The Adelaide Giants have made another major signing, acquiring Team Australian pitcher Luke Wilkins for the 2020-21 Australian Baseball League (ABL) season.
Wilkins spent the last nine seasons with the Sydney Blue Sox. He becomes a Giant just days after the club announced the signing of Todd Van Steensel – another former member of the Blue Sox and fellow Australian team member.
Wilkins is one of the best and most versatile pitchers in Australian baseball. He’s spent time as a reliever and a starter in the ABL while delivering a 3.93 ERA in over 300 career innings pitched.
Wilkins says the Giants’ team culture and his desire to win attracted him to Adelaide.
“For me, the Giants have a great thing going on. It’s a really well run organisation, a great coaching staff and a team packed with young talent, enthusiasm and a drive for success,” he says. “I think Adelaide will make be better as a player and person.”
If Wilkins ends up in the bullpen, Adelaide will have one of the most lethal Australian Australian relief combinations in the country on paper. Wilkins joins fellow Todd Van Steensel (2019 ABL Reliever of the Year) and Jason Lott (2019-20 Adelaide Giants Rookie of the year). If Ryan Chaffee, the 2020 ABL Reliever of the Year, makes his way back to Australia, the Giants will be one to envy.
At 30 years old, Wilkins seems to get better every year. The 2019-20 season was one of this best. He posted a team-leading 2.82 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, and struck out over a batter per inning.
Wilkins says he is looking forward to joining Adelaide’s already strong local pitching staff and hopes to keep growing as a player and person.
“it’s all about having a growth mindset,” says Wilkins. “I’ve never been the most talented athlete on the park but keeping an open mind and finding clear ways to get better rather than working harder at the same old stuff every day.”
He also brings his professional experience from the USA to the Giants. He spen 2019 in the American Association where he split appearances between starting and relieving. He most recently appeared for Team Australia at the 2019 Premier 12 event.
Adelaide Giants General Manager of Baseball Nathan Davison says an already strong pitching staff just got even better with the addition of Wilkins.
“Luke keeps being the most improved player on his team as he approaches his 30’s. He just seems to keep getting better, knowing more about himself as a pitcher and exactly who he is, “he says.
Davison says whether Wilkins is used as a starter or reliever, the team will have complete confidence knowing one of the best Australian pitchers in the game is on the mound.
“He’s strong, durable and wants the ball,” he says. “Give me 10 guys like that and we are chance to every day.”