2016 Waterloo Bucks Season Preview
Bucks open 2016 season tomorrow night at Riverfront Stadium vs. the St. Cloud Rox.
By: Jared Shlensky
2016 Waterloo Bucks Season Preview:
After a 31-41 finish in 2015, the Waterloo Bucks look to regroup in 2016 under first year manager Scott Douglas. Douglas has been coaching for 25 years and brings a plethora of experience to the Bucks in 2016. His assistant coaches, Corey Thompson (Pitching Coach), Justin Jacques (Bench Coach) and Jimmy Turk (Hitting Coach) are also in their first seasons with the Waterloo Bucks.
Here’s a little more about the 2016 Waterloo Bucks coaching staff.
Scott Douglas – Manger (1st Season)
Scott Douglas was named the Waterloo Bucks’ 11th manager in franchise history on December 11, 2015. Douglas has been coaching for 25 years, including four years as the manager of the Regina Red Sox of the Summer-Collegiate Western Major Baseball League. Douglas’ Red Sox made the playoffs in all four of his years as the team’s field manager, including two division pennants, and a Finals finish in 2015. Douglas was also named the WMBL Coach of the Year in 2006.
Douglas began his coaching career in 1990 as a Head Coach/Player in the Semi-Professional/Collegiate Saskatchewan Major Baseball League. From 1992-1996 Douglas was an assistant coach at Hardin-Simmons University before becoming the third base coach for the Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs of the Prairie League. During the middle of the 1997 season with the Diamond Dogs, Douglas was promoted to field manager, and later the assistant general manager.
Douglas served as an assistant coach at the University of Northern Iowa in 1997 and 1998 before being named the head coach at Trinidad State Junior College. He compiled a record of 373-324 in 12 seasons as the head coach at Trinidad State Junior College, including a Region IX Championship in 2008, and an Empire Conference Championship in 2009. Douglas also had seven straight winning seasons at Trinidad State Junior College.
Douglas played his collegiate baseball at Waldorf Junior College and Hardin-Simmons before playing professionally for the Regina Cyclones of the North Central League and for Moose Jaw from 1994-1995. He resides in Lakewood, Colo., with his wife, Keri, and their two sons, Kade and Seth.
Corey Thompson – Pitching Coach (1st Season)
Corey Thompson joins the Waterloo Bucks for his first season in 2016 as the team’s pitching coach. Thompson just completed his second season as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Point University. Thompson was the pitching coach last summer for the Regina Red Sox of the Summer-Collegiate Western Major Baseball League. In two seasons as a pitcher at Point University, Thompson went 8-9 with a 4.94 ERA in 30 games (23 starts). As a senior in 2014, Thompson went 4-3 with a 5.65 ERA in 16 games (10 starts). In 57.1 innings, Thompson struck out 43. As a junior in 2013, Thompson finished with a record of 4-6 in a team-high 13 starts. Thompson finished second on the Skyhawks with four complete games, 81 innings pitched and 54 strikeouts.
Justin Jacques – Bench Coach (1st Season)
Justin Jacques joins the Waterloo Bucks for his first season in 2016 as an assistant coach. From 2007-2014, Jacques was the First Base/Outfield Coach at Colorado Christian University. Jacques was also involved in recruiting and the team’s strength and conditioning program. Jacques has previously helped guide the Arvada Colts (Rocky Mountain Baseball League) to two National Baseball Congress World Series. In addition, Jacques has been a Licensed Professional Counselor and Masters Addictions Counselor, working in the mental health field for the last 12 years. Jacques has a B.A. in Health Promotion from the University of Northern Iowa and a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver. Jacques also has a Certificate in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University. In the fall, Jacques will pursue his PH.D in Counseling at The George Washington University.
