The 2015 Player of the Year, a dependable pitcher from last summer, a hulking Canadian infielder who can play outfield and pitch, and a power right-handed pitcher are the four latest players to sign on with the Victoria HarbourCats.
The HarbourCats now have eight players on the roster. Announced today as signed for 2016 are the following:
IF Griffin Andreychuk of Nanaimo, B.C., Seattle University (returning player)
RHP Josh Walker of Chino Hills, CA, and Orange Coast College (returning player)
RHP Kyle Peeler of Las Vegas, and Colorado State-Pueblo
IF/OF/LHP Matt Warkentin of Leamington, ON, and the University of San Francisco
Andreychuk, in his second year as a HarbourCat, was the team’s Player of the Year in 2015, hit .385 (40-104) with five home runs, 34 runs, 25 runs driven in, and six stolen bases in seven tries. Andreychuk is driven to become a professional player, and made the West Coast League’s second all-star team this summer. The Nanaimo product is entering his junior season.
Walker became a dependable and versatile member of the pitching staff, making 19 appearances and starting two games, going 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA. He had 40 strikeouts and 21 walks with 38 hits allowed in 36.1 innings. He will be at Orange Coast College as a sophomore after transferring from Grand Canyon University.
“Griffin and Josh are the kind of players we treasure for our program, players who are hungry and who come here committed to getting better and learning the game from the coaching staff,” said General Manager Jim Swanson. “Both are focused and they understand what they can get out of our program. Walker really thrived under our coaching staff and arguably developed more than any other player on our roster, really coming into his own in our 21-8 run that nearly put us into the WCL playoffs.”
Warkentin, who throws left and bats right, is a 6-5/205 product of the Great Lakes Canadians program who can play first base, outfield, and pitch. He hit .375 with three home runs and 28 runs batted in. He is a freshman at USF this fall.
Peeler was the workhorse for San Diego Community College before transferring to Colorado State-Pueblo for this school year. At 6-1/215, the right-hander has a pro-type frame and posted a 5-3 record and 3.21 ERA while making 11 starts at SDCC. He is a junior at Colorado State-Pueblo this fall.
“Adding another Canadian in Warkentin is good for our fans and we look forward to having him become an important part of our 2016 season, while Peeler is a hard-thrower who will benefit from working with pitching coach Alec Adame and the other coaches,” said Swanson. “We’re excited to see how USF develops Warkentin, and it’s great to develop a relationship with their first-rate program. USF has supplied great players to the WCL for many years.”
Current roster for 2016 (eight players)
*2B/SS Griffin Andreychuk, Seattle University
1B/OF/LHP Matt Warkentin, University of San Francisco
OF Matt Smith, Sacramento State
*OF AJ Alcantara, UC-Irvine
*OF/IF PJ Floyd, Sacramento State
C James Outman, Sacramento State
*RHP Josh Walker, Orange Coast College
RHP Kyle Peeler, Colorado State-Pueblo