Winter Ball 2018

Every winter European players, and their international teammates, head off to warmer climates for a little winter ball action. This winter, we've seen a huge decline in the number of Europeans abroad but that is primarily due to the lack of Curaçao players in the South and Central American leagues.

Ryan Bollinger

Winter: Brisbane Bandits

Team: Munich-Haar Disciples

National Team: USA – NA

Position: LHP

Game Notes: Over 43.2 innings of work in 7 games Bollinger is continuing his MVP-like season posting a 2.89 ERA for the Bandits. He’s given up 14 earned runs while striking out 58. Ryan has a 4-1 W/L record.

Wilson Lee

Winter: Adelaide Bite

Team: Solingen Alligators

National Team: Australia - 2016

Position: RHP

Game Notes: To-date Lee has pitched just 6.1 innings in Adelaide. His current ERA is 17.05 having struck out just 3 while walking 6. He’s allowed 17 runs, 12 earned, off 13 hits including 5 homeruns for an opposing batter average of .394.

Donald Lutz

Winter: Brisbane Bandits

Team: Brisbane Bandits

National Team: Germany - 2016

Position: 1st Baseman,

Game Notes: Currently batting .300 in 100 at bats, Lutz has 29 runs off 30 hits and 35 RBIs. With 13 dingers he’s definitely not someone opposing pitchers are happy to see swinging the lumber. As is true of most big swingers, he’s struck out 34 times as well, so hope springs eternal for those left to face him who have with dreams of low ERAs. Though a 1st baseman for the Bandits, Lutz played outfield for the winning World All Star team during the ABL matchup against the Australian National Team.

Bas Nooij PC: Australian Baseball League Ryan Schembri / SMP Images

Bas Nooij

Winter: Adelaide Bite

Team: Amsterdam Pirates

National Team: The Netherlands - 2013

Position: Catcher, Outfielder

Game Notes: His second season with the Bite, Nooij has spent this year between positions. He's spent the majority of his games behind the plate where he is posting a .990 fielding percentage that includes having caught 7 stealing.

Sven Schüller

Winter: Sydney Blue Sox

Team: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

National Team: Germany - 2016

Position: RHP

Game Notes: Sven is spending this winter, as he did last, in Australia with the Blue Sox. To-date he’s pitched in 9 games posting a 1-3 W/L record in 10.2 innings of work. He’s posting a 10.13 ERA having given up 12 earned runs while striking out just 11 batters.

Loek van Mil

Winter: Adelaide Bite

Team: Dutch National Team

National Team: The Netherlands - 2017

Position: RHP

Game Notes: van Mil is currently posting a 4.08 ERA over 17.2 innings of work. He’s struck out 25 while giving up 8 earned runs for a .250 opposition average. Loek joined Lutz on the winning bench of the World All Stars against the Australian national team.


Kingsley Avery

Winter: Western Magpies

Team: Sparks Haarlem

National Team: New Zealand - 2016

Position: Centerfielder

Kingsley spent her 2017 winter on the Sparks Haarlem bench as an import player. She took home a silver in the Holland Series and now she's back in New Zealand for summer where, mid-season, she's batting .532 with 47 at bats.

Lisa Maulden

Winter: Western Magpies

Team: Budapest Reds

National Team: USA - NA

Position: Utility Infielder

Game Notes: Lisa is currently posting a .414 average with the Magpies where she's hit 3 doubles, 2 triples and a home run while batting in 15 over 32 plate appearances.

Amber Schisler

Winter: Western Magpies

Team: Linz Witches

National Team: USA - NA

Position: P, 1st Base

Currently hitting .500 through 13 games, Schisler has 14 RBIs off 17 hits. Amber played on the Austrian Softball League's championship team the Linz Witches this past summer. There she lead the team with a .553 batting average that included 7 doubles and 4 homeruns, while posting a .958 fielding percentage on 1st.

Alyson Spinas-Valainis

Winter: Howick Softball Club

Team: SK Jourds Praha

National Team: Czech Republic - NA

Position: RHP

Spinas-Valainis took home silver in the Extraliga championship before packing her bags for New Zealand. Since the winter season has begun she's posting a .300 average over 8 games where she's had 3 hits in 10 at bats.

My Törnblom

Winter: Howick Softball Club

Team: Hamburg Knights

National Team: Sweden - NA

Position: P, SS

After a summer in the Bundesliga Törnblom opted for a full year away, thus avoiding a snowy winter in Sweden. In New Zealand My is currently hitting .333 with 9 hits over 28 plate appearances.

Curt Smith

Winter: Tigres Chinandega

Team: Lincoln Salt Dogs

National Team: The Netherlands - 2017

Position: Utility Infielder

Game Notes: For his second season Smith was back with the Chinandega for winter ball. The utility infielder played 37 games for the Tigres finishing with a .213 average over 122 at bats. He led the team in homeruns with 6 knocking in 11 while striking out just 18 times.

While the ABL is already past their All Star break and the LBPN is finished for the season, softball is just getting started in Australia and New Zealand. We'll check in with them in February to find out how the winter is shaping up.

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