Jimmy Turk – Hitting Coach (1st Season)
Jimmy Turk joins the Waterloo Bucks for his first season in 2016 as the team’s hitting coach. Turk just finished his first year as an assistant baseball coach at South Mountain Community College, where the team went 38-20 and qualified for the ACCAC Playoffs. Before coaching at South Mountain Community College, Turk coached for seven years at Slammers Baseball in Colorado. During his time at Slammers, Turk coached 148 players who went on to play college baseball, including 73 who went on to play Division 1 baseball and 19 of whom were selected in the MLB Draft.
As a team, the Bucks finished around the middle of the pack (11th overall) with a 4.34 ERA. While the Bucks struck out the fifth fewest amount of batters in 2015 (449), the Bucks issued just 247 free passes, fourth fewest in the Northwoods League.
The 2016 opening day roster will likely carry 16 pitchers (two temps), six of whom will be in the starting rotation. Finding pitchers on the roster with starting experience during the 2016 college season won’t be an issue. Of the 16 pitchers on the (projected) roster, nine made at least one start with their respective college in 2016.
The Waterloo Bucks used 36 different pitchers in 2015, 15 of whom made at least one start. Three starters made at least 10 starts last year for the Bucks, including returner Carson McPherson.
Four pitchers made at least 10 appearances out of the bullpen in 2015, including returner Nate Spielvogel. Spielvogel also finished tied for the team lead with two saves in 2015.
The Bucks finished in the lower half (tied-11th overall) with 14 saves last season. 10 of the Bucks 21 relievers recorded at least one save, with no pitcher finishing with more than two.
As previously mentioned, the 2016 opening day roster will likely carry 16 pitchers (two temps), 11 of whom will see action in relief. .
Here’s a little more about the Bucks pitching staff for this season.
Jordan Accetta finished the 2016 season 2-0 with a 5.87 ERA in 29 relief appearances as a junior at Wofford College. As a sophomore in 2015, Accetta went 1-3 with a 7.75 ERA in 15 appearances (six starts). The right-hander pitched for the Vienna Riverdogs in the Cal Ripken Summer Collegiate League last summer, finishing 3-4 with a 3.19 ERA in nine games (seven starts). Accetta struck out a team-high 44 in a team-best 56.1 innings. As a freshman in 2014, Accetta finished 3-3 in 13 appearances (six starts). The Charlotte, N.C., native was named the New York Collegiate Baseball League Pitcher of the Year in the summer of 2014 with the Hornell Dodgers. Accetta finished the summer 9-0 with a 1.78 ERA in 11 games (10 starts). Accetta established a New York Collegiate League All-Time single-season winning percentage record and tied the single-season record for most wins in the regular season. Accetta was a four-year starter at Charlotte Catholic High School.
Steven Baker is one of 21 Bucks players to join the Northwoods League for the first time in 2016. Baker went 4-6 with one save and a 4.15 ERA in 23 games (nine starts) in 2016 at Chico State University after transferring from the College of Marin in Kentfield. The Truckee, Calif., native went 7-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) as a sophomore in 2015. Baker was named Second Team All-BVC as a freshman in 2014, finishing with a 5-1 record and four saves in 16 appearances (one start). Baker helped lead Truckee High School to a 2012 Nevada 3A State Championship and was named the 2012 3A State Player of the Year by the Reno Gazette. Baker was a 3A/2A Mount Rose League selection and the All-State MVP in 2012. Baker was also a two-time All-State selection in wrestling during high school, finishing fourth in 2008, and a state runner-up in 2010.
Patrick Boyle went 5-0 with a 4.81 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) at Missouri Baptist University in 2016 after transferring from the University of Cincinnati. Boyle held opposing hitters to a .214 batting average and struck out 47 hitters in 43 innings pitched. Prior to attending the University of Cincinnati, Boyle pitched at Sinclair Community College, earning First Team All-Ohio Community College Athletic Conference honors in 2014. The southpaw went 10-0 with a 2.25 ERA as a sophomore at Sinclair Community College. The Farmersville, Ohio, native set a school record with overall wins in a season (10) and conference wins in a season (6). Boyle began his college career at Wooster College in 2013, finishing 1-1 with two saves and a 4.34 ERA in 18.2 innings. Boyle also played quarterback as a freshman on the Wooster football team. Boyle was a three-year varsity letterman in football and baseball at Valley High School and was named First Team All-Southwestern Buckeye as a senior in baseball.
