Oh boy it’s getting close now! A measly eight weeks to the day from now, we’ll be warming our plastic seats as the sun gently sets down the third base line, blinding all who sit in the soccer stands. Yes it will be opening day 2016! While it seems to be just around the corner, it’s also miles away, and there’s a ton to do before it gets here. The 2016 HarbourCat players are in full gear with their college and high-school years, battling through tough school schedules, mind-numbing exam cycles, and endless frat parties – likely a summer in Victoria is far from their minds. But it’s coming just the same, and we need to be ready!
This edition of “Around the Horn” is going to look at the current HarbourCat roster, and the infielders we can expect to see come June. Future editions will take a run through the outfield and the pitching staff, but we start with the bag men – ala Laurel and Hardy…
Who’s on First:
Matt Warkentin, University of San Francisco Dons
Used primarily as a utility man and pinch hitter, Warkentin is hitting .150 in 20 AB. He’s had 5 starts, and is working on a perfect 1000 fielding percentage when he gets the chance.
Brayden Resch, North Dakota State Bison
Resch is having a phenomenal year at 1B for the Bison. Hitting .323, his consistency at the plate has him at the top of most Bison stat categories. He leads the team in multi-hit and multi-RBI games, and has had a 20 game streak reaching base. He’s spent most of the year hitting 4th, and has 18 RBI.
What’s on Second:
Rykker Tom, Cedar City (HS) Redmen
A high school senior, Tom is having an outstanding final year hitting .475, with 23 runs scored in 13 games. Primarily a 2B, he’s also had 3 pitching appearances, including a save. A speed demon on the base paths, he’s a perfect 12 for 12 on SB attempts.
Griffin Andreychuk, Seattle University Redhawks
No introduction needed for Griff, but worth pointing out that he’s having another stellar year. A leader at SU, Andreychuk runs the infield from the SS position and hits lead off for the Redhawks. Griff is hitting .327 with 14 walks, while collecting 21 RBI – in the lead off spot! He leads the team with 5 doubles, and is 9-10 on steals.
Brad Pluschkell, UC Davis Aggies
Pluschkell is getting good playing time for the Aggies, starting 23 of their 26 games. He’s hitting out of the 8 or 9 spot most days, and has a .187 BA. He’s not playing at third though, he’s started 20 games at 2B so far…
Dakota Dean, New Orleans State Privateers
Dean is lighting it up down in the Big Easy. Starting all 32 games for the Privateers, he’s hitting .362 with 31 RBI and 4 HR. A keen eye for the junk, he’s also walked 27 times for a .486 on base percentage. And he’s getting better – hitting safely in 17 of his last 20. A solid three-hole hitter if there ever was one.
Giving a Damn at Short:
Scott Silva, Fresno State Bulldogs
Silva is showing a lot of early potential at the plate for the Bulldogs. Now getting a regular start at SS, he’s hitting .306 in 49 appearances. He’s contributed 9 RBI and 7 runs in his 14 starts so far this season.
Cameron Cannon, Mountain Ridge (HS) Mountain Lions
Cannon is tearing up his final year of high school, hitting .365 on 59 appearances over the team’s 15 games. He hits for power and placement with 3 HR and 15 RBI.
And behind the plate:
Nick Meyer, Cal Poly Mustangs
Returning C Nick Meyer is performing well as the Mustang’s starting catcher this season. Starting 25 of 30 games for the team, he’s sitting at a lofty .270, with 20 hits and 12 RBI. Behind the plate, he’s nabbed 7 of 20 base thieves.
James Outman, Sacramento Swarm
Outman is seeing limited work so far this season, as the Swarm are led behind the dish by ex-Cat Gunner Pollman. In only 18 AB this season, Outman is hitting .111 with 2 RBI and 6 K.
Chayce Ka’aua, University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Ka’aua is another catcher hitting for a average so far this season. He’s sitting at .279 in 11 games (10 starts), with 12 H and 7 RBI. Showing consistency, he’s hit safely all but 1 of his last 8 starts.
Joe Prior, Fresno State Bulldogs
Prior has started 12 games behind the dish, and has appeared in 10 more as a utility/pinch hitter. He’s hitting .191 on 9 hits, with 9 K’s.
So far, a good mix of talent both at the plate and in the field, with at least one solid starter at each position. And in case you noticed, there is one name you don’t see here, and that’s last year’s Cats 3B, Michael Gretler. Originally penned in as a returning player, OSU has moved Grets behind the plate this season. With four catchers already signed, there just isn’t room for another on the current lineup. Too bad, he was a great player, and a solid young man. He will be missed for sure, but we wish him the best of luck with his new role.
Next week, we’ll check out the outfielders and see how they are shaping up for opening day…