HarbourCats Come in PairsBy Thomas Wilke May 03, 2022 02:58pm
Above Photo: Former HarbourCat Wyatt Young playing with the New York Mets during spring training
Victoria, BC – Once a HarbourCat, always a HarbourCat
With the major and minor league baseball seasons having now been underway for over a month, there is an influx of former HarbourCats players that have landed with either major league teams or developing in their systems.
One of the beauties of baseball is the way in which things always seem to work out in a situation where the least likely possible outcome somehow comes to be. This is true in this example with the fact that the there are currently five different pairs of former ‘Cats players that are teammates in the minors.
- Joe Navilhon (RHP) & Chavez Fernander (RHP) with the Erie SeaWolves (AA – Detroit Tigers)
- Carter Loewen (RHP) & Luke Boyd (RHP) with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps (High A – San Diego Padres)
- Jack Owen (LHP) and Shane McGuire (C) with the Stockton Ports (A – Oakland Athletics)
- AJ Lewis (C/INF) and Adam McKillican (RHP) with the Spokane Indians (High A – Colorado Rockies)
- Nick Meyer (UTL) and Wyatt Young (SS/2B) with the Syracuse Mets (AAA – New York Mets)
It is genuinely quite comical the way in which these young men go from playing in the city of Victoria for the summer, to being teammates five years down the road in the minors with someone else that played in Victoria two years after them. The fact that it is now currently happening with five different pairs of players, is really quite something. Lets take a few moments to see how these players ended up playing in the same places.
- Erie SeaWolves – AA
Joe Navilhon played for Victoria during the 2013 summer before being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 21st round of the 2016 draft. He has been in and out of double-A and triple-A with Detroit since then and consistently a steady arm out of the bullpen.
Chavez Fernander was a HarbourCat for 2017 season and was drafted by Detroit in the 35th round in 2018 out of Polk State University. In 2021 he was promoted to double A ball from after playing low A, and this past spring got the chance to play with the Tigers in spring training. He struck out the only batter that he faced.
- Fort Wayne Tin Caps – High-A
Carter Loewen pitched in eight games for the HarbourCats in 2018 after being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 40th round, out of Yale Secondary School in Abbotsford, BC. Carter was signed as a free agent by San Diego in 2020 but has dealt with some health issues and is currently on his second stint on the 60-day injured list in the past year, so we wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him pitching again soon.
Luke Boyd spent the 2017 summer in Victoria during his time playing at Baylor University. He was originally drafted in 2019 by the LA Angels, but after finishing his fifth NCAA season he was drafted again. This time by the San Diego Padres in the 17th round and shortly after was assigned to rookie ball. This year he has made the jump to high A and so far has appeared in 4 games.
- Stockton Ports – A
Jack Owen is one of the finest pitchers that has come through Victoria. He made seven starts in the summer of 2017 posting a 1.02 ERA in those starts. Since then he was drafted in the 21st round of the 2019 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals out of Auburn University. This past summer he was signed as a free agent by Oakland and has posted a very nice 2.38 ERA in his seven appearances since joining the Ports.
Shane McGuire, (brother of former Blue Jay Reese McGuire), played with Jack during the 2017 season as a HarbourCat and they linked as a battery team with Shane behind the plate on more than one occasion. After four years of playing at the University of San Diego, he was drafted by the Athletics in the ninth round of the 2021 entry draft. He has found a home in single A now with his former teammate, after spending last year playing rookie ball in the Arizona League.
- Spokane Indians – A
AJ Lewis came to Victoria after a year in the NCAA and a year playing college baseball down south. After the 2018 summer season with the HarbourCats he went and joined Eastern Kentucky University for two years. He than was signed as a free agent to the Colorado Rockies in 2020 and this past spring has the privileged of entering into a spring training game as a defensive sub in the ninth inning.
Adam McKillican had a more unique route to the HarbourCats and pro ball as a whole seeing as he came to Victoria after playing at the University of British Columbia. After the 2017 season with the HarbourCats he finished his degree at UBC while playing baseball and promptly headed to play community college ball in preparation to play in the MLB draft league for the 2021 season. At the end of that draft league season he was signed by the Texas Rangers as a free agent. After being released earlier this year he was picked up by Spokane and has pitched four innings of no run baseball since then.
- Syracuse Mets – AAA
Nick Meyer played the 2015 summer as a HarbourCat and than was drafted in 2018 in the sixth round by the New York Mets out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Nick has spent time since than in; Low A, High A, Rookie Ball, Double A and now has safely landed in Triple A with Syracuse where he has batted .300 to start the season. He played in four games during spring training this year and picked up a hit in four at bats.
Wyatt Young started his career before even playing University ball as a promising young incoming freshman with the HarbourCats in 2016. After playing three years of college ball at Pepperdine University, he was drafted in the 15th round in 2021 and was promptly assigned to play rookie ball. After playing in three games for the Mets in spring training (going 2/4 with a two run double) he was assigned to play for Syracuse in triple A where he has been tearing the cover off the baseball with; a home run, six runs batted in and an astounding .353 average. Wyatt looks to be a very strong up and coming prospect in the Mets system and fear not if he is to sent down to him High-A team, whom he was playing for earlier, there will still be five pairs of minor league HarbourCat teammates. Rowdey Jordan is currently playing there and played with the HarbourCats during the summer of 2018.
As the major and minor league seasons continue we well keep very keen eyes on the Victoria alumni players who have moved on to bigger and better things. Seeing what these players have gone on to do is just a testimony to how high quality HarbourCats baseball really is, while also being a testimony to the ability of their front office to acquire blue chip prospects.
Season Tickets, 2022 single-game tickets, 10-game flex packs, gift cards and HarbourCats merchandise are now on sale at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street, or by calling 778-265-0327. Single-game tickets may also be purchased directly on-line at www.harbourcats.com/tickets.