Baseball: Auckland Tuatara relief pitcher Brandon Marklund earns Major League trial

Brandon Marklund- Tuatara relief pitcher.
Brandon Marklund- Tuatara relief pitcher. Photo credit: Photosport

Auckland Tuatara reliever Brandon Marklund has caught the attention of Major League Baseball scouts.

The Canadian right-armer has been outstanding in the Tuatara's inaugural season.

Marklund has pitched 19 innings off the bench, giving up just five runs at an earned run average (ERA) of just 2.29, with 15 strikeouts.

On Monday, the Vancouver native flew to the United States, where he will work out for the Arizona Diamondbacks, hoping to earn an invitation to spring training in February.

"I have had a lot of interest from some Major League teams," Marklund told abl.com.au.

"I have spoken to some guys on the phone, and have a couple of workouts set up in front of some pro scouts and management next week.

"I have a workout with the Diamondbacks, but then there will be some workouts with some other teams but I don't know who they will be just yet.

"The dream has always been to play professional baseball. Hopefully, they like what I have and we work out a deal, and I can play minor league baseball next season."

The Tuatara are Marklund's first professional baseball experience after leaving college in mid-2018 - a decision that has paid off for the passionate Canadian.

"It has been a ton of fun," Marklund explained.

"Considering I just came out of college and this my first professional outing, it was good going under their wing a little bit, and asking questions and picking their brains.

"I came down here to try and work on some things, and at the same time, showcase my game and hopefully work out for a contract. I knew that if I came down, and just continued to pitch to my strengths and pitch the way I know how, I would have a bit of success.

"I am really happy with how the season played out and how I have progressed.

"It has been great being under the tutelage of [head manager Steve Mintz] and [pitching coach Cola Yeh] too, from a pitching perspective. I have been able to pick their brains a little bit.

"I can say I am really happy with how this season has gone."

Marklund is unsure if he will return later this year for season two, but he has every intention of doing what he can to make that happen.

"I would definitely entertain the idea - I would have to see if it is the best fit for me. I have really enjoyed being down here, especially in Auckland.

"I have made a lot of new friends. Everyone that has worked for the Tuatara - the management, coaching staff and even the people behind the scenes - it has been a world-class organisation and I am very excited about what the future holds for the team."

The Tuatara play their final series of the season against the Melbourne Aces this weekend.

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