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40 WCL Alumni Selected in 2021 MLB Draft

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Former Bellingham Bells infielder Matt McLain was drafted 17th overall by the Cincinnati Reds.

Earlier this week, 40 current and former West Coast League players were selected in Major League Baseball’s annual Rule 4 amateur draft.

With the Cincinnati Reds’ selection of Matt McLain with the 17th overall pick, 2021 marks the fifth straight year with a WCL standout drafted in the first round.

McLain, a UCLA infielder, earned the WCL’s Top Prospect Award in 2018 as a member of the Bellingham Bells. Also that summer, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected McLain with the 25th overall pick in the draft, but instead of signing a professional contract he enrolled at UCLA and continued his baseball career there. The Baseball America Preseason All-American and Pac-12 Player of the Year hit .333 with nine home runs and 36 runs batted this spring for the Bruins.

There were 19 WCL alumni selected in the first 10 rounds of the draft, including four among the top 63 overall picks.

“I’m hardly surprised,” said West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer, “but I’m certainly pleased, having seen many of these brilliant young talents during my travels around the league in recent years. And I have great confidence that our league’s commitment to player development will only mean more and more top prospects every summer.”

Below, please see the list of current and former WCL players drafted this week:

Round / Player / School / WCL Club(s) / MLB Org
– 1st round, Matt McLain, UCLA, Bellingham, Cincinnati Reds
– 2nd round, Aaron Zavala, Oregon, Ridgefield, Texas Rangers
– 2nd round, Brendan Beck, Stanford, Corvallis, New York Yankees
– 2nd round, Kyle Manzardo, Washington State, Portland, Tampa Bay Rays
– 4th round, JT Schwartz, UCLA, Wenatchee, New York Mets
– 4th round, Zane Mills, Washington State, Portland, St. Louis Cardinals
– 4th round, Nick Nastrini, UCLA, Bellingham, Los Angeles Dodgers
– 5th round, Collin Burns, Tulane, Bellingham, Baltimore Orioles
– 6th round, Grant Holman, Cal, Bellingham, Oakland A’s
– 7th round, Kevin Kendall, UCLA, Port Angeles, New York Mets
– 7th round, Ryan Och, Southern Mississippi, Bellingham, San Diego Padres
– 8th round, Sean Sullivan, Cal, Walla Walla, Pittsburgh Pirates
– 8th round, Noah Cardenas, UCLA, Portland, Minnesota Twins
– 8th round, Cullen Kafka, Oregon, Yakima Valley, Colorado Rockies
– 9th round, Mat Olsen, Central Arizona College, Cowlitz, San Francisco Giants
– 9th round, Chase Watkins, Oregon State, Corvallis, Chicago Cubs
– 9th round, Gil Luna, Arizona, Bend, Chicago White Sox
– 9th round, Shane McGuire, San Diego, Victoria, Oakland A’s
– 10th round, Ernie Yake, Gonzaga, Bellingham, Minnesota Twins
– 11th round, Rowdey Jordan, Mississippi State, Victoria, New York Mets
– 11th round, Chad Stevens, Portland, Corvallis, Houston Astros
– 11th round, Jack Neely, Ohio State, Victoria, New York Yankees
– 11th round, Sean Mullen, UCLA, Yakima Valley, Tampa Bay Rays
– 12th round, Chazz Martinez, Orange Coast College, Walla Walla, Pittsburgh Pirates
– 12th round, Christopher Troye, UC Santa Barbara, Bend, Boston Red Sox
– 12th round, Tyson Guerrero, Washington, Cowlitz, Kansas City Royals
– 12th round, Andrew Alvarez, Cal Poly, Kelowna, Washington Nationals
– 12th round, Caden Vire, Arizona State, Ridgefield, Milwaukee Brewers
– 13th round, Owen Sharts, Nevada, Victoria, Pittsburgh Pirates
– 14th round, Damiano Palmegiani, Southern Nevada, Port Angeles, Toronto Blue Jays
– 14th round, Frankie Scalzo, Grand Canyon, Port Angeles, Chicago Cubs
– 15th round, Wyatt Young, Pepperdine, Victoria, New York Mets
– 15th round, Mikey Perez, UCLA, Portland, Minnesota Twins
– 16th round, Zach Pettway, UCLA, Bellingham, Cleveland Indians
– 16th round, Alek Jacob, Gonzaga, Wenatchee, San Diego Padres
– 17th round, Ryan Long, Pomona-Pitzer College, Wenatchee, Baltimore Orioles
– 17th round, Dennis Boatman, Sacramento CC, Corvallis, Cincinnati Reds
– 17th round, Luke Boyd, Baylor, Victoria, San Diego Padres
– 18th round, Noah Williamson, Everett CC, Yakima Valley, Miami Marlins
– 20th round, Hunter Breault, Oregon, Bend, Oakland A’s

