With the 2024 major league and minor league seasons drawing ever closer, some winter leagues are starting to reach their finale. This includes that of the Brisbane Bandits down in the Australian Baseball League.
The Bandits saw their 2023-24 season come to an end this weekend in the Australian Baseball League semifinals. After a dramatic game two win against the Perth Heat forced a winner-take-all game three, Brisbane dropped the series finale, effectively ending their season.
As we had mentioned earlier this offseason, three Milwaukee Brewers prospects were chosen to join the Bandits this year. Now that this season has come to an end, it's time to take a look at how those three players performed in Australia.
Here's how three Milwaukee Brewers prospects performed while playing for the Bandits in the Australian Baseball League.
1B Tayden Hall
First baseman Tayden Hall, a 2022 9th round pick of the Brewers, was one of just two players to play in all 40 regular season games for the Bandits and had a phenomenal year. The 21-year-old slashed an impressive .296/.378/.474 with nine doubles, five homers (he has zero in his 79 career minor league games), and 25 RBIs. He also had nearly as many walks (17) as strikeouts (20).
Hall played a huge part in Brisbane's semifinal win to keep their season alive, going 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs, and two runs scored. He finished with a triple in what would be the Bandits' final playoff loss as well.
RHP Sam Gardner
Perhaps just as impressive as Hall this winter was right-handed reliever Sam Gardner. The former independent league pitcher did finally give up a run, but overall continued to dominate hitters up to the very end.
Gardner gave up just that single run in 22.2 innings, good for a 0.40 ERA that was by far the lowest on the team. He also gave up just seven hits and six walks over that time and struck out a whopping 50 batters. In the team's semifinal win, he picked up the win by pitching 3.1 scoreless innings of relief.
LHP Brian Fitzpatrick
Drafted the round after Hall in 2022, Fitzpatrick may not have been as dominant as Gardner did on the mound for the Bandits (though to be fair, no one on the team was), but he had a solid season in his own right.
Fitzpatrick started 10 games in the regular season and went 3-3 while putting up a very solid 3.74 ERA and 1.015 WHIP in 43.1 innings, striking out 49 and walking 14. He started Brisbane's game one semifinal loss and even though he technically earned the loss, he had a very good outing, giving up just a run on three hits and a walk over five innings while striking out five.
The Bandits season was a great opportunity for these three Brewers prospects. Now, they'll get to return stateside as they continue working their way up the Milwaukee system with this valuable experience under their belts.