Jordan Buckley went 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in 11 games (one start) as a freshman in 2016 at St. Mary’s College. The Chino, Calif., native was named a 2015 Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American and named Second Team All-Region as a senior at Ruben S. Ayala High School. The right-hander ranks second in Ayala school history in career innings pitched (87), strikeouts (65), wins (9), appearances (31), complete games (2) and shutouts (2).
Jared Crescentini finished 8-2 with one complete game shutout and a 3.46 ERA as a junior in 2016 at Missouri Baptist University. The right-hander led all Missouri Baptist pitchers in wins (8), starts (15), and innings (83.1). Crescentini previously pitched at Indian River State College before transferring to Missouri Baptist. The Wesley Chapel, Fla., native went 1-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 12 appearances as a sophomore in 2015. Crescentini’s older brother, Marcus, was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 26th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
Brandon Downey went 4-1 with one save and a 5.01 ERA in 16 games (one start) at Maryville University in 2016. The right-hander finished 1-1 with a single-season high seven saves and a 3.74 ERA in 19 appearances as a freshman in 2015. The Ballwin, Mo., native was named to the Missouri High School Coaches Association’s Class 4 All-State Team as a senior. Downey was a four-year varsity letterman at Lutheran South High School as a pitcher/infielder.
Derek Hendrixson redshirted at Wright State University in 2016 after transferring from Heidelberg University. Hendrixson was named an ABCA All-American, First Team All Mid-East Region and First Team All-OAC as a reliever in 2015. The right-hander finished his sophomore campaign 7-0 with a team-high seven saves and team-best 1.15 ERA in 21 games (six starts). The reliever was named the Prospect League Galen Woods Fireman of Year with the Chillicothe Paints last summer. The Prospect League All-Star went 3-3 with a 1.84 ERA in 28 games (two starts) and finished second in the league with 17 saves. The Centerville, Ohio, native went 6-3 with a team-high six saves and 3.51 ERA in 19 appearances (one start) as a freshman. Hendrixson attended Centerville High School and was named First Team All-GWOC as a senior.
Nick Hynes went 2-2 with an 8.68 ERA in 10 relief appearances as a junior at Missouri Baptist University in 2016 after transferring from Chaffey College. Hynes struck out 15 batters in 9.1 innings and held opposing hitters to a .188 batting average this season. In 2015, Hynes went 1-2 with a 6.15 ERA in 10 appearances (five starts) at Chaffey College. In 2014, Hynes went 0-2 with one save and a 3.46 ERA in 10 relief appearances as a freshman at Riverside Community College. Following the 2014 college season, Hynes was drafted in the 30th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians, but did not sign.
McPherson returns to the Bucks in 2016 after finishing last summer 4-2 with a 4.29 in 10 starts. McPherson returns to the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after finishing last summer 4-2 with a 4.29 in 10 starts. McPherson finished the 2016 season 7-3 with a two complete games and a 3.32 ERA in 15 games (11 starts) as a junior at Oklahoma Baptist University in 2016. McPherson held opposing hitters to a team-best .176 batting average and struck out 95 in 73.2 innings. Prior to attending Oklahoma Baptist University, McPherson pitched at Murray State College in 2015. The southpaw was named to the JUCO Region 2 All-Conference team in 2015, posting a 6-2 record with one save and a 3.79 ERA in 13 games (10 starts). The Ardmore, Okla., native attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2014, but did not see any action. In 2013 McPherson pitched at Seminole State Junior College. McPherson earned All-State and All-West Region honors at Ardmore High School and was also the Southern Oklahoma Player of the Year twice.
