VICTORIA, B.C. – The uniformed leadership of the Victoria HarbourCats has been completed, with a recent AAA-level professional player and a college hitting specialist joining a coaching staff led by Head Coach Graig Merritt and Pitching Coach Alec Adame.
Merritt, a Tampa Bay Rays scout, and Adame, the pitching coach for East LA College, will be joined by Jerry Pena, left, who will serve as Hitting Coach, and Joe Meggs, who will be the third assistant under Merritt. The coaching staff reports directly to General Manager/Vice-President (Baseball) Jim Swanson.
Pena is well known to Adame – they work together for the ELAC Huskies junior college program. Meggs, son of University of Washington Huskies highly-respected head coach Lindsay Meggs, reached the AAA level as a player in the Los Angeles Dodgers system.
“I am excited for the staff that has been put together – their experience, their professionalism, and their dedication to developing players in a winning environment, which has been the stated goal for the HarbourCats organization,” said Swanson, who will also contribute to the coaching side as required.
“We have organizational goals that revolve around giving this community the best representation, on and off the field, and with these additions to the coaching staff we are confident we are taking a step toward the future, and following the objectives of our new local ownership group.”
Meggs, left, 25, played the last two seasons in professional baseball, including a cup of coffee as high as AAA. He spent 2013 with Joliet of the Frontier League, then got into 34 games as a Dodgers farmhand.
Pena, 26, is a former collegiate player at Cerritos College who has become known in California for his work with elite prep programs, including San Gabriel Valley Arsenal out of West Covina, CA. His teams have not just been consistent winners, but have been champions, and he has worked with nine first-round MLB draft choices, 15 all-Americans and 35 active professional players, including six current MLB players – Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays), Anthony Gose (Tigers), Aaron Hicks (Twins), Christian Bergman (Rockies), Jon Singleton (Astros), and Gerrit Cole (Pirates).
“These are quality people with professional connections who will serve both our organization and the athletes well,” said Swanson. “The inclusion of Joe and Jerry, mixed with the leadership of Graig and Alec, will give the players the kind of attention and development that can help them raise their game.”
The other bonus is that the coaches are also willing to give their time with local youth baseball players, offering camps that will be of interest to all levels of players. Here is the info on the camps, sponsored by Kirby’s Source for Sports:
2015 HARBOURCATS JUNIOR CATS CAMP INFO
Sponsored by Kirby’s Source for Sports
—All camps at Sports Traders Diamond at RAP (1014 Caledonia)
Learn the fundamentals of the game of baseball in a fun, but structured camp environment, featuring HarbourCats coaches (and MLB scouts) – Graig Merritt, Alec Adame, Jerry Pena and Joe Meggs, with special guest instruction at select camps from Charlie Strandlund.
Monday, JUNE 29, day (Noon-2:30pm)
Wednesday, JULY 8, day (10am-12:30pm)
Friday, JULY 17, day (10am-12:30pm)
Saturday, JULY 25, day (10am-12:30pm)
Monday, JULY 27, day (Noon-2:30pm)
Thursday, AUG 6, day (Noon-2:30pm)
HARVEY’S BONUS! Each player will receive a ticket to a HarbourCats game for each camp they attend.
Participation and payment options:
$55 for three camps
$99 for all six camps
—Players in baseball attire, including cap
—Players to bring glove, bat, helmet, protective gear
—Players to pack snack/water
HOW DO I SIGN UP MY CHILD?
Register at the HarbourCats office, 101-1814 Vancouver Street, or call 778-265-0327 to charge by phone.
ADD IN HITTING ONLY EVENING SESSIONS
—Camps at Sports Traders Diamond at RAP, the HarbourCats batting cage
$20/session, or $65 for all four (maximum 6 registrants)
June 8, 6-8pm
June 18, 6-8pm
June 22, 6-8pm
June 28, 6-8pm
The HarbourCats are sorry to announce a few players will not be able to join the squad for this summer, but outstanding replacement players have been recruited to help with the goal of contending for a championship.
