Jason Leblebijian says stats don't matter as Canberra Cavalry face Adelaide Bite in ABL prelim final

His name alone means Canberra Cavalry fans will remember him. The record that made him the most valuable player only enhances that, but shortstop Jason Leblebijian says none of that matters in the play-offs and it is all about "What have you done for me lately?".

Leblebijian will be a major factor against the Adelaide Bite in the Australian Baseball League preliminary finals, with game one in Adelaide on Friday and games two and three (if required) at Narrabundah Ballpark on the weekend.

Memorable: Canberra Cavalry MVP Jason Leblebijian says records mean nothing in the play-offs.
Memorable: Canberra Cavalry MVP Jason Leblebijian says records mean nothing in the play-offs.  Photo: Melissa Adams

The 24-year-old leads the ABL in runs batted-in and is second for runs scored, making him one of the most potent offensive players in the league.

His athleticism and throwing arm at shortstop also make him one of Canberra's most important defensive cogs as well.

​With a batting average of .312, it wasn't surprising he won the Cavs MVP on Monday night.

But Leblebijian said all the statistics and results from the regular season would mean nothing on Friday night.


"You could hit .150, you could hit .350, going into the play-offs it's about, 'What have you done for me lately?', you know," he said.

"Everyone's just real excited to get it going. It's been a long week of anticipating it, flying out there and getting into Adelaide."

Not only did his Armenian parents give him the physique for baseball, but they also gave him one of the most memorable names in the ABL.

Ground announcers and commentators around the league have battled with it throughout the season, with many settling on "Lebby".

"I hated playing on teams with jerseys with the names on the back just because everyone knew right away, 'Who's this kid?', but I've learnt to kind of cherish it and enjoy it because it's something people always remember no matter what," Leblebijian said.

Cavalry manager Michael Collins has made one change to the roster that lost the series 3-1 to the Bite last weekend, bringing in catcher Robbie Perkins for pitcher James D'Arcy.

Collins said Leblebijian had the "makings" to go as far up the Major League Baseball ladder as he'll "take himself".

Aside from New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, who played for the Cavs in the inaugural ABL season, Collins said Leblebijian was one of the best shortstops the ABL had seen.

"After you get past Didi, Lebby's provided great defence, he's made a lot of great plays that people have almost come to expect as somewhat routine, which definitely are not [routine] ... plays that most people don't even get close to and he's almost making," he said.

Brian Grening will start game one in Adelaide for the Cavs, with Steven Kent - who was named in the Australian squad for the upcoming World Baseball Classics qualifiers - to start game two in Canberra.


Friday: Game one, Canberra Cavalry v Adelaide Bite at Norwood Oval, 7.30pm.

Saturday: Game two, Canberra Cavalry v Adelaide Bite at Narrabundah Ballpark, 7pm. Game three (if required), Sunday 12pm.

Cavalry roster - pitchers: Michael Click, Louis Cohen, Scott Cone, Brian Grening, Jimmer Kennedy, Steven Kent, Phil Kish, Aaron Marshall Thompson, Colton Turner; Catchers: Ryan Miller, Jack Murphy, Robbie Perkins; Infielders: Jeremy Barnes, Jason Leblebijian, Boss Moanaroa, Bryan Pounds, Aaron Sayers, Jason Sloan, River Stevens; Outfielders: David Harris, Cord Sandberg, Aaron Sloan.