Andrew Muehlberger returns to the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after going 0-0 with a 4.90 ERA in eight relief appearances in 2015. Muehlberger finished 1-0 with two saves and a 1.69 ERA in 14 relief outings as a junior at Central Missouri University in 2016. The Olathe, Kan., native attended Coffeyville Community College in 2015 before transferring to Central Missouri University. The right-hander went 1-0 with a 5.87 ERA in 16 relief appearances as a sophomore at Coffeyville. Muehlberger was part of two state championship teams at St. James Academy High School and was a three-time letterwinner in both football and wrestling in high school. As a wrestler at St. James Academy, Muehlberger was a two-time state qualifier, a regional champion and a state runner-up.
Tim Mulvey finished 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA in 12 games (three starts) as a junior at Washington & Jefferson College in 2016. The southpaw went 3-1 with a team-high three saves and 3.82 ERA in 18 appearances (one start) as a sophomore in 2015. The Glenshaw, Penn., native was named a Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League Postseason All-Star last summer as a starting pitcher with the Licking County Settlers. Mulvey finished the summer 6-1 with a 3.12 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts). As a freshman in 2014, Mulvey went 3-1 with a 3.37 ERA in eight games (two starts).
Bryce Reichmann finished the 2016 campaign 0-2 with a 4.10 ERA in 22 appearances (four starts) at St. Mary’s College in 2016 after transferring from Sierra College. The southpaw went 4-6 in 12 appearances (11 starts) with a 3.46 ERA in 2015 at Sierra. The Roseville, Calif., native pitched for the Danville Dans of the Prospect League last summer, posting a 4-3 record and 3.03 ERA in 12 starts.
Zach Siggelkow returns to the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after going 1-2 with a 2.28 ERA in five games (four starts) in 2015. After redshirting in 2015, Siggelkow finished without a record or an ERA in two relief appearances at St. Cloud State University in 2016. In 1.1 innings, the southpaw yielded a hit and a walk while striking out a pair. Siggelkow was a three-time All-Conference selection, a two-time All-Section selection and a MSHSBCA All-State selection in baseball as a senior at St. Anthony Village High School. The St. Anthony Village, Minn., native was also named Second Team All-Metro and a Perfect Game USA Central Region Honorable Mention selection in baseball as a senior. The southpaw was a three-time letterwinner in both basketball and football at St. Anthony Village High School.
Brett Solano redshirted at Menlo College in 2016. As a junior in 2015, Solano went 10-2 with a 3.28 ERA in a team-high 15 starts. The right-hander led all Oaks pitchers in 2015 with 104.1 innings pitched and 10 wins. Solano’s 10 wins were also a single-season high for wins in a season. Prior to attending Menlo College, the Campbell, Calif., native pitched for Mission College. Solano was named the team’s Pitcher of the Year in 2014, finishing 5-5 with a 2.85 ERA in 14 games (12 starts).
Hunter Spencer joins the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after being named the Great Lakes Valley Pitcher of Year in 2016 at Bellarmine University. Spencer finished the 2016 campaign 6-2 with a 2.18 ERA and a team-best two shutouts and 74.1 innings pitched. The southpaw went 1-4 in five relief appearances as a freshman in 2015. The Scottsburg, Ind., native was named an IHSBCA All-State Honorable Mention selection as a senior at Austin High School.
Spielvogel returns to Waterloo for his second season in 2016 after going 1-6 with an 8.37 ERA in 18 games with the Bucks in 2015. Spielvogel finished the 2016 campaign at Merrimack College with a 3-1 record and team-best five saves in 15 relief appearances. Through three seasons, Spielvogel is already the all-time leader in saves with 11 at Merrimack. The right-hander went 1-2 with a team-high six saves and 3.14 ERA in 12 appearances as a sophomore at Merrimack College in 2015. As a freshman in 2014, Spielvogel went 0-1 with a 4.40 ERA in 10 games. The Brookline, Mass., native was named a Futures Collegiate Baseball League All-Star as a relief pitcher in the summer of 2014 with the Pittsfield Suns. Spielvogel finished the summer 2-4 with two saves and a 2.25 ERA in 19 games. Spielvogel was a two-way player and a four-year member of the baseball team at Brookline High School.
