Logan Wade: the latest Australian addition to the Twins Organization
This has been an incredible week for Logan Wade, who has two reasons to celebrate - the first with the Queensland side who took out the Grand Final on Easter Monday in the National U23 Championships. His second achievement was the curve ball that Wade was hoping for, but did not see coming.
After a self-imposed “Do or Die” year of baseball that focused on working up to his peak though rigorous training, his career finally took a huge leap when he signed with the Minnesota Twin on Friday, making the 20-year-old the eighth Australian player currently in the organisation.
Come June, Wade will join five Australian Baseball players who are currently based in Fort Myers; Bandit Rory Rhodes, Cavalry’s Tim Atherton, Ace’s Sam Gibbons and Joshua Hendricks and Blue Sox’ Jacob Younis. Victorian James Beresford, who is presumably next in line, is also in Florida playing AA with the New Britain Rock Cats.
Wade’s interest in baseball grew from T-Ball, which he began playing at age 8. His Dad Greg, a well-known Australian baseball identity and a Blue Jay’s scout of several years, remained at his son’s side during his rise up the ranks, and as expected, is excited about the offer. “My dad has been in the game for a while and he knows how much I try. Mum and Dad are really happy about it all especially because Dad believes I’m suited to the type of game over there, playing five days a week.”
The young Queenslander persisted from the day he decided his future was in professional ball; “I’ve been playing baseball all my life but it wasn’t until the U16s I thought I’d really have a go making something out of it. From there on I put my head down and worked really hard and for three years, but nothing happened.”
Despite missing out on joining the Bandits for their 2011/2012 season, undeterred, Wade put everything into local team Windsor Royals, who made it to the Grand Finals in March. In addition to baseball, Wade has competed at the top level in several sports, mainly Rugby Union and AFL; this juggling act Wade kept up for years contributed to the diverse athlete he is today.
Focusing on baseball was at the centre of Wade’s recent development. “For me, this last year has been all about working things out with my swing. Being a switch hitter I know I’ve got to prove I can do both well. I guess it’s a good thing, but I’ve had to really focus on my left handed swing – because the pitchers I’m usually coming up against in Queensland are righties”.
“I thought performing well in any representative team was getting that one step closer”, Wade said of his training schedule in the lead up to the U23 Championships. When a scout approached him on day two of the tournament, Wade still wasn’t certain that he’d made any headway. “Basically he came up and introduced himself and said ‘“If you keep on going the way you’re going, some doors will open up”’, I assumed if anything, he was talking about possibly going to play college ball in the US.”
Before Wade was on the flight home on Monday night, an email was waiting for him, congratulating him on the Twins contract the scout would have organised by mid-week. The huge transition Wade will make in two months is less daunting, knowing several fellow Australian players will be there to greet him when he arrives, “It’ll be good to see everyone, a few of the boys like Hendricks and Younis have already contacted me to say congratulations.”
The Twins have been good to Liam Hendricks and Luke Hughes, who were both on the Opening Day roster kicking off this Major League Baseball season. If the success of two Perth Heat boys who have made it all the way is anything to go by, Wade has a real shot at getting to the top, especially in an organisation that values determination and a tough Aussie spirit.