World Traveler: Champlin Returns to Beach Bums

TRAVERSE CITY – Veteran Frontier League pitcher Kramer Champlin is returning to the mound for the Traverse City Beach Bums this summer.

Now in his third year with Traverse City, Champlin, who was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, took his talents overseas for the first time in his professional career this winter.

Like many other independent players and minor league prospects, the 27-year-old pitched in the Australian Baseball League over the winter, leading the Brisbane Bandits to the club’s second straight ABL championship.

“I expect him to have a better year this year,” Beach Bums manager Dan Rohn said. “He went down to Australia and played in the Australian Winter League all year. Had a great year down there, so I’m just looking forward to that carrying over. To a new insight, Kramer’s also going to be our pitching coach this year. He’s going to add some added details in there. He’s going to be the pitching coach along with probably our number one starter.”

Champlin went 2-4 in nine appearances for the Bandits, recording a 4.37 earned run average and 34 strikeouts against six walks.

“It was a good learning experience,” Champlin said. “It was my first time playing winter ball, which is different. But it was a good time and arm was a little tired at the end, but I could a couple months off. I’m here and ready to go.”

The right-hander finished in the top five in the Frontier League in earned run average (2.81) and strikeouts (95) last season.

Champlin and the Beach Bums open their season on the road against the Schaumburg Boomers on Friday, May 12.