The Waterloo Bucks used a total of four catchers in 2015, two of whom return for this season in Adam McGinnis and Zack Soria. This year’s team will also carry four catchers to open the season, including first year Bucks Nate Soria (the younger brother of Zack Soria) and Zach Fricke (temp).
While Waterloo receivers struggled throwing out opposing basestealers in 2015, Bucks catchers made up for it by committing a miniscule amount of errors. In 526 total chances in 2015, Bucks catchers committed just 13 errors, totaling a .975 fielding percentage.
Opponents were successful 95% of the time when attempting a stolen base against the Bucks last season, ranking second worst in the league. In 110 stolen base attempts, Bucks catchers gunned down just 15 (.136%).
Offensively, Bucks catchers hit a combined .187 with two home runs last season. Z. Soria led all Bucks catchers offensively last year with a .264 average and 15 RBI. On the base paths, Bucks catchers were successful on seven of nine total stolen base attempts in 2015, six of which came from Z. Soria.
Here’s a little more about the Bucks catchers for this season.
Fricke redshirted at the University of Iowa in 2016 after transferring from North Iowa Area Community College. In 2015, Fricke hit .343 with 12 home runs and a single-season school record of 71 RBI and 59 runs as a sophomore. As a freshman, Fricke led NIACC in walks (30), home runs (five) and is the all-time school record holder for walks (75). The local Waterloo, Iowa, native was named First Team All-State as a junior and was a three-time First-Team All-District selection at Waterloo West High School. Fricke was also a two-time state qualifier in swimming at Waterloo West.
McGinnis returns to the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after hitting .228 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 31 games last summer. The Normal, Ill., native was named to the Summit League Spring Academic Honor Roll as a sophomore at Western Illinois University in 2015. McGinnis hit .243 with four home runs, 11 stolen bases and 27 RBI in 49 games last season for the Leathernecks. As a freshman in 2014 at WIU, McGinnis finished with two home runs, 19 RBI, 26 runs scored and a .281 average in 41 games (38 starts) while making starts at three different positions. McGinnis was a three-year letterman in both basketball and baseball at Normal Community West High School, earning First Team All-State Honors in baseball as a senior in 2013. McGinnis was also named the Big 12 Conference Baseball Player of the Year and a Big 12 Scholar Athlete as a senior at Normal Community West.
Z. Soria returns to the Waterloo Bucks for his third straight season in 2016. Soria hit .264 with 15 RBI, 17 runs and six stolen bases last summer. In 2014, Soria hit .272 with 20 RBI, 24 runs and a stolen base. Soria hit .294 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 2016 as a Redshirt Junior at Florida International University in 2016. Soria also finished second on the team with 11 stolen bases. The Homer Glen, Ill., native hit .288 with a home run and 26 RBI as a sophomore at Florida International University in 2015. Soria was named All-Conference, All-Region and First Team All-Tournament in the D2 JUCO World Series as a freshman in 2014 at Mesa Community College. Soria was named a Louisville Slugger All-American, Third Team All-State, All-Conference, and All-Area as a senior at St. Rita High School in Chicago, Ill. Soria was also a two-year letterman in football at St. Rita, including a Second Team All-CCL selection as a senior running back/cornerback. Soria made ESPN’s Top 10 Plays and Web Gems in 2006 during the Little League World Series as a member of the Great Lakes region. Soria is also the older brother of Bucks catcher Nate Soria.
