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James Avery

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James Avery

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[edit] Biographical Information

James Avery pitched his third season in the minor leagues in 2007.

He developped his game in the Western Major Baseball League from 1997 - 2003, playing for the Calgary (later Okotoks) Dawgs.

Avery was with Canada for the 2002 World Junior Championship, going 1-1 but allowing 18 hits and 17 runs in 12 2/3 innings; on the positive side, he struck out 16. James was taken by the Minnesota Twins in the 29th round of the 2002 amateur draft but he opted for college.

The right-hander was 7-2 with a 3.64 ERA for Niagara University in 2003. He was named the Metro Atlantic Conference Rookie of the Year. In the Cape Cod League, he was 4-5 with a 3.46 ERA for the Chatham Athletics. In 2004, Avery was 3-1 with a save and a 3.86 ERA for Niagara. The next season, he had a 5-5, 3.42 record. The Cincinnati Reds took him in the 5th round of the 2005 amateur draft, one round before they selected Jeff Stevens. He was signed by scout Jason Baker and made his pro debut that summer.

Avery was 0-1 with a 2.12 ERA for the 2005 GCL Reds (18 strikeouts in 17 innings) and 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA for the Dayton Dragons. In 2006, James twice was named Florida State League pitcher of the week. He had a 8-8, 4.43 record for the Sarasota Reds overall.

Avery made it to AA in 2007, where he went 11-10 with a 5.22 ERA for the Chattanooga Lookouts. In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, Avery took the loss for Canada against the South Korean national team when Canada's offense went dry. He came back to beat the defending Bronze Medalists, Panama, going 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA for the 2007 Cup.

Avery was back with Team Canada for the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament as they clinched a spot in the 2008 Olympics. Avery was unimpressive in his first outing, allowing 5 runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Mexican national team; thankfully, Canada scored 15 that game in a win. Against the South Korean national team, he allowed one run in four innings versus another Beijing-bound team as Canada took a 4-1 lead. He was yanked in favor of Scott Richmond, who held on for the 4-3 victory.

Avery was a late addition to Canada's team for the 2008 Olympics, replacing Scott Richmond when Richmond was called up to the majors. Avery allowed two runs in 3 2/3 IP in his lone game, a no-decision against Team USA; Brian Barden homered off of him and Nate Schierholtz doubled and scored on a John Gall single.

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