Cricket to MLB? Brewers work out baseball hopeful
If NFL teams can look to Australian Rules Football and rugby players to fill their rosters, why can’t Major League Baseball teams do the same?
Cricket player Kieran Powell certainly hopes that’s the case, and he’s already intrigued several clubs, including the Milwaukee Brewers.
Powell played in West Indes and reportedly thought of as potential captain, but had a contract dispute which led him to sitting out after just one match in 2014.
Now, Powell has no desire to return to cricket, instead focusing on baseball. He has been working out with the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and will have an open workout Jan. 13.
Powell, who bats left-handed, posted a picture of him on his Facebook page taking swings in a batting cage with the caption: "Privileged to be in the presence of my top mentors from the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers #MLB"
IMG director of baseball Dan Simonds said Powell has already worked out with the Brewers.
"Hitting-wise he’s starting to show some real power swinging the bat, driving the ball from gap to gap," Simonds said. "Those are things they’re (the scouts) going to be looking for. They’re going to be watching his skill set. At the end of the day that’s what’s going to sell these guys.
"Scouts are just going to be looking to see what that athleticism is like and is it going to translate. It’s worth a shot, right? Because he’s a very good athlete and he’s had success as a cricketer."
There’s obviously no guarantee the Brewers or anyone else will sign Powell, and making the majors right off the bat seems the longest of shots. Powell is 25, which also makes his quest a little more difficult. Nevertheless, he’s giving it a full-go.
"Some of the greatest athletes of our time are known for being two-sport athletes. From Deion Sanders to Bo Jackson, to, most recently, Jimmy Graham and Jarryd Hayne, these guys have set the bar for how you can successfully play two different sports," Powell said. "Cricket will always be my first love, but I am ready to prove to the MLB that my skills and ability will be a great fit to any team."
For a rebuilding team like the Brewers who could be in need of some publicity, Powell might just be worth a shot.