N. Soria hit .258 in the 2016 regular season with three home runs and 23 RBI as a sophomore at Xavier Univeristy was named the Big East Freshman of the Year, a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, an All-Big East Second Team selection and a Big East All-Academic Team selection at Xavier University in 2015. N. Soria led Xavier with a .335 batting average, a .420 on-base percentage and 11 doubles in 2015. Behind the plate, N. Soria led the Big East with 16 runners caught stealing. The Homer Glen, Ill., native hit a career .312 at St. Rita High School and helped lead the Mustangs to a 2014 State Runner-Up Finish.
The Waterloo Bucks open the 2016 season with a projected 10 infielders on its roster, including four returners in Taylor Boyd, Jonah Bride, Daniel Perry and All-Star Luke Stratman.
While infielders Tyler Curtis (temp) and Brody Weiss join the Bucks for the first time in 2016, the two, however, are not new to the Northwoods League. Curtis played for the now defunct Alexandria Blue Anchors in 2013 and Weiss played for the LaCrosse Loggers in 2014.
First year players for the Bucks include Blake Alexander (temp), Jake Hand (temp), Scott Jarvis and Zac Sanders.
Bride is penciled in as the Bucks starting first baseman with Boyd expected to be the team’s starting second baseman. Weiss, the son of current Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss, can play both positions on the left side of the infield while Perry started 11 games for the Bucks at shortstop in 2015 as a graduating high school senior. Stratman is projected to receive a lot of his playing time again at third base in 2016. Stratman appeared in 24 games at third base in 2015, and didn’t commit a single error in 59 total chances.
Offensively, the Bucks will rely heavily on Stratman again in 2016. Stratman finished second on the team with a .292 batting average and hit three home runs, 20 RBI, 25 runs and 10 stolen bases in 37 games last summer.
Boyd is expected to be a basestealing threat again for the Bucks in 2016. Boyd finished with a team-best 16 stolen bases last summer.
Here’s a little more about the Bucks infielders for this season.
Alexander joins the Bucks in 2016 after redshirting at Dallas Baptist University this season. Alexander previously attended Elgin Community College, where the infielder garnered All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference First Team honors as a sophomore and Second Team honors as a freshman. As a sophomore in 2015, Alexander hit .382 and finished with a team-best four home runs and 43 RBI. Alexander was a three-time All-Conference and All-Area selection at Burlington Central High School and was named the Big Northern Conference Player of the Year as a senior.
Boyd returns to the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after hitting .234 with 18 RBI and a team-high 16 stolen bases last summer. Boyd started all 54 games as a junior in 2016 at St. Joseph’s University and finished third on the team with a .284 average. Boyd also finished tied for the team lead with seven stolen bases. The middle infielder earned St. Joseph’s University Academic Award in 2015 and was also named to the Big 5 All-Academic Team. Boyd hit .272 with one home run and 21 RBI as a sophomore last year while leading the Hawks with 10 stolen bases. As a freshman in 2014, Boyd finished with a .247 average and eight stolen bases. The Springfield, Va., native was named St. Joseph’s Rookie of the Year and earned the team’s Academic Award in 2014. Boyd earned All-District Second Team honors as a senior at West Springfield High School and was part of the school’s state championship team as a freshman.
Bride returns to the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after hitting .237 with 18 RBI in 28 games last summer. The Owasso, Okla., native transferred from Neosho Junior College to the University of South Carolina in 2016. Bride was named First Team All-Jayhawk Conference and Second Team NJCAA All-American in 2015. As a freshman, Bride hit .471 with 14 home runs and 93 RBI while setting a single-season school record of 96 hits. The infielder was named a 2014 Louisville Slugger High School All-American as a senior by Collegiate Baseball and helped lead Owasso High School to a perfect 36-0 record and a 6A state championship as a junior in 2013.
