Congratulations to Geelong’s Liam Spence on being selected by the Chicago Cubs with the 154th pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft.
The 23-year-old Victorian infielder and Aces Academy alum was named by the Cubs with their fifth round selection this week.
His selection followed an impressive college campaign with Tennessee which saw him named in All-SEC First Team. He hit .336 and led the Southeastern Conference with an on-base percentage of .472.
Spence says his selection was a dream come true and a testament to his hard work paying off, with his dedication and drive instilled in him from his early days at Geelong Baycats and Guild All-Stars Baseball Club before progressing through the development pathway.
"My experience with playing club ball helped me fall in love with the game, I think back to those days and it reminds me to just have fun with the game," Spence said. "Playing state and doing the Aces Academy was the best preparation I could do for college. The competition was really good and helped me get ready for what college was going to be like."
Spence knows firsthand how long the road is, but the nonstop grind and daily practice has helped him develop into the player he is today. He hopes other players can trust the process and stay focused on their goals.
"Everybody develops differently and at a different pace. No matter where you are at compared to others around you, it doesn’t stop the fact that everyday you need to work on getting a little better. You can find something to get a little better at and over time you will begin to pass people that don’t think they need to put in that extra work. Control what you can control as a player and that’s not what others are doing but what you do, because if you put in the work you will be rewarded sooner or later."
Spence says anything is possible for junior players in Australia.
"Playing baseball is a grind and you need to love the grind, and that means doing extra swings by yourself when you don’t have practice, doing sprints, finding someone to play catch with. Whatever it is it doesn’t matter as long as it will help you reach whatever your end goal is."