Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN

Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Greater Victoria Baseball Association announced Saturday that Former Victoria Seals pitcher Anthony Pluta will be the Manager of the Victoria Eagles Premier Baseball League team in 2013.

Pluta became known to Victoria baseball fans as a regular pitcher with the Victoria Seals in the latter part of the 2009 season and again for their full season here in 2010.  The 29-year-old, who spent the past two seasons playing for the Newark (NJ) Bears in the Can-Am League, is now engaged to a local resident and intends on making Victoria his permanent home.  

Pluta is tremendously excited about the prospects for the 2013 Premier Eagles. “I had the opportunity to meet the Eagles coaches and players during practices last spring and I was impressed by both the organization and the players on the field. I wholeheartedly support the development focus of the Eagles program and I know my experience can help our Eagles players be successful on the diamond and in the classroom.”

IMG 2421
Former Seals pitcher Anthony Pluta will take the helm of the Victoria Eagles Premier team in 2013 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Over the last 12 years, Pluta has combined playing professional baseball with managing high-performance high school-age baseball. He started playing ball as a talented outfielder and hitter but his strong arm led to a focus on pitching. Entering Grade 12 at Las Vegas High School, Pluta was ranked by Baseball America as a top US high school pitching prospect and he received scholarship offers from 33 NCAA Div. 1 programs. While he signed a Letter of Intent with Long Beach State University, the 17 year-old hard throwing right-hander was picked in the third round of the 2000 MLB amateur draft by the Houston Astros.

Pluta decided to forego college to play professional baseball and spent six years in the Astros organization where he established a reputation for hard work and an excellent fastball that hit 100 mph on the speedgun in 2002. The No. 5 prospect in the Astros system during 2001 and 2002, Pluta played professional ball for 12 years with six major league and two independent teams, including the Seals.

In the off-season during his years of professional baseball, Coach Pluta found time to give back to the game. He is a US National Certified High School Coach and has been an instructor with the Las Vegas Baseball Academy for the past 12 years. In 2010, he was the Head Coach of Oaks Christian High School, one of the largest private schools in California. More recently, he has served as the Director of Baseball Operations for the Diablos Baseball Club in Las Vegas, a high-performance program of 12 teams for players ranging in age from 8 to 18.

Beyond teaching, Coach Pluta has organized numerous baseball academies and camps over the last 10 years using his extensive network of former teammates currently playing in the major league as instructors. Incredibly, over the last four years he has also found the time to pursue a university degree and in the spring of 2012, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Martin Winstanley, head of the Victoria Eagles Baseball Program, is enthusiastic about his new Manager. “Anthony not only brings a high standard of professionalism and baseball knowledge to the Premier Eagles but his infectious passion and energy for the game and the players will energize our entire organization. All of the players on our five teams will benefit from his presence. We are very fortunate to have him as the Manager of the Premier Eagles.”

In addition to the announcement of Pluta, the Eagles and the GVBA High Performance Division also announced 2013 coaching appointments for their other Bantam and Midget teams.  The full slate of Victoria Eagle and Victoria Select appointments include:

Eagles General Manager – Gautam Srivastava

Premier Eagles Manager – Anthony Pluta

Jr. Premier Eagles Manager – Jordan Will

Midget AAA Selects – Rocky Vitale

Bantam AAA Eagles – Jay Longpre

Bantam AAA Eagles – Scott Rimek