Josh Collmenter needs no prompting to choose the most memorable strikeout of his Major League Baseball career.

Making his debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants in 2011, the teams were locked at 5-5 at the top of the 11th inning when a then 25-year-old Collmenter got the call from the bullpen.

After getting centrefielder Darren Ford and catcher Buster Posey to ground out, he blew the imposing figure of Pablo Sandoval away, getting the Giants' third baseman to swing at a cut fastball high and outside.

His first inning in the majors was a perfect one. He followed it up with a 1-2-3 inning in the 12th, and went on to collect the win.

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Collmenter went on to play in 214 MLB games between the Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves, starting 78 of those. He posted a career record of 38-35, with an earned run average of 3.64 and had two seasons in which he struck out 100 or more hitters.

It's quite the résumé, and now the 32-year-old is looking to make his mark on the New Zealand baseball scene.

Josh Collmenter spent seven seasons in Major League Baseball. Photo / Getty Images
Josh Collmenter spent seven seasons in Major League Baseball. Photo / Getty Images

Collmenter is expected to be one of the first players signed to the proposed Auckland-based professional team vying for a place as one of two expansion teams to join the Australian Baseball League (ABL).

Baseball New Zealand will sign off on their bid to join the ABL on Monday, with the ABL then expected to announce their decision on Wednesday or Thursday.

While no players can be officially signed until the team is confirmed, Collmenter said he had spoken to Baseball New Zealand chief executive Ryan Flynn about coming down under to play. Collmenter hit free agency late in 2017, but with the game turning toward younger players, there was not a lot of opportunity for him to continue his craft in the States.

"I started looking internationally. Through doing some of that is how I got in contact with Ryan," Collmenter told the Herald.

"To get in at the onset and start going forward from there just seemed like a really neat opportunity for me to not only to be able to travel over there and see that part of the world but also to continue to play and maybe be able to have some input in developing that team and maybe transitioning into a coaching role or something like that."

Despite being unable to officially commit to play for the Auckland-based ABL franchise, Collmenter will get involved with BNZ in a coaching role, taking over as pitching coach for the New Zealand under-15 development team headed to Taiwan.

He'll arrive in late June to replace fellow former MLB pitcher DJ Carrasco, who has taken on a scouting role with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Former New York Mets hurler DJ Carrasco left his coaching role with Baseball New Zealand to scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Photo / Getty Images
Former New York Mets hurler DJ Carrasco left his coaching role with Baseball New Zealand to scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Photo / Getty Images

"I met Ryan and talked to him. We were initially talking about the potential Australian Baseball League team.

"He was just talking about getting a chance to get to know the country and people and baseball culture there, and potentially coach this team. I looked at it as a great opportunity to familiarise myself with New Zealand and the people there and some of the people I'd be working with."

The idea of getting stuck into a role with such raw talent was an exciting one for the seven-year MLB veteran. He'll work with the squad before the team sets off for a series of games and a national tournament early in July.

"One thing I mentioned to Ryan, over here in the United States, a lot of these kids, by the time you get to talk with them or work with them, they've worked with several coaches or pitching coaches, so they get talked to by a bunch of different people and have a lot of different ideas.

"Some of them start thinking that they even know what's best. So working with people who are relatively new to the game and are just eager to learn and to devour as much information as possible is something I'm looking forward to."

Josh Collmenter MLB career quick facts
- 214 appearances (78 starts) from 2011-2017
- 38-35 record, 3.64 earned run average
- Struck out 100 or more hitters faced in 2011 and 2014
- Two complete game shutouts