Players of the Australian Baseball League have voted for the ABL team of the year. This year two players from Europe have been chosen: German native Markus Solbach and Dutch Dwayne Kemp.
Solbach, voted as best starting pitcher, played for the Adelaide Bite, posted a 5-3 record and the second lowest ERA in the ABL with 1.10 in ten starts. Solbach’s good numbers earned him a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2019 season.
After six seasons in the minors in which he made it to A Advanced Visalia Rawhide (Arizona Diamondbacks), Solbach joined the independent Rockland Boulders of the CanAm League. In two seasons with the Boulders, he a 17-6 record in 29 starts.
In 2018, Solbach earned the best pitcher award of the German 1. Bundesliga Nord. Playing for the Bonn Capitals, he helped them win the German title. He posted a microscopic ERA of 0.38.
Dwayne Kemp, voted as the best second baseman, belonged to the best hitters of the ABL during his first season in the league. Only four hitters had a better batting average as Kemp batted a very respectable .348. With the Sydney Blue Sox, Kemp was in the playoff race all season. The team squandered a comfortable lead in the standings as it went 5-5 in its final ten games and blew a four-game lead in the final two rounds.
Kemp collected 55 hits in 158 at-bats of which ten doubles, a triple, and a home run, drove in 24 runs and stole six bases.
For years, Kemp has been a driving force for Curaçao Neptunus in the Dutch hoofdklasse. Last season, Kemp was the best hitter with a .407 batting average with 68 hits in 167 at-bats of which 11 doubles, 4 triples, and a home run.
Kemp is a versatile player that can play third base, second base and shortstop.