The Missouri Express made a big splash last week when they signed rookies Kyle Godinho and Brad Williamson, two players expected to become all-stars or even MVP’s in the league. Today, the Express expanded their splash into a cannon ball by signing #9 ranked player Taite Kleine.
Yes, for the first time in JAL history a team has assembled a “Big 3.”
With #5 ranked Kyle, #8 Brad and now #9 Taite, Missouri is now the #1 ranked team and the hands down favorites to take home the WWCD Cup on March 18th for JAL XII
When the Express signed Kyle and Brad expectations were high, but since both players are rookies it was fair to speculate how good they would turn out. But with the addition of a proven and veteran all-star player in Taite Kleine, it’s hard to doubt this team.
Taite has played for both the Bison and the underdogs in his 4-tournament career. He is a 2-time all star and 1-time winner of the Batting Crown. Taite has also recorded a no-hitter at pitcher and made it to the WWCD Cup twice (but lost both times).
Missouri’s owner Garrett Blain had been interested in Taite ever since his franchise joined the league. But because Taite has previously been a starting pitcher, Garrett was unsure if Taite would consider the Express once the team landed Kyle who has already been named the team's starter.
After some smooth talking from Garrett, Taite decided he would willingly take a back seat to Kyle at pitcher and simply play the outfield as a compromise to finally win a WWCD Cup.
“We’re going to be like the Miami Heat when they had LeBron, Wade and Bosh,” said Taite. And he isn’t wrong.
Perhaps what’s most scary about this newly formed Big 3 is that as a combined unit they are incredibly well rounded: Kyle is expected to be a good pitcher, Brad a good hitter, and Taite has shown he’s both. Also, having Taite in the field means Brad will get to DH and if Kyle ever struggles at pitcher Taite is there to provide relief.
Nobody is crowning Missouri yet, but this is now undisputedly the most hyped team the JAL has ever seen. Well done Garrett Blain.
Note: Because he’s still in high school, Missouri was able to sign Taite to one of the league's HS contracts, which have no salary and expire when the player graduates.