34 HarbourCats Alumni Active in Pro Baseball in 2021By Chris October 20, 2021 11:33am
Nick Pivetta (pictured above from 2013) and Andrew Vaughn highlight 34 alumni in pro ball (Photo: David Nicholls)
October 20, 2021, VICTORIA, BC – Fans often ask the HarbourCats what Major League teams they are affiliated with and the answer quite frankly is, “all of them!”
That was pretty close to the case in 2021, as of the 305 West Coast League alumni who played in affiliated professional baseball this past season, 34 were from the HarbourCats and they played in 21 different MLB organizations (pro or minors) with the most (four) playing in the Texas Rangers organization.
Three players in 2021 played at the MLB level, five at the AAA level, eight at the AA level, 14 at the High A and Low A levels combined and five at the Rookie level.
At the Major League level, the HarbourCats are of course proud to note the success that the first pitcher in HarbourCats history, Nick Pivetta, is having with the Boston Red Sox. It has been a great story to watch all year and the HarbourCats wish him luck against Houston in the ALCS, where on Tuesday night he started his first ever ALCS game and was outstanding, leaving the game with a 2-1 lead, and only surrendering two hits!
Also joining Nick at the MLB level this year was rookie Andrew Vaughn, a 2017 HarbourCat, who played a key role as a rookie in leading the Chicago White Sox to the AL Central title and their playoff appearance against Houston. Vaughn finished his rookie season hitting .235 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI and might get a vote or two for Rookie of the Year.
Speaking of Houston, Mr. HarbourCat himself, Alex De Goti, had a brief call up early in the season with the parent club and all he did was slash a pair of hits, score twice and knock in two runs in his six at bats. He had a decent year with Houston’s AAA club, the Sugar Land Skeeters and should be knocking on the door again next spring for a spot on the big league club.
Also knocking on the door of their parent clubs is outfielder Nathan Lukes (2014 HarbourCat)) and Davis Wendzel (2017 HarbourCat). Lukes has spent the last two seasons with the storied Durham Bulls, AAA affiliate of Tampa Bay, and in 2021, all he did was hit .303 with 31 doubles, four home runs and 44 RBI.
Wendzel has climbed the Texas Rangers minor league ladder very quickly and while he spent most of 2021 at the AA level, where he was hampered by injuries, the Rangers thought highly enough of him to promote him to AAA Round Rock Express at the end of the season, where he could stay full time in 2022.
A full breakdown of all our players by tier and then by team, with a summary of their 2021 season, is presented below:
HarbourCats in Affiliated Baseball by Tier of Play
- MLB (3) – Nick Pivetta, Andrew Vaughn and Alex De Goti*
- AAA (5) – Alex De Goti*, Joe Navilhon, Nathan Lukes, Davis Wendzel, Quinton Torres-Costa
- AA (8) – Cameron Cannon, Chavez Fernander, Joe Record, Josh Mitchell, Indigo Diaz, Kekai Rios, Nick Meyer, Alex Fagalde
- High A (11) – Cade Smith, AJ Block, Jack Owen, Travis Kuhn, Ryan Anderson, Adam McKillican, Will McAffer, Andrew Shaps, Tommy Jew, Carter Loewen, Luke Boyd
- Low A (3) – Jack Neely, AJ Lewis, Rowdey Jordan
- Rookie (5) – Jake Pries, Shane McGuire, Josh Gessener, Wyatt Young, Owen Sharts,
HarbourCats in Affiliated Baseball by League and Team – Including Season Summaries
Boston Red Sox
MLB – Nick Pivetta, Victoria HarbourCats 2013 (New Mexico JC)
Pivetta started the 2021 season as part of Boston’s starting rotation. In his first seven starts, he compiled a 5–0 record. On June 24, Pivetta pitched a no hitter for 6+2⁄3 against the Tampa Bay Rays. He finished the season with a 9-8 record and 4.53 ERA, striking out 175 in his 155 innings of work. He has been electric in his three playoff appearances this season, winning a game and striking out 14 in 13.2 innings of work. This included three in his first ever post-season start in Tuesday night’s ALCS game against Houston.
AA – Cameron Cannon, Victoria HarbourCats (Arizona), Portland Sea Dogs
Cannon, a middle infielder, began the season with the High A Greenville Drive and after hitting .302 with eight home runs, 24 doubles and 39 RBI in 74 games, was promoted to AA Portland on August 10th. In Portland, Cannon hit .223 with three home runs, six doubles and 14 RBI in 24 games.
Chicago White Sox
MLB – Andrew Vaughn, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (Cal)
Vaughn was an integral component of the White Sox successful 2021 season and finished his rookie season hitting .235 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI. He played a number of different positions for manager Tony LaRussa including outfield, first base and DH and excelled at all of them.
