Sunday, April 27, 2014

HarbourCanucks Corner - April 27th edition

This is our latest installment of HarbourCanucks Corner, our semi-regular update on the Canadians signed to full-season contracts by the Victoria HarbourCats for the summer of 2014.

Brandon Feldman
While some of the recent updates on our Canadian players have been short on positive developments, we’re happy to report that both Brandon Feldman and Griffin Andreychuk have turned their seasons around in a big way over the last few weeks.

Brandon Feldman started the season in right field for Otero Junior College, but he has been used almost exclusively as a pitcher since late March -- the role he is expected to play with the HarbourCats this summer. Since our last update, the former Victoria Eagles star has thrown 12 innings on the hill without giving up an earned run and he now leads the Rattlers in ERA with an impressive 0.39 mark. In Feldman’s 23 innings pitched this season, he has only given up 14 hits and has posted a fabulous 0.96 WHIP. Otero Junior College’s regular season wraps up on Tuesday, so he won’t have any problems reporting to the HarbourCats in time for Opening Day.

Shortstop Griffin Andreychuk struggled both offensively and defensively in the early going, but that appears to have been nothing more than freshman nerves. Thanks to a much-needed eight-game hitting streak in mid-April, he has gone 13-for-31 since April 9th and has raised his batting average to the .318 mark. The Nanaimo native also has a solid .412 on-base percentage in 88 at-bats this season. Perhaps more importantly, Andreychuk’s fielding has settled down of late, as he has only committed a pair of errors in the last three weeks.

Kelly Norris-Jones hasn’t had much of a chance to show what he can do this season for the University of Illinois, thanks to a white-hot Jason Goldstein who seized the starting catcher’s job early on and has refused to let go. Norris-Jones has gone 0-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch and one run scored since April 5th and he now has a .167 batting average in 24 at-bats this year. 

  • The Washington Nationals promoted ex-HarbourCat Nick Pivetta to the Class A South Atlantic League this spring. The Victoria native has a 3-2 record and a 4.57 ERA in five starts for the Hagerstown Suns after posting a combined ERA of 2.91 at the Rookie League and Short Season A levels last season.
  • Will Dennis has started three games and made two appearances out of the pen since his epic eight-inning relief outing on April 5th. He has been lights out of late, giving up only three earned runs in 22 ⅔ innings pitched in that span. Dennis threw a complete-game, seven-hit shutout against the University of North Dakota on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Seattle U coaching staff let him throw a dangerously high 135 pitches, which isn't great for the long-term health of his throwing arm. The lefty sidearmer now sports a sparkling 2.20 ERA and 1.09 WHIP this season with the Redhawks.
  • Freshman Hunter Mercado-Hood continues to have difficulty finding playing time on a University of San Diego squad that is stacked offensively. Since April 8th, Mercado-Hood has gone 0-for-8, but he still has a .313 batting average and .410 on-base percentage in 67 at-bats this season. The former Oakland Athletics draft pick has a very high ceiling, so hopefully we’ll get plenty of chances to see his talents on display at the STD at RAP this summer. 
  • Bryce Greager is still slotted into a part-time role for the University of Nevada Wolf Pack. The versatile sophomore has been shifted between right field, second base and DH of late. Greager has gone 5-for-16 since April 8th and he hit his second home run of the season on April 19th. He has a .264 batting average and .371 OBP in 53 at-bats this spring.

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