FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Written by Alex Sponseller of the Cranston Herald
The Bishop Hendricken baseball program has had an impressive lineup of former players make it to the next level in the last few months.
Thomas Pannone recently made his Major League debut with the Toronto Blue Jays, while Mike King is quickly emerging as one of the rising young pitching prospects in the minor leagues with the New York Yankees after getting drafted and dealt by the Miami Marlins.
Brady Chant, who graduated from Hendricken in 2014, is ready to add his name to that list, as he recently signed to play professional baseball overseas for the Bankstown Vikings of the New South Wales State League in Australia.
After graduating from Hendricken, Chant went on to play for Division III Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. Chant instantly became one of the top players in the Suffolk program, and finished his collegiate career with a batting average of .339.
After spending the summer traveling the country and participating in multiple tryouts, Chant is excited to continue his playing career.
"It's awesome, it was kind of a long summer. (Professional baseball is) obviously not an easy thing to break into but I knew that this was always an option from the people that I have spoken to before. I've never done anything like this, I've only been out of the country one time for vacation so it'll be a totally new experience for me," said Chant, who has an open mind heading overseas. "I'm not really sure, I don't really know what to expect. The good news is that I know one of the kids that are going over there. That'll help definitely, as far as once I'm down there I'm just going to work, play baseball and enjoy myself."
The season will run from September to April, and Chant will be living there full time throughout the experience. Chant was informed about the league from a friend who was familiar, and was recruited by the coaching staff during the summer.
"I heard about the league from a connection I made over the summer. I had to email over my info with my statistics and videos. He was pretty confident with the level that I played at over here, he was confident that I could succeed over there," said Chant, who will be playing in the outfield and hopes to earn his spot as the team's centerfielder, which was his primary position in the US. "I'll be in the outfield, they knew I was primarily outfield … they have a few other outfielders on the roster but I hope to take that centerfield spot."
Chant hopes to stay sharp in the next few weeks, while also building more strength.
"Definitely getting stronger. In the beginning of the summer I was just focused on being ready to play all of the time but for the past couple of weeks I've just been working out. I just need to keep working out, hitting, I'm excited," said Chant.
Chant looks forward to playing professionally and is expecting a tougher challenge on the field.
"There's a lot, even just the transition from metal to wood (bats). There are going to be some older guys, some really good pitchers in the league from what I heard," said Chant. "If I'm successful over there I would love to come back next summer and give the leagues here another shot."