High A – Cade Smith, Victoria HarbourCats 2019 (Hawaii), Lake County Captains
Smith played most of the 2021 season with the Low A Lynchburg Hillcats where he amassed a 2-3 record, with a 4.28 ERA and four saves in 40 innings of work. He held opponents to just a .177 batting average and struck out 64. He was promoted to Lake County late in the season and saw just three innings of work there, earning a save and striking out four.
AAA – Joe Navilhon, Victoria HarbourCats 2013 (USC), Toledo Mud Hens
Navilhon has been grinding it through the minors since being drafted in 2016 and in 2021 he spent the bulk of the year with the AA Erie SeaWolves where he settled into a bullpen role and had a 2.60 ERA in 32 appearances. He spent time with AAA Toledo in 2019 and again in 2021 was promoted late in the year making six appearances and finishing with an 8.22 ERA.
AA – Chavez Fernander, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (Polk State), Erie SeaWolves
Fernander began 2021 with the High A West Michigan Whitecaps where he went 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 11 appearances. He struck out 18 batters in his 18.1 innings of work. He was promoted to AA Erie in June and with the SeaWolves also had a 1-1 record and 3.60 ERA in 22 appearances, striking out 38 in his 40 innings of work. He has recently been assigned to the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League.
MLB/AAA – Alex De Goti, Victoria HarbourCats 2013-2015 (Barry), Sugar Land Skeeters
Early in 2021, De Goti became the third HarbourCats player in history to play an MLB game when he got a weekend call-up due to COVID related injuries on the parent Astros club. All De Goti did in the two games he played in was hit .333 with and RBI a walk and two runs scored. He was sent back down and finished the season with Sugar Land, hitting .232 with five home runs and 42 RBI in 104 games.
AA – Joe Record, Victoria HarbourCats 2013 (UC Santa Barbara), Corphus Christie Hooks
Record spent the full season with AA Corphus Christie where he amassed a 5-2 record and 3.36 ERA in 19 appearances. He had two trips to the injured list which hampered his development, but still managed to get in 61.2 innings of work. The Astros have assigned to Glendale Desert Dogs in Arizona Fall League, where it is hoped he can get some additional innings of work in 2021.
Kansas City Royals
High A – A.J. Block, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (Washington State), Quad City River Bandits
Block began 2021 with the Low A Columbia Fireflies where after four appearances and 16 innings of work, with 26 strikeouts, he was promoted to Quad City. With the River Bandits, Block had a 4-5 record and 3.98 ERA in 19 appearances (16 starts), striking out 98 in 85 innings of work.
AA – Josh Mitchell, Victoria HarbourCats 2015-2016 (Pittsburgh), Wichita Wind Surge
It has been an interesting journey for Mitchell so far since he was drafted by Kansas City in 2017. In 2019 he had climbed to AA Northwest Arkansas before being claimed in the Rule 5 draft by the Twins. He was first assigned for 2021 to AAA Rochester, but in the MLB minor league shake-up, Minnesota’s AAA team then became the St. Paul Saints, and then the Saints moved Mitchell to AA Wichita. Unfortunately, Mitchell only made four appearances for the Wind Surge, going 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA before injury struck and he spent the rest of the season on the 60-day injured list.
New York Yankees
Low A – Jack Neely, Victoria HarbourCats 2019 (Ohio State), Tampa Tarpons
After being drafted in the 11th round of the 2021 draft by the Yankees, Neely was assigned to Tampa in September where he began his pro career, appearing in two games and striking out five in two innings of work. His Tarpons made it to the 2021 Southeast League Championship but lost to the Bradenton Marauders.
Rookie – Jake Pries, Victoria HarbourCats 2015 (UCLA), GCL Yankees
Pries debuted in the rookie level in 2019, and with the return of minor league baseball in 2021, that is where he stayed. The right-handed hitter played in 24 games, hitting .259 with two home runs and 12 RBIs. Depending on if the Yankees renew Pries’ contract, the former UCLA Bruin may end up in independent baseball. If the contract is extended, Pries will likely start 2022 at the Low-A level.
High A – Jack Owen, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (Auburn), Lansing Lugnuts
After signing a free agent contract with the A’s in July following the 2021 draft, Owen was immediately assigned to the High A Lugnuts where he made seven appearances (four starts), going 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA. He struck out 21 batters in 20 innings of work, while only walking four, but opponents hit .295 off him.
Rookie – Shane McGuire, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (San Diego), AZL A’s
After being drafted in the 9th round by the A’s McGuire began his pro career in the Arizona Rookie league where he struggled early, but finished the season hitting .280 over 19 games, with three doubles, seven walks and nine RBI. In the field, he was behind the dish for 10 games, throwing out five base runners and finishing with a .987 fielding percentage. He also played five games at first base and three as DH.
