Three more players who were previously signed won’t be suiting up for the HarbourCats this summer. Alex Fagalde, Curtis Bafus and John Naff have all pulled out over the last few days, each with a different reason. Fagalde has exceeded his innings limit for the year with Cuesta College, Washington State University has asked Bafus to attend a summer program in Pullman, Washington, and Naff is unable to play for Victoria due to academic requirements. The loss of Fagalde really stings, since he may have been the staff ace this season. The three cancellations bring the total number of players who have backed out during this offseason to 13, a new high-water mark for the team.
But here’s the good news: The HarbourCats have signed seven more players to make up for all of the departures, and the new crop is heavy on both talent and experience.
Austin Guibor is an outfielder from the San Francisco Bay Area who is completing his sophomore season with the Fresno State Bulldogs. Guibor has compiled an impressive .331 / .435 / .484 slash line (BA / OBP / SLG) so far this season. Not only can the 5-9, 185 lb. left-handed hitter get on base, but he also has some pop in his bat and has swatted four homers in 157 at-bats.
The ace of HarbourCats pitching coach Alec Adame’s starting rotation at East LA College, righty George Alamillo, has also been signed. The redshirt freshman posted a fantastic 1.87 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 57 ⅔ innings pitched this spring, although he only struck out 3.8 batters per nine innings. I would expect those strikeout numbers to climb, because Alamillo struck out 11.7 batters per nine innings in his senior year at Marshall High School in Los Angeles. Alamillo had a baseball scholarship at Pepperdine University, but he was redshirted by the Waves in 2014.
Shawn Kennedy II is a right-handed pitcher with Georgetown (Ky.) College, an NAIA Division I school. The 5-11, 180 lb. junior had a 5.40 ERA and 1.76 WHIP with 36 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched this spring. Kennedy had a stellar 1.98 ERA when he pitched for Adame at East LA College in 2014. He hails from San Dimas, California, a city of 33,000 people in the San Gabriel Valley.
The youngest signing in the group is Josh Walker, a freshman pitcher from Grand Canyon University. The right-handed reliever, who is built like a young Pedro Martinez, has only pitched 5 ⅓ innings so far this season and he has allowed eight earned runs on five hits and three walks. Walker had an impressive senior year at Chino Hills (Ca.) High School, as he recorded a 1.05 ERA and 0.98 WHIP and struck out a Craig Kimbrel-like 14.2 batters per nine innings.
There are now 36 players on the current roster: 15 pitchers, 4 catchers, 8 infielders and 9 outfielders.
- The team also added a pair of coaches to help out Craig Merritt and Alec Adame. Jerry Pena of East LA College was named the team’s first-ever hitting coach. Joe Meggs, son of renowned University of Washington head coach Lindsay Meggs, was named as a third assistant coach. For more information on the new coaches, check out the HarbourCats’ press release.
- That same press release also contained information on the HarbourCats Junior Cats Camp.