It’s a special thing when former players start to assist the Victoria HarbourCats in scouting for the roster – especially star players who were so revered during their time here.
Alex DeGoti, who has gone from three summers at RAP in Victoria to playing AAA in the Houston Astros system, and one step away from Major League Baseball, is one of many former HarbourCats now advocating for the program, and indeed the city, in the baseball world. Many other players, including Bryce Greager, Griffin Andreychuk, Josh Mitchell and DJ Porter, have provided opportunities for players to have a chance to further develop in Victoria’s baseball atmosphere.
DeGoti, who is spending his winter working out with Barry University in Miami, his alma mater, recommended two of the four Taiwanese nationals the team is announcing as added today to the 2018 roster – RHP Ping-Chun Ho, and IF Chang-Chih Yeh.
RHP Hao-Chun Cheng, from the National Taiwan Sports University, has been under consideration for the national team, which Bernie has now advanced to. Cheng played in the prestigious Popcorn Cup tournament in Taiwan, which puts him on the watch list for the Asian Games team. Cheng, advised by Martin Chen of ROF Sports Agency, which led Po-Hao Huang to Victoria, throws in the low-90s. He is listed at 6-3/214, and lists the Blue Jays as his favourite MLB team.
RHP Po-Jui Huang, 5-10/165, from National Taiwan Sports University, is a versatile pitcher who can start or come out of the bullpen, throwing out of the submarine arm slot.
RHP Ping-Chun Ho, 6-3/205, from Taichung, Tawain, is a 21-year-old business major who is a big Yu Darvish fan. The Barry University website declares he has “electric stuff” and will be a candidate to close games. “Three-quarter arm slot with good run on the ball, upper 80s but will add velocity,” was the scouting report from DeGoti. Ping-Chun Ho spent a year at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) but did not play.
IF Chang-Chih Yeh, 6-0/210, is a right-hand hitting corner infielder from Taichung, Taiwan, who will turn 21 in February. He’ll fit in on Vancouver Island – he lists fishing as his hobby. “Big, strong kid with a ton of power, and a cannon of an arm,” was the scouting report from DeGoti. Chang-Chih Yeh and Ping-Chun Ho are best friends.
“The success of having Bernie (Po-Hao Huang) here last year opened this door even more, and we’re pleased to have such interest as well from the Victoria Taiwan Association,” said Managing Partner Jim Swanson, referencing the Taiwanese player who had key hits in the team’s run to the 2017 WCL final. “There was such support from that part of our community for Bernie last year, and it will grow in a number of ways this coming summer. These are quality players who add more to the diversity of our program, and it’s good for the West Coast League.”
Roster to date – 21 players – C Tanner Rempel; C/3B Kekai Rios; IF/OF Jaxxon Fagg; IF/P Jedd Fagg; IF Jack Smith; IF/OF Jason Willow; IF Chang-Chih Yeh; OF Hunter Vansau; OF Ethan Lopez; OF/P Trevin Reynolds; RHP/DH Carter Loewen; LHPs Ethan Fox, Claire Eccles; RHPs Wyatt Boone, Garrett Goodall, Garrett Ritter, Luke Manuel, Lawson Humphries, Hao-Chun Cheng, Ping-Chun Ho, Po-Jui Huang.
*Rempel, Rios, Willow, Vansau, Lopez, Fox, Eccles, Boone, Manuel and Ritter have all played previously for the HarbourCats
**Luke Manuel was with Bellingham last season
***Rempel, Willow, Loewen, Fox, Eccles, Goodall and Manuel are Canadians.
2018 COACHING STAFF, VICTORIA HARBOURCATS
Head Coach – Brian McRae (second season, former MLB player)
Pitching Coach – Ian Sanderson (first season)
Assistant Coaches – Todd Haney (first season, former MLB player), Jason Leone (second season), Troy Birtwistle (second season)