat has been in the Big Leagues with the Tigers on and off since the 26-year-old debuted in 2014. He's penciled into the starting spot in right field for Detroit to start the season, after clubbing three home runs and driving in 13 runs in 24 Spring Training games.
Keon Broxton - Milwaukee Brewers (Sydney 2013/14)
Broxton's 2016 came to a premature end in the middle of September, after a dramatic catch resulted in a season-ending upper body fracture. Now healthy and healed, the 26-year-old hit .317 in Spring Training and will reclaim his place as the Brewers' everyday centrefielder.
Mychal Givens - Baltimore Orioles (Perth 2011/12)
Given started 2017 with a bang, pitching for the USA team that went on to claim its first World Baseball Classic title. The former Heat infielder has been solid since debuting for the Orioles as a relief pitcher in 2015, and went 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in six 2017 Spring Training games.
Joey Rickard - Baltimore Orioles (Brisbane 13/14)
Rickard became a cult sensation in Baltimore after debuting early in the season and providing the team with some early-season punch. He finished the year hitting .268 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 85 games, and slugged three home runs while driving in seven in Spring Training this year to earn another spot on the Orioles' Opening Day roster.