Sept 16,2014(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The Victoria HarbourCats continue to load up on quality college baseball players in forming the roster for the 2015 West Coast League season, with 10 players now announced.
“This has been an exciting process, and we’re glad to be an organization that the best schools want to send their players to,” said General Manager Jim Swanson. “These players are going to be a pleasure to work with, for new Head Coach Graig Merritt and Pitching Coach Alec Adame. Some of the players we are confirming are from schools the HarbourCats have worked with in the past, but some are from different programs. We’re in the stage of receiving paperwork back from the players and their coaches with many we have on our list.”
Previously announced were four returning players: First baseman Gabe Clark (Oregon State), right-handed pitchers Alex FaGalde (Cuesta) and Alex Rogers (Trinidad), and second baseman Griffin Andreychuk (Seattle University). Clark’s teammate Michael Gretler, a prized recruit for the Beavers who will push to start at OSU as a freshman, was also added.
RHP Preston Ryan, University of New Mexico (sophomore, member of 2014 HarbourCats)
LHP Carson Schneider, University of New Mexico (sophomore, member of 2014 HarbourCats)
LHP Josh Mitchell, University of Pittsburgh (Junior)
LHP Henry Baker, University of Washington (Sophomore)
C Zach Bonneau, University of Washington (Sophomore)
The connection between Merritt and Adame played a key role in the signings of Baker and Bonneau. Lindsay Meggs, the Head Coach of the Huskies, coached Merritt and Adame at Chico State in 1999, and Meggs was eager to see two of his top players learn from the HarbourCats coaches.
Ryan and Schneider were valuable swingmen in 2014, with both providing valuable relief work and seeing spot starts. Their return also continues a relationship that has brought Alex Real and Danny Collier to Victoria from New Mexico. Ryan was 2-6 with two saves, a 4.29 ERA, and 34 hits allowed in 35.2 innings. He struck out 36. For Schneider, used as a lefty specialist at school, he was 1-1 with a 3.37 ERA with just four walks in 29.1 innings pitched. He gave up 34 hits and struck out 17, and like schoolmate Ryan, made one spot start. Both posted strong relief appearances at key points throughout the 2014 season.
Baker is a product of Agoura, California, and has a commanding mound presence at 6-1/226. On a Huskies team laden with star arms (eight total UW choices in MLB draft in 2014, second highest in NCAA), he made five starts as a freshman and is in the mix to be the Saturday starter this year for UW. He was 1-0 with a 7.31 ERA, striking out 16 in 16 innings. He models himself after Sandy Koufax, and threw a no-hitter in a Cooperstown tournament when he was 12.
Bonneau is a 6-0/175 sophomore who transferred to UW from Palomar JC in California. He is a product of Gonzaga Prep, and bats left. He batted .292 for Palomar over 18 games, and is a prized recruit for the University of Washington, and will get a chance to learn the position even more playing for Merritt, a former Tampa Bay Rays minor league receiver.
Lefty pitcher Josh Mitchell is the first member of the Pitt Panthers to be signed by the HarbourCats. The Ridgway, PA product is 6-1/210 who recently turned 20 and is entering his junior year. Mitchell is coming off shoulder surgery and used the rehab time to get into the best shape of his life, and projects as a possible Saturday starter for Pitt against ACC competition, with a fastball that touches 90mph. Known as a fierce competitor.
“It’s exciting to add Mitchell, Baker and Bonneau, and to have Schneider and Preston returning to give us six returning players already,” said General Manager Jim Swanson.
“Fans will appreciate seeing players they got to know last year, so to have Carson, Preston, Griffin, Gabe and the two pitchers named Alex coming back is big and we think it says something about the program, that players and their programs see the value in them coming to Victoria and playing in this atmosphere. Carson and Preston will be that year older, stronger and more experienced which hopefully means great things for them. We are working hard to take a step forward with our on-field results in 2015, with an exciting product and a pro-style coaching staff that will be focused on both developing players and helping them achieve success.”
2015 ROSTER (as of Sept. 16, 2015)
C – Zach Bonneau, UW
IF – Gabe Clark, Oregon State; Griffin Andreychuk, Seattle U; Michael Gretler, Oregon State
LHP – Henry Baker, UW; Josh Mitchell, Pittsburgh; Carson Schneider, New Mexico
RHP – Preston Ryan, New Mexico; Alex Rogers, Trinidad; Alex FaGalde, Cuesta
TICKET RENEWALS – SUPER SALE UNTIL SEPT. 19
HarbourCats fans can purchase 2015 season tickets and 10-packs now at 2014 prices. Ticket prices will be going up nominally for 2015, and those new prices will be announced when the West Coast League schedule is revealed in late October or early November.
RENEWALS – pricing EXTENDED until September 19, at same-as-2014 prices
*Renew at the team office
Premium season tickets (Sections 8-9-10-11-12) — $325
General Admission season tickets (Sections 6-7, Silver) — $225
10-Game Flex Pack, Premium — $135
10-Game Flex Pack, General Admission — $87.40
Monthly payment plans are available!
*****As a bonus, renew by September 19 and receive a collector’s UNCUT SHEET of 2014 roster baseball cards, a limited number are autographed (first-come, first-served).