Roberts fires for Bandits
JOSH Roberts is only 24 but he’s figured out what works for him and is sticking to it.
Roberts was one of the shining lights in the Brisbane Bandits’ disappointing opening season of the new Australian Baseball League, in which they finished fifth from six teams.
“It was a little bit disappointing to miss out on the finals,” Roberts said.
“We were probably missing a couple of big sticks in the middle of the line-up.”
Other than himself that is.
Roberts led the way for Brisbane and was fifth in the league for hitting with a .319 average, which surprised even himself.
“I totally surprised myself with that one,” the Ipswich Musketeers star said.
“I wasn’t expecting that at all.”
Speaking to Roberts, you’d find it hard to believe it could ever have been otherwise, but he puts his form down to being more relaxed.
“I was just a bit more relaxed with my ability,” he said.
“I used to be worried all the time about how things worked.”
Despite Brisbane’s disappointing finish, Roberts is optimistic good things are on the way for the team.
“We’re still a young side so hopefully next year we can improve and go a couple of steps further,” he said.
Roberts will carry a lot of weight on his shoulders next season as an established hitting star but it does not faze the laidback outfielder.
“It sits fine with me,” he said.
“Hopefully they think that and it takes the pressure off the younger guys and they will perform.”
Roberts found as the season progressed and he remained near the top of the batting averages, his role within the team changed, though the added responsibility didn’t hinder his performances.
“To start with, I was just the guy in the background,” he said.
“As the season went on, I became a more senior member.”
Roberts’ success with the Bandits has paid off and he has been offered a chance to trial in Japan.
He will know shortly if he is to take it up.
“It’s very exciting,” he said of the prospect of playing in baseball–mad Japan.
“It will be a totally different atmosphere.”
Roberts went into this season with no expectations so will do nothing different in Japan, if he goes, or in next season’s ABL.
“I just wanted to try and go as well as I could,” he said.
“I wasn’t set on signing for a pro team.
“I was just trying to have a good time and see the country playing baseball.
“Success came at the end of it.”
‘I used to be worried all the time about how things worked’