Curtis returns to the Northwoods league after hitting .233 with seven RBI and 13 runs in 28 games for the now defunct Alexandria Blue Anchors in 2013. Curtis hit .330 with 11 home runs and 57 RBI as a redshirt junior in 2016 at Lynn University. After redshirting in 2015, the Newburgh, N.Y., native hit .387 with two home runs, 28 RBI, 29 runs and eight doubles as a sophomore at Triton College in 2014. As a freshman in 2013, Curtis batted .348 with three home runs, 32 RBI, 29 runs and 11 stolen bases. Curtis hit a career. 437 at Marlboro High School and was named First Team All-State at shortstop and named a Perfect Game Northeast Region Honorable Mention Selection as a senior in 2012. Curtis was also a two-time First Team Freeman All-Star and a two-time First Team Times Herald Record All-Star.
Hand joins the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after hitting .255 with 20 RBI and three stolen bases as a junior at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2016. As a sophomore in 2015, Hand hit .231 with 13 RBI in 41 games. Hand hit .246 with nine RBI in 44 games as a freshman back in 2014. The Highlands Ranch, Colo., native won a state championship in 2013 as a senior at Thunder Ridge High School. Hand finished his senior season with a .610 batting average, two home runs and 41 RBI. Hand was also a captain on the Thunder Ridge football team and received the Thunder Ridge Leadership Award during his senior year.
Jarvis hit .267 with six runs and four RBI in 10 games (seven starts) as a redshirt freshman in 2016 at UCLA. The San Jose, Calif., native hit .281 with 13 runs and 11 RBI over 34 games with the Victoria HarbourCats of the West Coast League this past summer. Jarvis was a 2014 Perfect Game All-Region Honorable selection and a West Catholic League Honorable selection at Bellarmine High School.
Perry returns to the Waterloo Bucks after hitting .306 with three RBI, five runs and two stolen bases last summer as a high school senior. Perry also made one appearance on the mound, tossing 1.1 innings. Perry redshirted at the University of Iowa in 2016 for his freshman season. Perry was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 13th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Lassen High School, but did not sign. The Susanville, Calif., native was ranked a Top 500 prospect nationally by Perfect Game and was a four-time All-League selection. Perry was named All-Section and his team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player as a senior in high school. As a junior, Perry was named his team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player. Perry was also a three-time All-League selection in basketball. Perry’s father, Eric Perry, currently works in the Chicago Cubs organization and was drafted by the Cubs in the 15th round of the 1987 MLB June Amateur Draft. Perry’s brother, Quinton Perry, played for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters in 2010 and played college baseball at UC-Santa Barbara.
Sanders joins the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after hitting .383 with 12 home runs and 57 RBI and 13 stolen bases as a sophomore at New Mexico Junior College. Sanders was named to the Perfect Game Texas Region Honorable Mention team as a senior in 2014. The Lubbock, Texas, native attended Monterey High School.
Stratman returns to the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after being named to the Northwoods League All-Star Team in 2015. The infielder finished second on the team with a .292 batting average and hit three home runs, 20 RBI, 25 runs and 10 stolen bases in 37 games last summer. Stratman transferred to Dallas Baptist University in 2016 after garnering First Team All-Region, First Team All-Conference and Academic All-Conference honors in 2015 at Lamar Community College. Stratman hit .256 with three home runs, 23 RBI and five stolen bases as a junior in 2016 at Dallas Baptist. The Morrison, Colo., native finished with a team-best .393 batting average, eight home runs, 49 RBI and 16 stolen bases last season. Stratman was a four-year letterman at D’Evelyn High School and was named the Colorado Class 4A Player of the Year as a senior. Stratman was also a two-time All-State selection in basketball and holds the career record for three-point field goals made in Colorado High School history.
Weiss joins the Waterloo Bucks after hitting .314 with four home runs and 33 RBI and seven stolen bases during his sophomore season at Riverside City College. The Denver, Colo., native attended the University of California at Santa Barbara as a freshman in 2014. In the summer of 2014, Weiss hit .227 with two home runs, eight RBI and 17 runs with the LaCrosse Loggers. As a senior in 2013 at Regis Jesuit High School, Weiss batted .390 with six home runs, garnering All-State honors. Weiss was also named a Rawlings-Perfect Game Third Team All-American and First Team All-West Region as a senior in 2013. Weiss was a three-time All-League selection and a USSSA All-American during his tenure at Regis Jesuit. Weiss also won a state championship in 2011 at Regis Jesuit. Weiss was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft by the Colorado Rockies, but didn’t sign. Weiss’s dad, Walt Weiss, is currently the manager of the Colorado Rockies and played in the Major Leagues for 14 years.
