Breaking down Top 10 ABL performers

Breaking down Top 10 ABL performers

The 2014-15 Australian Baseball League once again featured a tremendous mix of talent from Australia and abroad. Among the many international participants were a number of MLB-affiliated players. Here's a look at 10 performances that stood out Down Under.

Aaron Miller (OF/1B, LAD) -- A 27-year-old former pitcher, Miller made a statement with his performance as a member of the Adelaide Bite. Though he left the club in January, missing the Bite's playoff run, Miller finished the season as the ABL leader in batting average (.389) and OPS (1.145). The Texas native belted 12 home runs, collected 33 RBIs and scored 37 runs in 36 games played -- ranking in the top three in the league in all three categories. He added 11 stolen bases, and left Australia riding a 12-game hit streak.

Brandon Dixon, (2B, LAD) -- Joining Miller in Adelaide this season was 23-year-old Dixon, the Dodgers' third-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Dixon came to play. At season's end, the middle infielder led the league in doubles (17), total bases (107), runs scored (38, tied with Joey Wong) and stolen bases (21). Dixon also finished the season with 54 strikeouts, tops in the league there too. Despite the strikeouts, Dixon still managed a .289 average as the Bite's everyday leadoff man and added nine home runs.

Kellin Deglan (C/1B, TEX) -- A first-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, the Rangers prospect had a record-setting season in the ABL. The 22-year-old belted 16 home runs -- a new benchmark in a league that features just 48 regular-season games. Deglan also drove in 36 in 42 games while hitting .287 for the Melbourne Aces. A lifelong catcher, the Langley, British Columbia, native got a chance to increase his versatility in Australia, starting 29 games at first base.

Cody Buckel (RHP, TEX) -- Another Rangers prospect, Buckel excelled in a variety of roles for the Melbourne Aces. The 22-year-old notched 41 strikeouts in 46 innings, holding ABL opponents to a .177 batting average. He finished the season 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA and two saves, making five starts and seven relief appearances. A second-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Buckel spent the 2014 Minor League season with the Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Jack Murphy (C, TOR) -- Murphy is becoming synonymous with the ABL. The 2013-14 Fan Choice Award winner as the league's most popular player came back for a third season with the Canberra Cavalry and made it count. "Murph" led the league with 37 RBIs, and finished third with a .353 batting average in 40 games played -- 26 of them behind the plate. The Florida native also appeared in his 100th ABL game, a rare accomplishment for a non-Australian in the ABL. He returns to the States for his seventh season in the Blue Jays' Minor League system, coming off a 2014 season in which he split time between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo.

Murphy's RBI forceout

Christian Lopes (2B/SS, TOR) -- Though his season ended prematurely due to a hamstring injury, Lopes made the most of his 31 games with the Canberra Cavalry. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native wound up second in the ABL with a .371 batting average and third with a 1.002 OPS. The middle infielder connected for six homers, topping his single season best of five with the Class A Lansing Lugnuts in 2013, and collected 24 RBIs along the way. Perhaps most impressive, Lopes struck out just 10 times while picking up 13 walks. A seventh-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Lopes will look to continue his ascent following a 2014 season spent entirely in Class A Advanced Dunedin.

Maxx Tissenbaum (Utility, TB) -- The second Canadian-born player on our Top 10 list, Rays prospect Tissenbaum turned heads with his extremely well-rounded ABL campaign. A .340 average, nine home runs and 29 RBIs were among the highlights for the Toronto native, who spent 32 of his 42 games played for Brisbane behind home plate. Originally selected by the Padres in the 11th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Tissenbaum has spent time at all four infield positions, plus catcher, in 136 career Minor League games. He carries a lifetime average of .284 into the 2015 season.

Thomas Coyle (2B, TB) -- Coyle was one of the ABL's most consistent players from Day 1. Starting at second base in 44 of the Brisbane Bandits' 46 games, Coyle finished the season with 60 hits -- the most in the league -- and a .333 batting average. Coyle's .974 OPS ranked fifth in the league, and he rounded out his season with 14 doubles, eight home runs, 28 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. A native of Sellersville, Pa., Coyle finished the season on a seven-game hit streak that included five multi-hit contests.

Jorge Marban (RHP, BOS) -- Marban literally pitched himself back into affiliated ball in Australia, signing a contract with the Red Sox in late November. The righty went 4-1 with a 2.12 ERA out of the bullpen for the league champion Perth Heat, finishing the season with 44 strikeouts in 34 innings. Marban held opponents to a .147 batting average, picked up eight saves, and earned the victory in the second game of the ABL Championship Series. A Miami native, Marban spent the 2011 season as part of the Rangers system, appearing in 35 games for the Class A Hickory Crawdads.

Marban closes it out

Alex Glenn (OF, ARI) -- The 23-year-old D-backs prospect put forth his best professional season in 2014, hitting .285 with 24 home runs, 89 RBIs, 30 doubles and 22 stolen bases for the Visalia Rawhide. He followed up that effort with a strong showing in the ABL, where he finished the season with six homers, 32 RBIs and a .268 average in 44 games for the Sydney Blue Sox. Glenn started slowly, but finished on a tear, going 18-for-37 (.486) over his last 10 games played.

Glenn's two-run triple

Honorable Mentions -- Wong (SS, COL), hit .301 in 47 games while winning a second consecutive championship with the Perth Heat. Granden Goetzman (OF, TB), launched nine homers, hit .293 and stole 16 bases for the Brisbane Bandits. Tyler Brunnemann (RHP, HOU), went 2-2 with a 3.12 ERA and eight saves in 22 appearances for the Adelaide Bite.

Craig Durham is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.