West Shore baseball fans have a special reason to watch the Victoria HarbourCats this year.
Belmont secondary grad Brandon Feldman, who carried the Victoria Eagles to the 2013 B.C. Premier Baseball League playoff crown, is one of the new faces on the West Coast League squad.
Coming off his first season pitching down south for the Otero Junior College Rattlers in La Junta, Colo., the right-handed Feldman, who turns 19 later this month, is one of more than 20 pitchers looking to nail down a position in the rotation or bullpen for the Cats.
“I’ll start how everyone else does,” he said of earning a spot. “You have to do well. There’s no guarantees for anybody on this team.”
Feldman, whose offensive prowess with the Eagles saw him chosen BCPBL most valuable player – he hit .439 with three home runs, 35 runs batted in and a .507 on base percentage – will focus on pitching in this league. He went 3-1 with a 1.72 earned run average with the Rattlers this season, starting four games.
Otero teammate and fellow Greater Victorian Brett Hull is also on the pre-season roster for the HarbourCats following his freshmen year. The two are among five Capital Region players on the roster, and seven from Vancouver Island.
The HarbourCats open their West Coast League season on the road June 6 against the Kelowna Falcons. Their home opener June 10 at Royal Athletic Park kicks off a three-game series against the Cowlitz Black Bears.
The WCL is a collegiate summer league in the Pacific Northwest spotlighting players from some of the top U.S. college programs. Last year alone, 57 current or former WCL players were drafted by Major League clubs.
For more on the HarbourCats, visit harbourcats.com and watch this Friday’s Black Press community newspapers for a special pre-season section about the team.
– with files from Travis Paterson