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Australia: Campbell Announces Retirement; Thorpe Headed to Toros de Tijuana for 2024

 Leif Skodnick  |    Feb 14th, 2024 11:14am EST

Andrew Campbell of Team Australia poses during the 2023 WBC Workout Day Tokyo at Tokyo Dome on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. Campbell has announced his retirement as a player. (Photo by Lucas Stevenson/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

The Australian Baseball League finished their 2023-24 season on Feb. 4 with the Adelaide Giants beating the Perth Heat 3-1 on February 4 to win the Claxton Shield at Dicolor Australia Stadium in West Beach, South Australia.

The Adelaide Giants now have two ABL championships. 

The Adelaide Giants were down 1-0 in the best-of-three series, losing the first game 4-3 in 13 innings, and defeated the Perth Heat 6-3 in game two.

The Adelaide Giants finished in first place during the 2023-24 winter league season going 29-11. 

The Adelaide Giants were one of four teams playing 40 games in the 2023-24 season with the Brisbane Bandits, the Melbourne Aces, and the Sydney Blue Sox. The Perth Heat and Canberra Cavalry were the only two teams to play 39 games in the 2023-24 season. 

The Brisbane Bandits finished in third place during the 2023-24 season at 22-18.

Andrew Campbell Retires After 13 ABL Seasons – The ABL’s X account announced on February 12 that outfielder and four-time league batting champion Andrew Campbell has officially retired. 

Campbell, 31, was born in Ipswich, Australia, and has played 13 professional seasons in the ABL, all with the Brisbane Bandits from 2010-23. Campbell also played in the Cleveland Guardians organization after signing with the club during the 2011 international signing period. Campbell only played one season in the minors, splitting the 2012 season between the Arizona League and the Short Season Class-A Mahoning Valley Scrappers. 

In 33 games between both levels, Campbell batted .172 over 129 plate appearances, roping 20 hits, one double, one triple, one home run, 13 RBI, six stolen bases, 11 walks, and 35 strikeouts. He wasn’t re-signed over the 2012-13 offseason. 

Last season, Campbell played in 30 games with the Bandits, making 99 plate appearances and batting .165 with 15 hits, five doubles, two home runs, 10 RBI, seven walks, and 36 strikeouts. 

Campbell also played for the Australia at the 2023 World Baseball Classic in Pool B at the Tokyo Dome, and in three games, he did not record a hit. Australia made it to the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Dome and lost to Cuba 4-3. 

During his 13-year career, Campbell played in 393 games, batting .252 over 1,539 plate appearances with 344 hits, 54 doubles, three triples, 41 home runs, 162 RBI, 18 stolen bases, 148 walks, 287 strikeouts, and .711 OPS. 

Campbell is fourth all-time in hits in the ABL. 

Campbell played for the Australian national team during the 2019 Premier 12 tournament in six games and five starts, batting .143 with 21 at-bats, one-run scored, three hits, two doubles, five total bases, and striking out four times. Australia finished in sixth place with their record at 2-4 at the 2019 Premier 12 event hosted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation. 

Campbell was also invited to the 2018 Chinese Professional Baseball League Home Run Derby event with his teammate Logan Wade and won the title at Tianmu Stadium in Taipei City, Taiwan. Campbell beat the defending home-run derby champion Former Two-Way Player Lamigo Monkeys and Nippon Professional Baseball Fukuoka SoftBank Hawk Yao-hsun Yang in the final by a one home run differential of 4-3. Yang is currently with the Fubon Guardians in the CPBL from 2022. 

Thopre Will Play For Tijuana This Summer – The ABL announced on Feb. 8 that former Melbourne Aces left-handed starting pitcher Lewis Thorpe will play with the Toros de Tijuana for the 2024 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol season. 

Thorpe, 28, was born in Melbourne, Australia, and has played three seasons in Major League Baseball with the Minnesota Twins from 2019-21. Thorpe has played three seasons with the Melbourne Aces from 2012-14 and returned to the ALB during the 2023-24 season with the organization. 

In three MLB seasons, Thorpe has made 24 appearances and seven starts, throwing 59.1 innings and posting a 3-5 record with a 5.76 ERA. Thorpe has allowed 76 hits, 38 earned runs, nine home runs, 27 walks, 47 strikeouts, and a 1.736 WHIP. 

Thorpe was a free agent during the 2023 season and did not sign with a professional organization. He played the 2022 season with the Kansas City Monarchs of the American Association, making 16 starts and posting a 4.96 ERA with a 8-2 record, throwing 81.2 innings and allowing 88 hits, 45 earned runs, 13 home runs, 24 walks, 75 strikeouts and a 1.371 WHIP.

The Melbourne Aces finished in fourth place with a record of 21-19 during the 2023-24 season, and lost to the Adelaide Giants in the semifinals in three games. Thorpe went 2-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 10 starts throwing 50 innings, allowing 46 hits, 20 earned runs, 10 home runs, 20 walks, 41 strikeouts, and a 1.320 WHIP. 

Thorpe has played in 10 professional seasons between the ABL, the minor leagues and MLB, making 158 appearances and 130 starts, a career record of 41-33, throwing 682 innings with a 3.93 ERA, and allowing 645 hits, 298 earned runs, 79 home runs, 229 walks, 730 strikeouts, and a 1.282 WHIP.

The Toros de Tijuana will play on the road against the Sultanes de Monterrey on April 12 for the first game of the 2024 season at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey.