A change of plans for Tyler Townsend

He was headed for Arizona, but now it's going to be Australia for Tyler Townsend.

The O's first base prospect has had a change of plans and will not play for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

"Originally I was going to Arizona for the Fall League as a taxi squad player, which means I could only play in one or two games a week. You know, I missed so many at bats this year that they presented the opportunity to go to Australia and get more at bats and more games in.

"It just seemed like a better opportunity to progress as a player too. Like I said, I missed so many at bats and hopefully this can carry me over to spring training."

Townsend, the O's third-round pick in 2009, missed at bats because he spent time this year on the disabled list dealing with a recurring hamstring injury.

When he played, he hit well. Over 52 games, most with Delmarva and Frederick, he batted .325-6-45 and had 31 extra-base hits and an OPS of .959.

He says he will leave for Australia in late October and be there until the beginning of December.

"It took me a while to make the decision. For my career, I need more at bats. It is a prestigious league out there (Arizona) and hopefully in the future I can go out there and play. But I felt Australia was the best option for me this off season.

"Not as prestigious as Arizona, but still some good competition. They have kids from Japan, Australia and the U.S there, so it will be good baseball."

Townsend is one of the 15 minor leaguers taking part in the O's instructional league camp that began this week at Camden Yards.

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