Meet the HRDX rookies

June 15th, 2022

With the first FTX MLB Home Run Derby X event in London just over three weeks away, it's time to pull back the curtain and unveil the final players who will line up for each team. Joining the big league Legends, the women's baseball and softball Superstars, and the brand-new-to-baseball Wild Cards, we are now proud to announce the Rookies.

These four players all come from Great Britain's development system and also play for the National Team. Let's get to know them a little bit:

Richard Brereton - Yankees

Richard Brereton with the National team.

Born in Barnes, London, England, Brereton was a standout pitcher while in college at Emory University and Duke University. He finished his college career with a 15-6 record and 151 strikeouts. His performance was strong enough that in 2019 he was invited to play with the Cotuit Kettleers in the Cape Cod League -- the premiere summer league for college students.

Brereton, who grew up idolizing Derek Jeter, has plenty of championship experience that his teammates can count on. He won the 2016 FCIAC Championship as a high school student, the Cape Cod League Championship with the Kettleers in 2019, and the ACC Championship with Duke in 2021.

In the end, Brereton's goal is simple: He wants to "give back to the game -- through coaching or through my affiliation with Team Great Britain," he wrote.

Zach Stroman - Dodgers

Zach Stroman with Team Great Britain

If there's a spot on a baseball team open for him, Stroman will travel for it. Born in North London to parents who hail from Indiana in the United States, Stroman has played for two different college teams -- Waubonsee Community College and St. Ambrose University -- the Hamburg Stealers of the German Bundesliga, Team Great Britain, and he now swings the lumber for the London Mets in England's National League. It was while with the Stealers that he smashed his longest home run, a 420-foot shot while playing a game in Dortmund, Germany.

Stroman certainly doesn't mind the travel or the big stage: In his debut for the Great Britain senior team at the European Championships, he went 3-for-3 with a double, two walks, an RBI and two runs scored in a narrow one-run victory against Belgium.

Jordan Edmonds - Cubs

Jordan Edmonds makes a diving catch.

It's by a stroke of luck that Edmonds is a baseball player at all. Edmonds grew up in Southwater, a small village in West Sussex, where he was introduced to the game when a man from California moved to the area and started up a youth club. That lucky meeting has led to Edmonds playing all over the globe -- 18 countries in all -- with stops to play baseball for teams based in Canada, Australia, Germany, and England.

These days, the Tigers fan with a deep love for Miguel Cabrera suits up alongside Stroman for the London Mets. The Mets could make UK baseball history this summer: Playing in the Federation Cup, they'll play five other teams from across Europe this summer for the title of best baseball team on the continent.

"The vibe is going to be great and it's going to be so surreal being around some ex-big leaguers," Edmonds said about playing in HRDX. "I think it'll be a fantastic advertisement for baseball for people in the UK."

Kennard Dawson - Red Sox

Kennard Dawson practices with the National team.

Dawson has some mighty big goals in life and he's hoping HRDX can help him reach them: "I would like to make it to the MLB, so I can make a name for myself and help to continue to put [the British Virgin Island] and British Baseball on the map," Dawson wrote.

Originally from the British Virgin Islands, Dawson was recruited to play for Great Britain's U23 side and the National team last fall for the 2021 World Baseball Classic qualifiers. After playing for the Georgia Premier Academy and East Georgia State College, you can find him on the Brewton Parker College roster this upcoming season.

A fan of MLB superstar Mike Trout because he "plays hard no matter what," HRDX fans will sadly not get to see Dawson's show off his legs in the tournament. Dawson hit seven triples and stole six bases with East Georgia this previous season.

Dawson is looking forward to the tournament though, getting to face off and meet the best players in British baseball while "just enjoying what baseball has to offer."