Cavalry's Stovall misses out on All-Stars selection
Cavalry star Ryan Stovall slides for third base. Photo: Melissa Adams
The Canberra Cavalry views shortstop Ryan Stovall's omission from the Australian Baseball League All-Star game as an ''oversight''.
Stovall capped a stunning few weeks in the ABL by signing with Major League franchise Arizona Diamondbacks last week, but was surprisingly left out of the World All-Star team announced on Monday. The World All-Stars will play Team Australia in Melbourne on December 16.
Pitcher Steven Kent was the only Cavalryman named in the Aussie line-up, but there were six Canberra players in the World side: Brian Grening, Jack Murphy, Jeremy Barnes, Kody Hightower, K.C. Hobson and Jonathan Jones.
Florida-born Stovall joined ACT Baseball club Tuggeranong Vikings this season with the aim to make it onto the Cavalry roster. It only took until the second round of the season, for Canberra's trip to Brisbane, for that to happen.
Stovall has exploded onto the scene and in just nine games has established himself as one of the league's leading offensive weapons.
The 25-year-old is fifth in the ABL for batting average (.353), fifth for runs scored (nine) and third for stolen bases (four).
While he wasn't named in the World team, Cavalry general manager Thom Carter felt he could end up playing anyway.
''I wouldn't say it's a snub; I would say it's a bit of an oversight,'' Carter said. ''He came to town to play for the Vikings and was a late addition to our roster, and he's been playing amazingly well.
''We're really excited for him … and we wouldn't be surprised over the next couple of weeks as injuries take place there'll be some movements in the roster and he ends up playing.''
But Stovall has already achieved what he set out to do when he arrived in Australia - sign with the Diamondbacks. He will continue playing with the Cavs until the end of the season and expected to link up with Arizona's AA or AAA minor league outfits for spring training. Stovall spent the 2012 season with independent team Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks after being delisted by the Kansas City Royals the previous year. He had started talks with the Diamondbacks and had a try-out with them before joining Tuggeranong.
''I'm not sure if [my form in the ABL helped] or not; I hadn't really heard from [the Diamondbacks] in four weeks and they emailed me last week and said they'd picked up my rights - I was pretty surprised, actually,'' Stovall said.
Cavalry manager Michael Collins heard about Stovall through the ACT Baseball grapevine and brought him straight onto the roster after he impressed in a few friendlies against the New Zealand national team.
It's the second time an import playing for a local club has made an instant impact for the Cavalry.
Hightower was recruited by Canberra from the Ainslie-Gungahlin Bears last season.
Cavalry plays Sydney Blue Sox in a four-game series at Blacktown, starting on Thursday.