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)
**BLUE JAYS/MARINERS WEEKEND IN SEATTLE — August long weekend
The HarbourCats are also pleased to be teamed once again with Wilson’s Transportation and Flight Centre to offer a three-game, three-day trip to Seattle to see the Mariners host the Toronto Blue Jays (Aug 3-4-5). The cost, based on double-occupancy, is $899 per person, or $825 per person for our season ticket holders. It includes bus travel, ferry, two nights of hotel at the Embassy Suites in Lynwood, shopping trips, opportunities for golf, and lower-level tickets to three games at Safeco Field.
This is a trip that has sold fast in the past two years. To sign up, contact Carey Shelby of Flight Centre at email@example.com.
GREAT TEACHERS CONTEST
The HarbourCats continue to take nominations for the Great Teachers Contest, sponsored by Mayfair Optometric Clinic. The winner for February will be announced next month.
Each month until May, the HarbourCats will select a teacher, whose class will be guests of Mayfair Optometric Clinic at the team’s annual School Spirit Game – a day-game in June, date to be announced when the West Coast League schedule is released, perhaps as soon as next week.
To nominate a great teacher, email a submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
SEASON TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE
The HarbourCats have seen an uptick in season ticket purchases, and as corporate partnerships are completed, the selection of season ticket locations and single-game walkup options is getting less and less. Seats in the Diamond Club, the two-year-old on-field section, are sold out, but there remain available seats in the popular padded/served Campbell Real Estate Club Section, and in the Main Grandstand.
With the off-season now upon us, the team’s office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street will see reduced hours through the end of the year.
MONDAY-FRIDAY – 10am-4pm (usually open until 6pm weekdays)
SATURDAY-SUNDAY – Closed (Except by appointment)
Brad Norris-Jones (General Manager, Victoria HarbourCats) 250-888-2003
Jim Swanson (Managing Partner, Victoria HarbourCats) 778-265-0327
Christian J. Stewart (Assistant GM) 250-744-7277
John Pollard (Marketing Director) 250-888-2969