High A – Travis Kuhn, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (San Diego), Everett AquaSox
Kuhn began 2021 with the low A Modesto Nuts where he enjoyed some success as a closer, building a 2-1 record with five saves and striking out 36 in 28 innings of work. He had a brief call up to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers where he struck out two batters in an inning of work. He went back to Modesto but then was promoted to High A Everett, appearing in three games before injuries sidelined him for the remainder of the year. He has now been assigned to the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League to get some extra work following his return.
Tampa Bay Rays
AAA – Nathan Lukes, Victoria HarbourCats 2014 (Sacramento State), Durham Bulls
But for the incredible talent currently patrolling the outfield for the Tampa Bay Rays, Nathan Lukes would easily be the fourth HarbourCat to play at the MLB level. Stuck behind the likes of Randy Arozarena, Kevin Kiermaier and others, Lukes has spent the last two seasons with the AAA Bulls and in 2021, all he did was hit .303 with 31 doubles, four home runs and 44 RBI. Defensively, his fielding percentage in the 82 games he played in the outfield was perfect.
AAA – Davis Wendzel, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (Baylor), Round Rock Express
Wendzel has climbed the Texas Rangers minor league ladder very quickly and while he spent most of 2021 at the AA level, he did have a couple of rehab assignments back in the Arizona Rookie League, however the Rangers thought highly enough of him to promote him to AAA Round Rock Express at the end of the season, where he managed to get into eight games, hitting .213 with one home run, two doubles and two RBI.
High A – Ryan Anderson, Victoria HarbourCats 2016 (UC Davis), Hickory Crawdads
Two way player Ryan Anderson saw action in 15 games for the Crawdads in 2021, hitting just .118 with a double, home run and three RBI. He also pitched a scoreless inning. Unfortunately he went down in early June with an undisclosed injury and is still listed as being on the 60-day injury list.
High A – Adam McKillican, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (Gwinnet College)), Hickory Crawdads
It has been a wild ride in 2021 for McKillican, the HarbourCats 2017 pitcher of the year. After recovering from Tommy John surgery, the big right hander’s 2020-2021 season was scrubbed at UBC because of COVID, so he transferred to Gwinnet College in Georgia, where he helped his team win the NAIA World Series in June. He then signed a pro contract with the Quebec Capitales of the independent Frontier League, where he performed well enough that the Texas Rangers offered him a free-agent contract. McKillican began his pro career with the Rangers Arizona Rookie League team where he pitched two innings of relief, getting the win in his very first game, and was then promoted to the Crawdads, where he appeared in five games over the last part of the season.
Rookie – Josh Gessner, Victoria HarbourCats 2019 (Australia), AZL Rangers
Gessner would begin the 2021 season with the Phillies Florida Coast League rookie team, but in July was traded to the Texas Rangers and finished the year in the Arizona Rookie League. Combined, Gessner saw action in 11 games (37 innings), starting eight, and building a 2-2 record with a 4.14 ERA. He struck out 64 batters, while walking 22, over that time and held opponents to a .182 batting average.
Toronto Blue Jays
High A – Will McAffer, Victoria HarbourCats 2016 (Tulane), Vancouver Canadians
McAffer began the season with the Canadians and was briefly released in early May so that he could play on the Men’s Canadian National team that participated in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. He returned to the Canadians, but then in June was promoted to the AA New Hampshire where he appeared in eight games before being returned to the Canadians to complete the year. Combined, McAffer appeared in 30 games, all in relief, with a 3-3 record and a 7.98 ERA. He struck out 60 batters in 44 innings of work, but also gave up 46 walks and 42 hits.
AA – Indigo Diaz, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (Michigan State), Mississippi Braves
Diaz began the season with the Low A Rome Braves and was promoted to Mississippi in mid-July. He spent a bit of time on the injured reserve list in late August and returned to action in early September. Combined, Diaz appeared in 32 games, all in relief, amassing a 6-2 record, with five saves and impressive 1.20 ERA. He struck out 83 batters in 45 innings of work. He has been assigned to the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League for some additional work this season.
Low A – A.J. Lewis, Victoria HarbourCats 2018 (Eastern Kentucky), Fresno Grizzlies
Lewis began the 2021 season with the High A Spokane Indians where he appeared in 21 games hitting just .179 with one home run and eight RBIs. He was moved to Low A Fresno in August and settled in, hitting .283 for the Grizzlies in 15 games. In Fresno, Lewis was mainly used in left field (11 starts) and only started five of 20 games as catcher when with Spokane.
