Liam Spence Chicago Cubs MLB Draft

Liam Spence has been selected by the Chicago Cubs in the MLB Draft (Photo: AJ Henderson/Georgia Southern Athletics)

Geelong infelder Liam Spence has been taken by the Chicago Cubs with a fifth-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft after a college baseball season at Tennessee.

The Chicago Cubs have taken Victorian Liam Spence with their fifth-round selection, the 154th pick, during Day 2 of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft.

The 23-year-old from Geelong has been playing college baseball at Tennessee for the Volunteers, his stellar season seeing him named in the All-SEC First Team and the SEC All-Defensive Team.

Over the course of the 2021 NCAA Division 1 season, Spence has hit .336 and lead the Southeastern Conference with an on-base percentage of .472.

The Geelong Baycats product started the season with a 50-game on-base streak and ranked fifth in the competition overall for walks, with 54.

Spence went deep five times and had 36 RBIs to help the Vols to their first Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title since 1997, leading to an appearance in the College World Series.

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Baseball Australia national player development manager Andrew Riddell said that Spence’s selection via the MLB Draft was good news for both Spence and Australian baseball in general.

“Liam is an amazing story of an Australian player who was undersized while in high school and chose to go to a junior college program to get bigger and stronger while getting more reps and at-bats,” Riddell said.

“It’s a real credit to his perseverance, work ethic and drive that he has been able to work his way through the collegiate ranks into a position to become a professional.

“Every athlete always wants the instant gratification of the bright lights but Liam bided his time and went to a program and level where he knew he was going to get the opportunity to develop and play and he is someone that our young players should be looking up to as they create their own path.”

Spence’s brother Josh was taken in the ninth round at pick 274 by the San Diego Padres in the 2010 MLB Draft, the pitcher going on to play 51 MLB games in a two-year career with the Padres.

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