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2018 WCL Team Preview – Wenatchee AppleSox / Victoria HarbourCats

By Brandon Pavlina | May 25, 2018

Walla Walla, Wash. – See how other West Coast League teams are filling out their rosters as Sweets Opening Day is just two weeks away with the WCL Team Preview of the Wenatchee AppleSox and the Victoria HarbourCats.

Wenatchee AppleSox

Record Last Year: 29-25 (2nd in WCL North)
Head Coach: Kyle Krustangel – 2nd year
Assistant Coaches: Cash Ulrich, Riley Drongesen

The Wenatchee AppleSox had a down year in 2016 but rebounded well this past season in 2017, unfortunately coming up just short of the playoffs despite finishing above .500 in both halves of the regular season. Kyle Krustangel took over the club last year and is back for his second year with Wenatchee after leading them to their best regular season finish since 2015. The AppleSox roster for the 2018 season is rounding into form and looks to have the caliber of some of the teams of years prior that have taken home five West Coast League Championships. The team’s strength will be on the infield and will feature a group of talented players including Connor McCord (IF) from Western Oregon University and 2017 All-WCL honorable mention infielder Jake Taylor (IF, Seattle University). Two talented high school seniors will also bolster the AppleSox infield with the duo of Xavier University commit Kody Darcy (IF) and UCLA commit J.T. Schwartz (IF). Utility player Jordan Rathbone (C, OF) from South Mountain Community College will look to maintain the hot bat that he carried throughout his collegiate season, and Johnny Sage (OF) from Yakima Valley College, who hit over .400 on the season, will be an imposing threat to pitchers throughout the WCL. On the topic of pitchers, 2017 All-WCL honorable mention Hunter Boyd (RHP) from the College of Idaho is back with the AppleSox again this year and will look to have another strong summer in 2018. Nick Seamons (RHP) had a tremendous final high school season and will continue his collegiate career at the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall but first will look to shut down hitters in the WCL. Alek Jacob (RHP) proved to be an innings-eater for Gonzaga University this past season and will likely see plenty of time on the mound this summer for Wenatchee.

Key Position Players:

Johnny Sage (OF) Yakima Valley College .410 4 HR 13 doubles 40 RBI 34 runs
Jordan Rathbone (C/OF) South Mountain Community College .347 11 HR 13 doubles 57 RBI 35 runs
Connor McCord (IF) Western Oregon University .306 11 HR 11 doubles 48 RBI 37 runs
Kody Darcy (IF) Xavier University (commit) .425 2 HR 6 doubles 18 RBI 30 runs
JT Schwartz (IF) UCLA (commit) .326 7 HR 7 doubles 34 RBI 34 runs

 

Key Pitchers:

Hunter Boyd (RHP) College of Idaho 2-7 3.69 ERA 78 IP 76 K
Troy Stainbrook (LHP) Biola University 5-3 4.11 ERA 65.2 IP 52 K
Nick Seamons (RHP) University of Nevada, Reno (commit) 8-1 1.50 ERA 56 IP 53 K
Alek Jacob (RHP) Gonzaga University 6-5 2.94 ERA 88.2 IP 85 K

*Stats are from 2018 College or High School season*

 

Victoria HarbourCats

Record Last Year: 29-25 (3rd in WCL North)
Head Coach: Brian McRae – 2nd year
Assistant Coaches: Ian Sanderson, Todd Haney, Troy Birtwistle, Jason Leone

The Victoria HarbourCats put together another impressive season in 2017 after having won 40 games in the regular season the year prior. They came up just one win short of the 2017 WCL Championship after taking the first game in the three-game series against the Corvallis Knights, but lost two straight to come up just short of the team’s first championship hardware. HarbourCats head coach Brian McRae is back for his second year with the team and has put together a roster that looks to be a threat to any WCL team in 2018. The team’s strength will certainly be their depth as they have talent across the diamond. 2017 All-WCL second teamer Hunter Vansau (OF) from Mississippi State will look to repeat a strong summer and help lead the team back into the postseason. Victoria fields a plethora of capable catchers this season including the likes of Tanner Rempel (C) from Colorado-Mesa University and Matt Clayton (C) who just finished his high school senior season with a .600 batting average and will continue his playing career at the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall. The team’s infield will be spearheaded by Nick Plaia (IF) from California Baptist University and Rowdey Jordan (IF) from Mississippi State University, both of whom finished their respective seasons with batting averages above .300 and feature plus defending skills as well. The HarbourCats rotation will likely be aced by Tyler Thomas (LHP) from Baylor University who had an impressive freshman season for the Bears. WCL teams will have their hands full if they get to the Victoria bullpen with the lefty-righty pair of Joshua Candau (LHP) from UC Santa Barbara and Michael Stovman (RHP) from Indian River State College, as both players can come in and shut the door on any game with the best of them.

Key Position Players:

Matt Clayton (C) University of Nevada, Reno (commit) .600 6 HR 12 doubles 38 RBI 45 runs
Tanner Rempel (C) Colorado-Mesa University .417 4 HR 12 doubles 36 RBI 30 runs
Nick Plaia (IF) California Baptist University .333 2 HR 4 doubles 16 RBI 22 runs
Rowdey Jordan (IF) Mississippi State University .305 5 HR 11 doubles 27 RBI 30 runs

 

Key Pitchers:

Joshua Candau (LHP) UC Santa Barbara 3-1 0.92 ERA 19.2 IP 15 K
Tyler Thomas (LHP) Baylor University 3-2 2.42 ERA 48.1 IP 51 K
Michael Stovman (RHP) Indiana River State College 4-0 2.55 ERA 24.2 IP 28 K

*Stats are from 2018 College or High School season*

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