After a 43 year drought, the Adelaide Giants have brought the Claxton Shield to South Australia. Their Australian Baseball League championship is Adelaide’s first in the modern ABL era.
Earlier this season, Indy Ball Island reported on their record-setting 12 game win streak which featured current and former indy ball players… many of whom I have personally gotten to know and see play over the years.
For the last two years, I’ve had what I consider the best post I’ve ever written saved in drafts never to see the light of day. That post is ready to go whenever the Washington WildThings win their first Frontier League championship.
It highlights players such as Quincy Latimore, Luke Wilkins and Nick Ward… players who were all integral parts of both the Washington WildThings and Indy Ball Island.
The 2022-23 Adelaide Giants have three former (and one current) Washington WildThings on their roster Latimore, Wilkins, Ward and current player Ian Walters who joined the Giants after the Christmas break.
The Giants had six current or former Frontier League players and 14 total players with American indy ball experience on their roster at some point this season.
2022-23 Adelaide Giants with Indy Ball Experience
- Adam McKillican – Quebec (Frontier League)
- Bubby Rossman – Sioux City and Cleburne (American Association), York (Atlantic League)
- Josh Tols – Trinidad (Pecos League), Kansas City and Kane County (American Association)
- Luke Wilkins – WildThings (Frontier League), Fargo-Moorehead, Sioux Falls and Chicago (American Association)
- Miguel Cienfuegos – Quebec (Frontier League)
- Quintin Torres-Costa – Gastonia (Atlantic League)
- Todd Van Steensel – St Paul Saints (American Association)
- Luis Aviles Jr. – Sugar Land (Constellation Energy League – COVID Season)
- Nick Ward – WildThings (Frontier League)
- Quincy Latimore – WildThings (Frontier League) High Point (Atlantic League)
- Ian Walters – Southern Illinois and WildThings (Frontier League)
- Michael Martinez – Lancaster and High Point (Atlantic League)
- Joe Johnson – High Point (Atlantic League)
- Sam Street – Kansas City (American Association)
During the season, it was announced Mitch Neunborn would be joining them as he signed a contract with the Quebec Capitales in the Frontier League.
Also during the season, two Adelaide players left “Indy Ball Island” and signed affiliated contracts: Nick Ward (Phillies) and Miguel Cienfuegos (Padres).
Along with the signings, there were some career milestones and highlights reached.
Latimore hit his 250th professional homerun. He is currently 71 games away from 2,000 career professional games played.
Van Steensel and Wilkins, both native Australians, have been playing in the ABL together for 13 years. This championship is the first for both of them. Additionally, Tols and Street hail from Australia.
And even though this website is based around independent baseball players, it would be a shame not to recognize some of the other players who had such an impact for the Adelaide Giants this season.
Jordan McArdle, a former Diamondbacks prospect, is South Australian through and through. “The Captain” has been called the “heart and soul of the Giants” and it is extremely evident when you watch him play. McArdle was named the MVP of the championship series with some clutch hitting including multiple homeruns in the three game series.
Since the Giants are lead by manager Chris “Tank” Adamson, a coach for the Jersey Shore BlueClaws in the Phillies organization, the team is a winter (Australian summer) destination for many Philadelphia Phillies prospects.
Pitchers: Starlyn Castillo, Jordan Fowler, Austin Ross, Bubby Rossman
Catchers: Arturo De Freitas, Anthony Quirion
Infielders: Nikau Pouaka-Grego, Rixon Wingrove
Outfielder: Jared Carr
6 additional players are in other affiliated organizations:
Adam McKillican (Colorado), Jack O’Loughlin (Detriot), Riley Yeatman (San Diego), Luis Aviles Jr. (Miami), Ryan January (Los Angeles), and Liam Spence (Chicago Cubs)
This team was something special to watch. The guys played with heart and passion. They had FUN, and it was a blast getting to watch them play. They absolutely left it all out on the field night after night.
Congratulations to the 2022-2023 Australian Baseball League Claxton Shield championship winners, The Adelaide Giants! Hell of a ride!