Los Angeles Dodgers
High A – Andrew Shaps, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (William Jessup), Great Lakes Loons
Shaps spent the full season with the Loons, and was used as a two-way player, making 16 starts in the outfield, but also 22 appearances on the mound, all in relief, where he was 0-1 with an impressive 0.98 ERA. His offensive output was not as great, as Shaps hit only .172 with one home run and 14 RBI in 18 games, striking out 24 times. He also spent a brief time on the Loons Development List at the end of June.
AAA – Quinton Torres-Costa, Victoria HarbourCats 2014 (Hawaii), Nashville Sounds
Things began optimistically for Torres-Costa in 2021 as he was extended an invite to the Milwaukee Brewers Big League spring training camp. He came out of that and was assigned to AAA Nashville where he made 35 relief appearances and accumulated a 6.81 ERA before being released on August 30th.
AA – Kekai Rios, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (Hawaii), Biloxi Shuckers
Rios began his 2021 campaign at High A Wisconsin where he played in 42 games, starting 37 games as catcher, hitting .270 with three home runs and 20 RBI. He was promoted to the AA Shuckers in early September and appeared in six games, all at catcher, throwing out four of seven runners, but hitting just .105 in his limited 19 at bats.
New York Mets
AA – Nick Meyer, Victoria HarbourCats 2015 (Cal Poly), Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Meyer began the season at AA Binghampton, but had some early season call ups to AAA Syracuse where he started nine games as catcher and hit a respectable .286 over 11 games, with three doubles and six RBI. He came back to Binghampton and spent some time on the 7-day injury list but finished the season there hitting .243 with three home runs and 12 RBI, with 44 of his 49 starts coming behind the dish.
Low A – Rowdey Jordan, Victoria HarbourCats 2018 (Mississippi State), St. Lucie Mets
Jordan capped off his great career at Mississippi State by winning the NCAA Division 1 Championship and then was drafted by the Mets in the 11th round of the 2021 MLB draft. He was assigned to St. Lucie where he played in 30 games (20 starts in centerfield) hitting .229 with one home run, four doubles, 18 walks and 13 RBI.
Rookie – Wyatt Young, Victoria HarbourCats 2016 (Pepperdine), FCL Mets
Drafted in the 15th round in 2021, Young began his pro career with the Florida Coast League Mets where he played in 26 games, starting 18 at second base, hitting .370 with eight doubles, a triple and 13 RBI.
Rookie – Owen Sharts, Victoria HarbourCats 2018 (Nevada), FCL Pirates
Sharts was drafted in the 13th round by the Pirates but has been on the injured reserve list and has not played yet as he is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
St. Louis Cardinals
AA – Alex Fagalde, Victoria HarbourCats 2014 (UC Riverside), Springfield Cardinals
Another former ‘Cat who has been grinding it out in the minors since being drafted in 2017, Fagalde’s year started well when he was assigned to AAA Memphis. He was placed on injured reserve in early June and then assigned to AA Springfield on his return and on August 9th was again placed on injured reserve with what appeared was a season ending injury and he was released by the team in September, finishing 2021 with a combined 15 appearances and 3.18 ERA.
High A – Tommy Jew, Victoria HarbourCats 2016 (UC Santa Barbara), Peoria Chiefs
Jew began the year at Low A Palm Beach where he appeared in 54 games and hit .213 with five home runs and 30 RBI. He was promoted to Peoria in August and appeared in 21 games, hitting just .143 with four doubles and five RBI.
San Diego Padres
High A – Carter Loewen, Port Angeles Lefties/Victoria HarbourCats 2018 (Hawaii), Fort Wayne Tin Caps
Loewen began the year in Fort Wayne, appearing in 21 games all in relief and amassed a 1-1 record and 4.84 ERA with 7 saves and 31 strikeouts in 22.1 innings of work, before a season-ending injury in mid-July put him on the shelf for the remainder of the season.
High A – Luke Boyd, Victoria HarbourCats 2017 (Baylor), Fort Wayne Tin Caps
Drafted in the 17th round, Boyd began his pro career with the Arizona Rookie League Padres where he appeared in just two games before being promoted to Fort Wayne. With the Tin Caps, Boyd appeared in nine games, all in relief, earning a 2-1 record and 2.79 ERA. He struck out 15 batters in 9.2 innings of work, while only walking two.
The HarbourCats will have a brand new crop of players when they resume play in the 2022 West Coast League season, so be sure to reserve your seats to see some of the best up and coming baseball players in North America!
Season Tickets and 10-game flex packs are now on sale! 2022 schedule is anticipated shortly! Contact the office at 778-265-0327 to get set up, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries!