Tal Erel

From BR Bullpen

Tal Erel (טל אראל)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 172 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Tal Erel has played regularly for the Israeli national team.

His father discovered baseball in Brazil before moving to Israel; the family moved to Miami when Tal was six and he picked up the game there. They returned to Israel when he was in the 4th grade. [1] In the 2014 C-Level European Championship, he backed up Canadian native Eitan Maoz at catcher for Israel. He was 0 for 7 but with 4 times hit by pitch and a walk for a .417 OBP; he was 2-for-2 in steals, scored three runs and handled 21 chances error-free for the champs. [2] He served in the Israel Defense Forces from 2014-2017. [3] He split third base with Dan Rothem at the 2015 B-Level European Championship, hitting .250/.357/.250 with 2 runs and 2 RBI in 3 games, fielding .917. [4]

Erel played in the Czech Extraliga for part of 2016, batting .200/.294/.267 and fielding .938. [5] He also attended Miami Dade College part of the year. [6] He was Israel's leading hitter in the 2016 European Championship U23, producing at a .294/.333/.529 clip while also playing error-free defense. [7] He signed with UVV in the Dutch Hoofdklasse for 2017 and pinch-ran once. However, that game was declared invalid, as Erel was not listed on the official team-roster and therefore was not eligible to play so the game was declared invalid and removed from the standings. Six days later, playing for the second team, Erel broke his femur while sliding into first base. [8]

Tal was the bullpen catcher for Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. [9] He was on the Israeli squad for the 2017 B-Level European Championship but did not get into a game. [10] He went to college in the US in 2018-2019, hitting .281/.314/.328 for Palm Beach State. [11] He was Israel's main catcher in the 2019 B-Level European Championship, going 2 for 10 with a double, 2 runs, 3 RBI, a walk and 3 times plunked for the victors, with 29 error-free chances. He tied Assaf Lowengart and Nikita Monakhov for 2nd in the event in times hit by pitch. [12]

Israel won the 2019 B-Level Euros to move up to the 2019 European Championship. By that time, Israel had been reinforced by some Jewish Americans with pro experience who had obtained Israeli citizenship in the quest for the 2020 Olympics. Erel lost his catching spot to Nick Rickles but did get into a few games. Starting against Great Britain, he singled off Spencer Kreisberg his first time up to score former major leaguer Ty Kelly. He was 0 for his next 5 with a hit-by-pitch, run and RBI. In the 3rd/4th place game, Israel rested some starters to prepare for the 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier. He got the start behind the dish and went 2 for 4 (both hits coming off former minor leaguer Leslie Nacar) with a run in a 13-12 slugfest loss to Spain, to finish the Euros at .300. [13] Thanks to finishing in the top five, Israel won a spot in the Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier. He did not appear in a game as Rickles did the catching; Israel won a spot in the 2020 Olympics (which were delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [14]

He was 3 for 11 with a walk and 3 runs for Lynn University in 2019-2020, before the season was cut short due to COVID-19. He hit .174/.310/.174 for them in 2020-2021. By the Olympics, Ryan Lavarnway had obtained citizenship and was Israel's catcher, Rickles moving to DH and Erel joining Lowengart as the only native Israeli position players on the team. He got one at-bat, pinch-hitting for Rickles late in a 8-1 loss to Team USA (the Silver Medal winner). He struck out against Ryder Ryan. He was the first Israeli native to bat in the Olympics (Lowengart would do so later). His other game, he replaced Lavarnway late at catcher in a loss to South Korea, handling one putout. [15]