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Cavs professional prospects confirmed
Jays & Padres stars to call Canberra home
10/25/2017 8:35 PM ET
(C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA
(C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA 

The Canberra Cavalry has bolstered its roster with seven MLB-affiliated players ahead of the upcoming ABL season.

The players come from the Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres organisations, with whom the Cavalry has built a strong relationship over the past several years.

Cavalry CEO Donn McMichael is proud of the relationship the club has built with the two MLB teams, saying "the Blue Jays and the Padres have sent us some high-quality talent over the past few seasons and we're looking forward to this group playing a big role in our success this year."

The Toronto Blue Jays send three players, including left-handed pitchers Tyler Saucedo and Daniel Lietz and slugging outfielder Connor Panas. All three played on the Class A Advanced affiliate of Toronto, the Dunedin Blue Jays, who won the Florida State League championship this year. 

The Padres are sending four prospects, including shortstop Gabriel Arias, infielder Felipe Blanco, outfielder Buddy Reed, and pitcher Lake Bachar.

Many in the international baseball community will have their eyes on 17-year-old Arias, who is a highly-touted prospect from the Padres. McMichael credits Arias' arrival as a sign of the trust the clubs have in the Cavalry's ability to develop talent. "The Padres have big plans for Gabe and we're excited to see what he can do this year. Anytime you send one of your high-potential talents to play with another club, you're showing a lot of trust. We take this as a sign that the Padres trust us to take care of their guys and help them take the next step forward. We're proud of that."

Cavalry Manager, Michael Collins, is also looking forward to the international players' arrival. "(We) are excited to get the whole team together and start the upcoming season. Preparations will be brief but we have a good mix of players from various levels."

Collins is pleased with the way the roster is being filled out. "Our returning Australian players, the 4 from the Padres and 3 from the Blue Jays along with some experienced independent ball players should make for a good mix."

Collins played for the Cavalry in the team's first two seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12 before taking the managerial role in 2012-13, which turned into a memorable one. The Cavalry won the ABL Championship and the Asia Championship that year and Collins has led the team since.

Collins also coaches with the San Diego Padres organization during the American baseball season so he knows the importance of making the international players feel welcomed. Collins says about his team, "We are fortunate to have a good group of Australian players that always make our import players feel welcome. Our fans are also welcoming of our new players so we've been able to create a positive team dynamic on and off the field.

The Cavalry kick off the 2017/18 ABL Season in Brisbane on 16 November and host the Sydney Blue Sox for their first home series from Thursday 23 November to Saturday 25 November. Tickets are available now at www.canberracavalry.com.au.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.