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Baseball players are coming to the U.S. from Australia in increasing numbers, but much more talent remains untapped.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Drew Samuelson is the Player & Coach Development Coordinator for the Australian Baseball Federation and has worked in baseball since 2007. A native Seattleite, Drew spent two seasons as the Director of Baseball Operations at Seattle University as it resurrected its Division I baseball program after a 30-year absence. He also worked for the Tacoma Rainiers in 2009 as their Media Development Coordinator. Drew spent two seasons managing his own website, pacificprospectreport.com, which produced proprietary video and scouting reports of prospects in the Arizona Fall, California, Pacific Coast, and Northwest leagues. He is an alumnus of Marist College (NY) and Seattle University. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ABF.
 


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There's only one game this season I've gone back and watched again from start to finish: Mike Mussina's May 7th start against the Mariners, where he pitched eight innings, gave up five hits, one a homer, struck out 12, and walked none. Mussina's been otherworldly so far this year, and watching him I know that it's not that he's particularly lucky--he's working with top-shelf stuff and great command. Batters are left walking back to the dugout shaking their heads and asking their hitting coach: "What am I supposed to do with that knuckle-curve he's throwing for strikes?" And the coach shrugs, because he doesn't know either. It was a great game, because it made me sit and think about what pitchers are and become: Mussina was almost forgotten last season, his years of excellence not recent enough, and now he's offering a traveling clinic on how to pitch. And this, in turn, leads me to wonder about Freddy Garcia's failure to move from future ace to ace. I wrote about this a little last September and found that Garcia had been lucky in his good seasons with seeing balls put into play turned into outs by the fine Mariner defense of 2000-2001.

It was a great game, because it made me sit and think about what pitchers are and become: Mussina was almost forgotten last season, his years of excellence not recent enough, and now he's offering a traveling clinic on how to pitch.

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