RHP Alex FaGalde (Cuesta College) has exceeded innings totals for this year with ace-like workloads at his junior college, and will take the summer off before advancing in his collegiate career next fall. OF John Naff of Everett CC has academic requirements that will prevent him from being in Victoria this summer, while RHP Curtis Bafus of Everett CC will attend Washington State next fall and has been asked to take part in a summer program in Pullman, Washington that will keep him from joining the HarbourCats.
The HarbourCats are pleased to announce the signing of seven players, including a local product:
n OF Brendan Somers, a product of the Victoria Mariners now at Southwest Oregon, has signed a 10-day contract, and is hitting .240 with a double in 18 games.
n RHP Shawn Kennedy II, former ELAC pitcher now at Georgetown (NAIA) who pitched for Adame in 2014 with a 9-4 record, 1.98 ERA and 78 strikeouts.
n RHP George Alamillo, ELAC, former scholarship player at Pepperdine, was 4-3 with a 1.87 ERA in 57.2 innings pitched this past season.
n RHP Dominic Topoozian of Fresno State, a 6-0/187-pound Junior transfer from Fresno City College, where he was 6-3/2.03 with 94 punch-outs in 2014. He is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 12 appearances, including a start for the Bulldogs.
n OF Austin Guibor of Fresno State, 5-9/185, left-handed hitter who has leadoff type skills, batting .331 in 42 games this season, hitting four home runs.
n RHP Josh Walker (right), Grand Canyon University, is completing his freshman year. The native of Chino Hills, CA, is 5-11/160 and was dominant in his final season at Chino HS, allowing only four earned runs in 26 innings.
n RHP Henry Omana (left), from Cal State Fullerton, is finishing his junior year, appearing in seven games, all in relief. Omana pitched for Cowlitz in 2013, winning player-of-the-week at one point. Is a 6-4/225 hard-thrower from Walnut, CA.
CURRENT ROSTER (35)
C (4) – Jackson Thoreson, St. Mary’s; Dane Fujinaka, Sacramento State; Zach Bonneau, University of Washington; Nick Meyer, Cal Poly-SLO
IF (8) – Gabe Clark, Oregon State; Michael Gretler, Oregon State; Jamie Umbinetti, Edmonds CC; Griffin Andreychuk, Seattle University; PJ Floyd, Sacramento State; Carl Stajduhar, New Mexico; Chase Lambert, Pepperdine; Scott Jarvis, UCLA
OF (9) – Kevin Collard, San Diego; Reno Rankin, LA Mission CC; Kevin Amezquita, East LA CC; AJ Alcantara, UC-Irvine; Jake Pries, UCLA; Austin Guibor, Fresno State; Ben Polshuk, Cal Poly-SLO; Brendan Somers, SW Oregon CC; Chris Fougner, Salt Lake CC
LHP (2) – Ryan Wilson, Pepperdine; Josh Mitchell, Pittsburgh
RHP (12) – Alex Rogers, Trinidad State/North Dakota State; Austin Dondanville, Cal Poly-SLO; Dominic Topoozian, Fresno State; Henry Omana, Cal State Fullerton; Zander Clouse, Bellevue CC; Mikey Wright, Consumnes River CC; Shawn Kennedy II, Georgetown-NAIA; Matt Blais, UC-Davis; Kyle Francis, Everett CC; Sean O’Toole, St. Mary’s; Preston Ryan, New Mexico; George Alamillo, East LA CC.
Head coach – Graig Merritt
Assistant coaches – Alec Adame, Jerry Pena, Joe Meggs
Trainers – Curtis Hawkins, Tanner McGaw
General Manager – Jim Swanson
*Somers, Fougner, Rogers and Andreychuk are from Vancouver Island.
**Clark, Andreychuk, Ryan, Rogers and Wright are returning players.