AC Chavez can get guys out, and Josh Marchese can hit them out.
Chavez, an all-star left-handed pitcher in the West Coast League in 2019 with the Port Angeles Lefties, and Marchese, a Burnaby product who hit four home runs for the Cowlitz Black Bears that same season, are two of the four players announced as signed by the Nanaimo NightOwls for the 2021 season, joining the squad being put together by Head Coach Greg Frady and Pitching Coach Mike Spears.
Also signed and added to the roster today are two from UC-San Diego — righty pitcher Aren Alvarez, and outfielder Brock Klescsz.
“It’s exciting for us to add players of this calibre, and in particular two guys who have had success in this very strong league already,” said Frady. “We expect them to be leaders. We expect them to lead in work ethic and preparation, and to produce in ways that support the guys around them.”
Chavez, now a junior at St. Mary’s in Texas, pitched in the junior college World Series in 2019 for New Mexico Junior College prior to arriving in Port Angeles. The product of El Paso was 2-1 in 17 games with 20 hits allowed in 23 innings for the Lefties, earning a spot on the North Division team for the 2019 all-star game in Bend. At 6-4/190, with a fastball above 90, scouts are watching him closely.
Marchese is a 6-2/230 sophomore at Niagara University, a lefty thrower/hitter with power who hit two home runs in his college freshman season, then hit .243 with four home runs and 27 RBIs in 43 games for Cowlitz in the summer of 2019. Marchese, who played for Whalley at the BCPBL high school level, can play both first base and outfield.
Brock Kleszcz, a 6-2/200 outfielder and right-handed hitter, is from Valencia, CA, and is at UC-San Diego, the younger brother of Yankees draft pick Cole Kleszcz. Brock is expected to contribute as a true freshman and bring centrefield speed with a mid-order bat, and was highly recruited by a number of D-1 schools.
Alvarez is a 6-0/185 righty from Rancho Cucamunga, CA, and a sophomore at UCSD, and has been part of championship teams. He brings an upper-80s fastball and mix of off-speed that Coach Spears will value with the pitching staff.