Some rule changes in the Western Major Baseball League this season opened up some more Canadian players for the Moose Jaw Miller Express to recruit and they feel like the five players announced on Thursday will have a big impact this season.
“We added two teams to the league last year and we were lucky this year, our import limits went up, which freed up a lot of Canadian players,” said Head Coach Michael Hunt. “We were able to pick and choose from a whole pool of more Canadians.
The new Canadians that will be joining the Millers for the 2017 season are Adam Cook, Zach Fascia, Ty Schindel, Carter Sorenson and Arman Lakhani, and are all expected to bring something key to the table for the team.
Cook (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) is coming off a very strong season at Colby Community College where he hit .274 with six doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 31 RBI in 48 games.
“Adam is a true middle of the order power bat,” said Hunt on the Cambridge, ON product. “He can play either infield corner, primarily third base, and will be looked upon to complement our right-handed power from the left side of the plate.”
Hunt is excited about the options that Fascia brings to the table as a catcher and right handed pitcher.
“He’s a very talented catcher and can close as well,” said Hunt. “He’s Indian Hills Community College’s closer and save leader right now, and they’re heading to a Super Regional, almost going to be going to the World Series if they get past that, so as a true freshman, catching everyday and closing, he’s been thrown into the fire.”
Fasica (6-foot-1, 215 pounds) is from Brampton, ON and in 53 games this season, he had ten doubles, two home runs, 36 RBI and a .266 average at the plate, while on the mound, he’s posted five saves in 11 appearances with 11.2 innings pitched, just one earned run against, 16 strikeouts, four walks and a 0.77 earned run average.
Schnidel (OF, 6-foot, 180 pounds) hails from Victoria, B.C. and spent this season with San Diego Christian College. In 31 games, he had two doubles, one triple, one home run, 10 RBI and a .216 average.
“Ty comes from the same Victoria Mariner program that produced former Millers Austin and Ty Russell, and Scott Jones,” said Hunt. “He’s a speedy and defensive outfielder, he knows his way around a diamond and we expect him to be a spark at the top of the order.”
Sorenson (LHP, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds) played his season with Dakota College at Bottineau. The Weyburn product appeared in seven games, making four starts and finishing with a 1-2 record. He pitched 20 innings, had 13 strikeouts, 21 walks and a 6.75 ERA.
“Another pitcher in the mix for starts and long relief, the lefty freshman started this year at Dakota CC and looks to make his mark in the WMBL after growing up watching it in Weyburn,” said Hunt.
Lakhani (RHP, 6-foot, 210 pounds) is a product of Brampton, ON and Davis and Elkins College. He started four games in 16 appearances this season, posting a 2-5 record. He had 15 strikeouts, 12 walks and a 7.59 ERA over 32 innings of work.
“He’s going to be a good guy out of the pen, he can start, he can go long, so he’s going to be a very valuable pitcher,” said Hunt.
The Millers are counting down the days until opening day now as they get set to start the season on June 1 in Swift Current. Their home opener is set for Friday, June 2 against Weyburn at Ross Wells Park.