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Cricketer Kieran Powell tries to make it in baseball

Kieran Powell

West Indies’ Kieran Powell acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century during the first day of the first cricket test match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)


David Waldstein of the New York Times tells the story of Kieran Powell, a former international cricket player from Saint Kitts and Nevis who is down in Florida trying to make the jump to Major League Baseball.

It’d be quite a jump. While most of us are familiar with Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh who were signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as something of a gimmick back in 2009 and whose story was kinda told in the movie “Million Dollar Arm,’ no professional cricket player has ever made the big leagues. That Powell is nearly 26 and hadn’t picked up a baseball glove until very recently also works against him.

Working for him: crazy athleticism and a baseball immersion program at the IMG Academy in Florida which has some observers saying that Powell has serious potential. Some of Waldstein’s sources say that he profiles as a leadoff-hitting center fielder with gap power. It’s always worth tempering such sentiment about guys no one has seen play as there are incentives for people to exaggerate -- and in this case Powell hasn’t even played in a game outside of a league in the UK last summer -- but it’s intriguing all the same.

He’s already had tryouts with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets. Yesterday 14 teams scouted Powell at a showcase in Bradenton. In addition to his baseball skills, he definitely showed off his confidence:

“All you’ve got to do is hit the ball into the gap and get on base, don’t get picked off, come around and score,” Powell said. “Catch some fly balls, throw some guys out with your rocket arm.”

Oh, that’s all? Tell ‘em, Wash: