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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

NorthPaws Single-Game Tickets Available for 2022 Season

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Tickets for the Kamloops NorthPaws 2022 regular season are now available. The inaugural season schedule features nine three-game series from the end of May through the beginning of August. Highlighted […]

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – HarbourCats start 2022 signings with local talent

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Nine from Victoria, including Golden Tide standouts, lined up for WCL season

January 6, 2022

For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, B.C. –– There’s a lot of baseball talent in the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

The Victoria HarbourCats are pleased to announce the first nine signings — yep, a full lineup, from Victoria — for the 2022 West Coast League season, and all have strong Victoria roots.

The players range from NCAA Division-1 players to those who showed their skills and work ethic with the Victoria Golden Tide, the new Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) team that plays out of Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP.

Tide pitcher Haldon Craig will join the HarbourCats in 2022 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

“Developing local talent from the ground up has been my goal since I came on board with the HarbourCats in 2018,” said Curtis Pelletier, the team GM who was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for four years with the HarbourCats and is also the Head Coach of the Golden Tide. “The kids in the stands all hope to wear the HC one day and we’re making that a reality now. We have put together a phenomenal group of coaches to train the Golden Tide and Players Club athletes with the goal of signing them to the HarbourCats. Get used to seeing local players on the field here in the summer as there is some serious talent coming through our programs.”

Golden Tide’s Daniel Sawchyn, will bring speed to the HarbourCats outfield and base paths in 2022 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The nine players are:

• RHP Noah Takacs, Sacramento State, 6-3/200
• OF Josh Walker, Sacramento State, 6-1/175
• LHP/1B Eric Luchies, Lower Columbia College, 6-3/200
• RHP Owen Luchies, Lower Columbia College, 6-2/195
• RHP Dawson Hurford, Western Nebraska College, 6-3/195
• RHP Haldon Craig, Victoria Golden Tide, 6-3/215
• LHP Jacob Popadynec, Victoria Golden Tide, 5-11/175
• IF Jordan Bond, Victoria Golden Tide, 6-0/185
• OF Daniel Sawchyn, Victoria Golden Tide, 6-0/170

Takacs, a product of the Victoria Eagles of the BC Premier Baseball League (PBL), had a 4.82 ERA and made four starts for the Hornets in 2021. Sacramento State teammate Walker, a lefty hitter who came through the Victoria Mariners PBL program, has appeared in 13 games over two spring seasons.

The Luchies brothers, Eric and Owen, are both from the Eagles PBL program and are making the big jump, one year apart, to the Lower Columbia program, a junior college in the NWAC. Both bring a power game and tremendous potential. Hurford, from Victoria but a product of the PBL’s Langley Blaze, has made 18 appearances, including 11 starts for the WNC Cougars.

Pitcher Owen Luchies throwing for the Golden Tide in exhibition play last fall (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Bond, Sawchyn, Craig and Popadynec are all local products (Bond and Popadynec from the Eagles, Craig from the AAA Capitals, and Sawchyn from the Mariners) who got their first college action this last fall with the Golden Tide, and will provide valuable depth — Bond and Sawchyn for their bat and defence, Popadynec and Craig off the mound.

Jordan Bond had a strong fall season with the Golden Tide (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Takacs is thrilled to have the chance to play summer collegiate baseball in his hometown. “It means the world to me… I wanted to play HarbourCats baseball all my life and finally, through all the pandemic problems, myself and a few others will get that opportunity. Victoria is a small baseball town but at the heart of it has some of the most dedicated individuals you’ll ever meet. Whenever I come home to train I know that I will have the right dudes around me to push me to get better every day. Without the people I met in Victoria I wouldn’t be the player or person I am today.”

The HarbourCats will begin their 2022 West Coast League campaign with their Home Opener on Tuesday May 31, 2022 at 6:35 pm against the Port Angeles Lefties, the first of 34 home games that will be played at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park.

Golden Tide pitcher Jacob Popadynec will be a nice left-handed option for the HarbourCats in 2022 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Season Tickets, 2022 single-game tickets, 10-game flex packs, gift cards and HarbourCats merchandise are now on sale at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street, or by calling 778-265-0327. Single-game tickets may also be purchased directly on-line at www.harbourcats.com/tickets.

Fans holding unused tickets or flex-pack vouchers from the cancelled 2020 and 2021 seasons may also now exchange these for tickets for any 2022 regular season game. This can be done at the HarbourCats office.

For more details and to keep up with the latest news on the 2022 season, please visit the HarbourCats website at www.harbourcats.com.

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Seven New NightOwls Have Been Signed

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It’s a good thing the new uniform sets have some bigger sizes, with the seven players the Nanaimo NightOwls are pleased to announce today.

With the three pitchers coming from California Baptist University (CBU), and four position players from the University of Hawaii (UH), the expansion NightOwls will have plenty of size on the field when the team starts play in the West Coast League.

The hallmarks of the players signed — power arms, power bats, and athleticism.

LHP Mason McGarvey, CBU, 6-4/235

RHP Carson Olsen, CBU, 6-5/225

RHP Will St. Marseille, CBU, 6-0/205

1B/3B Grant MacArthur, UH, 6-4/240

OF Tobey Jackson, UH, 5-11/165

IF Xander Sielken, UH, 5-10/175

OF Logan Gibson, UH, 5-10/160

“I’m excited to see these guys at historic Serauxmen Stadium — there’s a lot of talent in the smaller guys, and big-body power in the monsters on the hill,” said Jim Swanson, GM of the NightOwls, who will open at home on June 3 after the team debuts on the road at Portland on May 31.

“We really like the network we have with top schools, and those programs are excited to have their players with our coaches, Head Coach Greg Frady and Pitching Coach Gorm Heimueller. It’s a big piece of the puzzle. Scouts we talked to for references had strong words about their college and pro potential.”

CBU is one of the true emerging programs in NCAA-D1 baseball, becoming a perennial power under highly-respected coach Gary Adcock. The UH Bows are now led by former University of San Diego Head Coach Rich Hill, a 1,000-game winner intent on turning Hawaii into a program that rolls toward the College World Series every year.

The schedule for the 2022 Nanaimo NightOwls (and Bars!) season is posted at nanaimonightowls.com — where fans can also find team merchandise, and get information on tickets and season memberships, which are moving fast.

“It’s exciting to see all the work being done at Serauxmen Stadium, getting ready for all the user groups, we think fans are going to enjoy the enhancements and the atmosphere of the West Coast League, and how it all ties into the community,” said Swanson.

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