Recapping the 2023 Barrie Baycats Offseason So Far
The Barrie Baycats have been very busy over the last few months, crafting the 2023 edition of the team in preparation for the upcoming season. Although the work isn't done yet (and we have more signings to announce across social media over the next few days), we thought we'd invite Baycats TV analyst Patrick Melbourne to break down the signings so far so you can get a sneak peek into who you'll see at the park this year!
The season is almost here! We have the full Baycats regular season schedule announced, and we already know a bunch of the names that we'll be seeing in those home white jerseys this season. You can keep an eye on the signing tracker here, but for now, let's go through some of the names and look at the team so far!
Barrie Baycats sign Ryan Rijo, Owen Jansen, Carson Burns, ROYCE ANDO, and Noel McGarry-Doyle
Five of the biggest stars from the Baycats 2022 season return. Rijo led the team with six (maybe seven, apparently?) home runs last season, and Second-Team IBL All-Star Jansen was tied for the team lead in batting average (.357). McGarry-Doyle, who was voted an All-Star on the broadcaster's ballot, brings speed, a .449 on-base average, and excellent defense to the team, and Burns has turned into a star shortstop. Ando is a phenomenal defensive second baseman who has excellent chemistry with Burns in the middle infield.
Barrie Baycats Sign CHRIS COX, BRANDON HILLIER, AND BRAD GRIEVESON
As many championship teams have proven over the years, a strong bullpen setup for the late-innings is extremely important - and these three rank up there with the best in the league in the role. Cox and Hillier will be a strong duo in the seventh and eighth innings, and Grieveson has been one of the top pitchers in the league in both of his stints with the Baycats.
BARRIE BAYCATS SIGN EVAN SOULES, AIDAN ROSSEL, AND ADAM KHAN
The bullpen continues to grow in talent with the addition of Soules and Khan, who the team says will primarily be middle relievers this season. Soules brings high velocity to the pen as a right-hander, and Khan impressed everyone last season with a seven-inning win against eventual league champions London, where he gave up only one run on three hits. Rossel, a strong left-hander, has an ERA of only 2.00 and 28 strikeouts in his first 25 IBL appearances.
BARRIE BAYCATS SIGN HAYDEN JACO, TYLER PLUMPTON, JOSH COTE, AND DYLAN SHEPHERD
The Baycats will be bringing four (five, if you count James Anderson, who we'll talk about later) catchers into the 2023 season, and it's a really strong group. Jaco, the 2021 IBL Rookie of the Year, had a .379 average in that season alongside six doubles, two triples, and four home runs. He's well regarded as a top defensive catcher as well. Baycats fans are very familiar with Plumpton, who was once again one of the most consistent defenders on the team last season. He also broke out with the bat in 2022, hitting .351.
Cote and Shepherd are the younger catchers on the team, both entering their second IBL seasons. Cote entered the league in a big way last year, with three home runs in his IBL debut against the Red Sox. Shepherd also homered in his debut, which you can watch below.
BARRIE BAYCATS SIGN JEIFRY NUNEZ, JOSE ALMARANTE, AND CHRISTIAN MULLEN
New faces! Nunez was excellent for the Guelph Royals last season, and pitched in Minor League baseball from 2015 to 2019 after being drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2015. He had a 15-8 record in his MiLB career with a 3.44 ERA. He had an ERA of 3.13 in his first IBL season.
Jose Almarante is a former St. Louis Cardinals prospect who reached AAA in his Minor League Baseball career. The 34-year old has a career MiLB ERA of 3.53. He was named the Player of the Week in the New York-Penn league in 2011 as a member of the Batavia Muckdogs.
Christian Mullen returns to the Baycats after pitching to an ERA of 1.68 in the 2021 IBL playoffs. The team is excited about the growth and potential he's shown since rejoining the team, and he's likely to find himself in key roles across the 2023 season.
BARRIE BAYCATS SIGN KYLE MAVES AND MANNY SANCHEZ
Two more new faces - this time, in the batter's box. Maves is an impressive multi-position star defensively, and the team is impressed with his approach at the plate as well.
Sanchez is a power-hitting outfielder, and he will join McGarry-Doyle to form one of the most exciting outfields to watch in Baycats history.
BARRIE BAYCATS SIGN ADAM ODD, JAMES ANDERSON, BRANFY INFANTE, AND BRAD MCQUINN
All of these players were hugely important for the Baycats last season, and it's great to see them back. Odd is a strong-hitting first baseman who will provide great at-bats in the middle of the order. Anderson is a great leader and can play catcher, infield, and outfield for the team.
Infante is an exciting fan-favourite infielder who is capable of huge games at the plate, and McQuinn is a strong defender who can give the team good at-bats in whatever role he's asked to be in.
BARRIE BAYCATS RELEASE JAKE WILSON
The Baycats parted ways with Jake Wilson recently after he announced he was moving to the US, and the Baycats Media Team would just like to take a moment to thank Jake for being an important part of the Baycats for each of the last two seasons. He was fun to watch at the top of the batting order, with amazing speed, great defensive plays, and exciting at-bats. Good luck with your career, Jake!
BREAKING NEWS: Jake Wilson has been released by the Barrie Baycats.— Barrie Baycats (@IBLBaycats) January 17, 2023
Jake will be pursuing his career and moving to the US early in 2023 and will no longer be able to play with the Baycats.
All the best Jake! pic.twitter.com/rl3nCQSq6j
UPDATE: Shortly after this article was published, Barrie also signed infielder Domenico Morea. Morea, a talented hitter who primarily plays first base, made his Baycats debut in 2022 and played five games before an injury kept him from competing for the rest of the season. Welcome back, Domenico!
The team's looking really good ahead of the 2023 season, and we hope you can join them at the park, whether it's with a season ticket pass or a single-game pass! We'll have more coverage of the offseason in the coming days and weeks, including more from Baycats Banter: Season Two. Keep an eye on that signing tracker for the latest news and updates.