 

About the West Coast League: The West Coast League is the West’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Encompassing Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and now Alberta, the WCL showcases pro prospects from major collegiate conferences around the nation. Every summer, the league features unparalleled fan and player experiences, with North America’s best baseball weather and a mix of classic ballparks and dramatic scenery. The 2019 MLB amateur draft began with former Corvallis Knight Adley Rutschman selected with the overall No. 1 pick by the Baltimore Orioles. Also in 2019, 317 WCL alumni were active in affiliated professional baseball, including 45 in the major leagues, while overall attendance in the West Coast League increased to nearly half a million fans.

About the Kamloops NorthPaws: The Kamloops NorthPaws is Kamloops’ newest sports franchise. The NorthPaws join the  Edmonton Riverhawks, Nanaimo NightOwls/Bars and the Springfield Drifters as WCL expansion teams beginning play in the 2022 season. Norbrock Stadium will host all NorthPaws home games, when future MLB prospects play their summer season in the WCL. Season tickets and 10-game flex plans are now on sale for the 2022 season.

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Summer Collegiate

Stability and more support the story for NightOwls coaching staff

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Greg Frady, Gorman Heimueller, Sean FitzGerald are the only coaches the Nanaimo NightOwls have ever known.

With the West Coast League team entering its third season at historic Serauxmen Stadium, that trio will have some help for 2024 — and the local kind.

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Frady, the Head Coach and veteran of college and international baseball, is proud to add two local coaches to the staff — First Base Coach Tyler Moretti, and Mental Skills/Bullpen Coach Jordan Herbison.

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Pitching Coach Heimueller, amazingly, is approaching his 50th year in the game, a career that includes two World Series rings, while FitzGerald, who runs the offense from the third base box, brings a wealth of junior college experience from Skagit Valley College.

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Moretti is well known locally as a former Pirates player who went south to play at Jamestown College, also seeing time at then-named VIBI. He has coached at the PBL and collegiate level.

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Herbison, originally from Ontario, played at UBC and the former RHP is now an instructor at Vancouver Island University, and was the mental performance coach for the NightOwls in 2023.

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Herbison and Moretti will give NightOwls players more opportunities for development.

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Arm injuries in pro and college baseball — NightOwls make organizational statement

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Heimueller has served as a minor league pitching coach and coordinator for many MLB organizations, most recently with the Padres. He has World Series rings for his work with the Twins and Phillies.

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With the NightOwls, Gorm has enjoyed working with them all — but especially strong-command pitchers such as Nathan Buchan, Garrett Goodall, Jake Fleury and Josh Laukkanen.

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“Gorm loves to say he’s never seen a ground ball leave the park,” said Swanson.

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“We see athletes on our team and others using max effort rather than prioritizing strikes — that makes for longer games, too, another focus in baseball. If someone can throw 97, with healthy actions and commanding the baseball, that’s great — but few can and let’s stop turning our backs on pitchers who can get people out with pitch location as the priority.

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“There is too much focus on radar gun ratings, on spin rate readouts, and Gorm and our coaching staff will be developing and rewarding pitchers who locate pitches and get batters out.”

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The NightOwls are excited about the player roster for the coming season, and the mix of pitchers on the roster — different styles, to create different looks and get the 27 outs required to win games.

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Victoria HarbourCats – 2024 Season Ticket Pick-up Event

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WE ARE BACK! 2024 Season Tickets Available for Pick-Up

May 17, 2024

We are inviting all season ticket holders, host families, and fans to join us for our annual “MAX MIXER” Season Ticket Holder Pick Up Event on Tuesday, May 28th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at MAX FURNITURE at 3460 Quadra St. in Victoria.

WHAT: Season Ticket Pick-Up and Pre-Season Mixer
WHERE: MAX FURNITURE – 3460 Quadra St.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 28th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Come meet your fellow fans, grab your season tickets, and mingle with HarbourCats staff and Harvey the HarbourCat as we kickoff the 2024 season.

There will be ticket and merchandise deals offered exclusively at the event.

NO RSVP required but if you have any questions, please contact the HarbourCats office at 778-265-0327.

If you can’t make the event, you can pick up your tickets at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street. Open M-F 9AM to 5PM, and Saturdays 10AM to 4PM.

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