Wednesday, March 4, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - March 4th edition

PJ Floyd
It’s time to update you on a few of the future HarbourCats that we haven’t written about in a while. You’ll notice that a number of our NCAA freshmen haven’t been playing all that much, but that’s pretty normal for Division I baseball. It’s a big jump up from high school, so the youngsters typically spend a fair bit of time watching and learning in their freshman year. The good news is that these guys show up for summer ball all fired up and ready to go, as was the case with Alex Degoti when he only had 25 at-bats in 2013 for Long Beach State and then played his way onto the WCL All-Star team that summer.

PJ Floyd, a freshman middle infielder for Sacramento State, had only two at-bats in his team’s first nine games, but he made the most of a pinch-hit appearance on Tuesday night against Fresno State. Floyd smacked a triple and drove in two runs for the first hit and RBI of his college career. He’s now one-for-three on the season.

Floyd’s teammate in Sacramento, Dane Fujinaka, was the starting catcher last season, but he appears to have lost his starting job to former HarbourCat Gunner Pollman. Fujinaka has only appeared in one game in 2015 and he is two-for-three at the plate with an RBI. Pollman may only have a .273 on-base percentage for the Hornets, but he has been getting the bulk of the playing time based on his defensive skills.

AJ Alcantara
Photo by Steven Branscombe
Sophomore Adam (AJ) Alcantara has started in right field for six of UC Irvine’s first 11 games. Alcantara had a huge game on Saturday against the University of Tennessee, going three-for-five at the dish with an RBI and two runs scored. The performance helped move him into the cleanup spot for Tuesday night’s game, but the Alta Loma, California native was held hitless on the night. Alcantara is now hitting .333 with an impressive .440 on-base percentage in 21 at-bats this season. The Anteaters, who qualified for the College World Series last year and came into the season with high hopes, are a disappointing 3-8 on the year thanks to a nasty 5.57 team ERA.

Freshman shortstop Ryan Anderson has been riding the pine for the last 11 games after seeing action in two of the first three UC Davis games this season. He is one-for-three with a run scored and a stolen base on the year. His teammate, freshman pitcher Matt Blais, has also seen little playing time so far. In his only appearance of the year, Blais got knocked around by Gonzaga University on February 21st. He gave up five earned runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings of relief. You can chalk up that outing to rookie nerves, because Blais put up solid numbers at both Serra High School and in the California Collegiate League last summer.

Alex Fagalde continues to struggle on the mound for Cuesta College. In his February 24th start against Santa Barbara City College, Fagalde went seven innings and gave up four earned runs on seven hits and four walks. He now sports an uncharacteristic 6.75 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in 21 ⅓ innings on the hill this season. Let’s hope that Fagalde’s arm is healthy, because those numbers are a far cry from his performance with the HarbourCats this past summer (1.85 ERA, 1.18 WHIP). Fagalde posted nearly identical numbers in his 2013 freshman season with Cuesta (1.86 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) as he did in Victoria, but he missed the 2014 season with the Cougars due to an injury.

  • Three weeks ago we blogged about the new baseball that was put into use this season to increase offense in the college game. According to, the number of runs scored per Division I game in the first three weeks of the season has only increased by 4.3% (5.1 to 5.3 runs per team), but home runs are up by 40.1% due to the extra carry of the low-seam ball. Thanks in part to the increased sink on two-seam fastballs and a slight increase in slider velocity, the baseballs have also boosted strikeouts by 13.5% (6.8 to 7.7 K’s per team).

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