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James Beresford

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James Richard Beresford

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James Beresford is the younger brother of Simon Beresford and made the majors in 2016.

Beresford was signed by scout Howard Norsetter for the Minnesota Twins at age 16. He got to play in the 2006 Claxton Shield when Justin Huber withdrew; Beresford was 0 for 5 for the Victoria Aces. He missed the 2006 minor league season due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder that required surgery. In the 2007 Claxton Shield, James hit .304/.360/.348 for the Australian Provincials. He made his minor league debut in 2007, hitting .288/.349/.302 as the shortstop for the GCL Twins. James was 2 for 7 in the 2008 Claxton Shield. In the 2008 minor league season, he batted .246/.345/.285 for the Elizabethton Twins. He was placed on Australia's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He went 4 for 9 as Australia's second baseman in the Classic with a double and 4 RBI. He tied Ben Risinger for the team lead in RBI. He had half of Australia's RBI in their 5-4 loss to the Cuban national team, with a 2-run hit off Norberto González.

He hit .289/.342/.313 for the 2009 Beloit Snappers, his 17 sacrifice hits ranking second in the Midwest League (one behind Alexi Amarista). He led the Twins system in sacrifice hits. In the 2009 Baseball World Cup, he was the starting shortstop as Australia finished 5th for their best Baseball World Cup finish yet. He went 4-for-5 in a win over Taiwan, including a game-winning homer off Ching-Ming Wang in the bottom of the 8th with Joel Naughton aboard to break a 5-5 tie. He also scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning of a win over Team Canada. For the Cup, he hit .263/.276/.386 with 9 runs and 10 RBI in 15 games, fielding .938.

Back with Beloit for 2010, he hit .297/.349/.363. With the re-establishment of the Australian Baseball League for 2010-2011, he hit an impressive .404/.436/.519 in 12 games for the Melbourne Aces. With the 2011 Fort Myers Miracle, he posted a batting line of .270/.328/.299. He was back at short for Australia in the 2011 Baseball World Cup, hitting leadoff, and batted .370/.396/.413 while fielding .957 through the first two rounds. His double off Juan Serrano broke a 6th-inning tie with Nicaragua. Entering the final day (whose stats were not included in the leaderboards), he tied Angel Chavez and Fernando Seguignol for 4th in hits (17). In the 5th/6th place, he was 1 for 4 as Australia beat South Korea to repeat their 5th-place finish of 2009.

Making it to AA with the New Britain Rock Cats in 2012, Beresford batted .266/.330/.314 while alternating between 2B and SS. With Melbourne in the 2012-2013 ABL, he hit .284/.324/.343. He was a non-roster invitee to spring training with the 2013 Twins, starting a run of four straight non-roster invites. He was 2 for 11 with a walk in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He was used at second base almost exclusively that summer for New Britain (.316/.373/.348 in 45 G) and the Rochester Red Wings (.298/.355/.343 in 58 G), reaching AAA at age 24. For the year, he hit .336 against righties but only .186 against lefties.

Beresford was the regular second baseman for Rochester in his full season in AAA, hitting .276/.323/.351 in 2014. He was 6th in the 2014 International League with 140 hits, between Mikie Mahtook and Brandon Laird. He improved in 2015 to .307/.341/.359. He started the 2015 AAA All-Star Game at 2B for the IL and got the game's first run. He tripled off Carlos Pimentel in the first and scored on a Matt Hague single. It was the lone IL run in the first 8 innings of a 4-3 win. He later grounded out against Andre Rienzo and singled off David Goforth before Alen Hanson took over 2B. He was second in the 2015 IL in hits (153, 24 behind Hague) and average (.031 behind Hague). He was named the IL All-Star second baseman at year's end.

In his first ABL action in three winters, he hit .286/.302/.333 for Melbourne in the 2015-2016 ABL. In February 2016, he was back in Green and Gold for Australia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. Despite now being a second baseman in the US, he returned to short for Australia and hit leadoff. He had four hits in their opening win over the Philippines, scored the first run and drove in the last in a 4-1 win over South Africa and scored the go-ahead run in the 7th inning in the finale against South Africa, singling off Callan Pearce and coming around on a hit by Mitch Dening. For the event, he was 6 for 12 with a walk, double, three runs and four RBI as the Aussies won a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. For the Sydney Qualifier, he tied Moko Moanaroa and Logan Wade for 4th in average, tied Anthony Phillips and Keegan Swanepoel for the most hits, tied for 4th in runs and tied Brett Willemburg for 4th in RBI.

He hit .269/.330/.312 as a utility infielder in his fourth season with Rochester in 2016, his worst of the four. After over 1,000 minor league games and despite his declining performance in AAA, Beresford was called up to the majors by the Twins for the first time in September of that year. He made his debut on September 10th when he started at third base and went 1 for 4 with a sacrifice hit against the Cleveland Indians. He grounded out against Mike Clevinger in his first at-bat and singled later against Shawn Armstrong.

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