The Waterloo Bucks open the 2016 season with a projected four outfielders on its roster, including returner Alex Boxwell. The remaining three outfielders are Jake Adams (temp), Robert Neustrom and Zach Weatherford. Catcher Zack Soria and utility man Jake Hand both have experience playing the outfield, too. Soria roamed the outfield for 20 games last season, racking up three assists and just one error.
Boxwell is expected to start the majority of the 2016 season in centerfield. Last season, Boxwell started 45 games in center, finishing with a .960 fielding percentage and four assists. Boxwell was just as reliable at the plate in 2015 for the Bucks. Boxwell hit .289 with one home run and finished second on the team with 23 RBI.
Neustrom received all his playing time in the corners this season for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Neustrom started a team-high 32 games in right field, and made three starts in left.
Here’s a little more about the Bucks outfielders for this season.
Adams won the 2016 GPAC Gold Glove and hit .275 with four home runs and 32 RBI as a junior in 2016 at Concordia (Nebraska) University after transferring from North Iowa Area Community College. The Mason City, Iowa, native batted .248 with two home runs and 21 RBI in 55 games as a sophomore in 2014. The Mason City, Iowa, native was a two-time First Team All-Conference selection and named First Team All-District and All-State as a senior at Newman Catholic High School. Adams’s older brother, Jordan, played for the Bucks from 2010-2012.
Boxwell returns to the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after hitting .289 with one home run in 45 games last summer. Boxwell finished second on the team with 23 RBI and stole 10 bases last summer. The Coon Rapids Minn., native hit .333 with 1 home run and 15 RBI as a sophomore during the 2016 regular season at the University of Minnesota. Boxwell hit .194 with two home runs and 6 RBI in 25 games (19 starts) as a freshman in 2015. Boxwell was a four-year letterwinner in baseball at Coon Rapids High School and was a two-time All-Northwest Suburban Conference selection. Boxwell was a Mr. Baseball Finalist and named All-State and All-Metro as a senior.
Neustrom joins the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after completing his freshman season at the University of Iowa. Neustrom hit .307 with one home run, 21 RBI and three triples as a freshman during the 2016 regular season. Neustrom was ranked the 482nd best prospect nationally by Perfect Game and was named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at Sioux City North High School. The Sioux City, Iowa, native was selected to the Honorable Mention Perfect Game All-American team and was named Second Team All-Region as a senior by Perfect Game. Neustrom was a two-time MRAC Player of Year, a two-time Super Team All-State selection and a three-time All-Conference selection in baseball. Neustrom was named Third Team All-State in football as a wide receiver and received First Team All-Conference honors in basketball as a senior, too. Neustrom was also named Academic All-State in football and baseball as a senior and was the vice president of the National Honor Society.
Weatherford joins the Waterloo Bucks in 2016 after hitting .217 with two home runs and nine RBI as a redshirt freshman during the 2016 regular season at Wright State University. Weatherford redshirted in 2015 as a true freshman. The Englewood, Ohio, native was a three-sport athlete at Normont High School and was named All-State, All-League and All-District as a senior in baseball. Weatherford is also the career leader in stolen bases at Normont.
The Waterloo Bucks open the 2016 season at home tomorrow vs. the St. Cloud Rox. RHP Jared Crescentini is expected to start the season opener for the Bucks while RHP Austin Caspersen is expected to take the ball for St. Cloud. First pitch from Riverfront Stadium is at 7:05 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m. All 72 Waterloo Bucks games this year will be streamed online at waterloobucks.com.