WCL teams stocking up on Pac-12 talent

by Aaron Yost, College Baseball Daily
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It’s hard to argue with the success the Pac-12 Conference has enjoyed on the national stage – both historically and in more recent years – and many of the players in the conference are developing during the summer months throughout the West Coast League.

Reigning World Series champion UCLA, 2012 champion Arizona, 2006 & ’07 champion Oregon State, Oregon, Washington, Arizona State, Washington State, and Utah will all have athletes playing for WCL franchises this summer.

UCLA will send at least eight current or future players to the WCL this summer. Four future Bruins are heading to Walla Walla to play for the Sweets. Washington will send no less than four and WSU two, while Arizona and ASU have an equal number of players slated to be in the WCL. Oregon and Oregon State will have many players in the league as well – two Ducks and four Beavers are expected to be in Corvallis alone this summer. And rosters around the league have yet to be finalized for many of the teams.

Some of those players – such as Oregon State sophomore Gabe Clark – will be spending their second season in the WCL.

Clark (pictured above, and with OSU teammate Kavin Keyes), currently the #6-ranked Beavers designated hitter, spent the 2013 season with the Corvallis Knights. He’s heading to Victoria this summer to play for the HarbourCats. He’s currently hitting .297 with 19 RBIs after being a .198 hitter in 31 games as a Knight in 2013.

The Knights are slated to get three other OSU players: catchers Logan Ice (tops in the Pac-12 in field percentage as a freshman) and 2013’s leading hitter for Corvallis, Dane Lund and infielder Dan James.

Oregon left-hander Jordan Spencer is set to be a Knights pitcher this summer. He’s 1-0 in three starts over seven appearances with a 2.70 ERA.

Oregon State freshman third baseman Caleb Hamilton (.238 with 8 RBI in 24 games) will play with the Cowlitz Black Bears, who will have two Oregon commits pitching for them (Jake Corn and Kohl Hostert).

Bend gets OSU freshman pitcher Jake Thompson (3-0, 3.42 ERA) among four Beavers on the Elks roster.

That group of players – all significant contributors at their schools – scratches the surface of talent heading the WCL’s way from the Pac-12 this summer.

We’ll talk more Pac-12 here soon as we look at future and past players at first-place Washington and perennial contender Arizona State.