C’s Recap – Clemens & Pearson Look Back On 2017, Woodman & Nay Leave The Nest

Vancouver Canadians Kacy Clemens

Kacy Clemens drove in a team-high 45 runs for the C’s in 2017.


C's RecapVancouver Canadians broadcaster Rob Fai caught up with two key members of the 2017 Northwest League champions back on September 21 during an episode of Canadians Game Day on TSN 1040.

The first player Fai spoke with was first baseman Kacy Clemens and he asked the Houston native about how Hurricane Harvey in August affected his family.

“Fortunately, not too bad of a situation. I got home and the house was okay. A few trees were down but as far as water getting into the house and that (sort) of thing, that wasn’t too bad. I saw some streets in the area that didn’t look too good though so I’m just trying to help everybody out around the community.”

On how Hurricane Harvey weighed on him mentally.

“Yeah, it’s definitely tough knowing that family is back home and you’re thinking about them, especially in those tough times. It’s kind of tough to go out there and play a game that’s really a game when people kind of have real-life situations and dealing with trouble at home with the storms. I mean, people all over the world have been dealing with them the past few months so I’m just do it for all of them.”

On his first season in the pros.

“Honestly, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into really. You never really know what pro ball is like until you kind of get your feet wet but man, what a cool season. You got to watch it with your own eyes and it was a blast. Our manager Rich Miller said we had just one of those groups that got along well together. You know, we meshed from the get-go and kind of blazed our own trail.”

On the C’s chemistry in 2017.

“I really do feel like we were all pretty much on the same page. Baseball is such a game of highs and lows and trying to find a happy medium in between. I feel like we really did well with having half the team being on and half of the team being off, kind of going back and forth rather than being really, really hot and then really, really being not. We were kind of just set in the middle and won the game at the end at the right time.

Vancouver, it’s a great ballpark to play and we love the fans but it’s a really difficult park to hit in as far as power hitting but that’s why I don’t think you saw the numbers that you would expect but we definitely have some guys on the team that have real talent and that’s why we won the championship.”

On playing at sea-level in a tough hitter’s park at Nat Bailey Stadium versus a smaller stadium like Everett or a high-altitude park like Boise.

“There is a little bit of frustration when more guys are getting publicity for their power numbers, especially like in Everett where it’s a little bit shorter and in Boise where the ball flies really well but you know, those are the guys that normally get your Northwest League MVPs, their hitter of the year comes from those teams because they’re numbers are so high.

At the end of the day, all of our coaching staff and as far as the people coming in to watch and scout our talent, they know that the ball doesn’t travel well in Vancouver and it’s a big ballpark with a big fence. They see us hit balls in the gap that would go out at other parks and they know. They say, ‘Okay. Well, he probably has enough power to hit here and there or whatever.’

Once we kind of got over the hump that ‘Hey, you’re not going to hit for power numbers here.’ We just got to try and use the gaps and that’s why you saw guys in the middle of our lineup have a lot of triples because you had balls going deep in the gap in Vancouver where you could run for days because it’s so far out there so like I said, once you get over the hump where you stop thinking about your power numbers, that’s when the fun starts and when we started winning ball games and stopped thinking about our numbers.”

On working out at his alma mater, the Texas Longhorns.

“My coach David Pierce actually texted me the other day. He said they announced the end of year awards for college. I won some awards and so he texted me congratulations and said, ‘I look forward to seeing you back in Austin. Come get some work in with the guys.’ Once I get some down time after the instructional league that I’m at right now, I’ll probably get a little down time with the family and get back to work and head up to Austin and put on some burnt orange and reminisce about my glory days.”

Vancouver Canadians Nate Pearson

Nate Pearson allowed just three runs in 28 innings for Vancouver in 2017.


The next player Fai spoke with was none other than pitcher Nate Pearson and he asked him the 28th pick of the 2017 draft about whether he knew he was going to dominate in his first season as a pro.

“I had no clue I was going to come on the scene like I did. I mean, I just knew I had a goal and I was just going to get my work in and get better every outing and that’s what I did so I guess the perks that come along with it are pretty good.”

On whether he reads about himself in baseball publications.

“Not necessarily. I know my Dad is real big into it. He likes reading all that stuff but I try to not look too much into it. I just try to focus on each outing and get better, as I said, each outing so I try not to put too much focus into that.”

On dealing with high expectations.

“I just keep thinking to myself that I’m here for a reason, that I’m chasing a dream and as long as that’s my main goal, then I think I’ll be alright. I just try not to get caught up in all the distractions and just keep my head down and keep working.”

On having a limited workload upon his arrival in Vancouver.

“Yeah, I knew I was going to be on an inning limit so I knew Vancouver having 6,000 fans a game, I knew it would be a pretty solid atmosphere and I want to give the fans a good show so I didn’t want to disappoint them. It was definitely a fun time pitching in Vancouver.”

On checking out the radar gun.

“I probably look a couple of times on the grunts, maybe when I blow one by a guy and it looks pretty good, I may peak up there but I try not to look too much because I kind of focus up and just try to get the batters out.”

On getting to know the city of Vancouver.

“One of the first off-days we had right during the All-Star break, a few of the guys and I went out jet skiing out in the ocean and that was awesome. And then another time, my parents came up and we got some good food, some good sushi so it was nice.”

On whether he is tired after a long season.

“Not necessarily. We had a long day out on the field during instructs but it’s fun being back with the guys. Man, these guys are awesome. It’s definitely a great time.”

“I’m doing good. I make sure my body’s ready every time I go out there. You know, I’m just enjoying every bit. Every time I step on the field, just because it’s so fun to me so I always take it in. I’m always grateful and glad to be on the field whenever I get a chance so it’s always fun for me.”

On following up his rookie season.

“I think I’m just going to keep doing what I was doing because it was working there in Vancouver so just keep incorporating my routine that I had up there. Just bring it here (in Florida) or wherever I may be next year and just hopefully, it continues on.”

C-Notes

Vancouver Canadians Mitch Nay

Mitch Nay batted .381 for Vancouver in the 2013 Northwest League playoffs.


C's Notes2013 Vancouver Canadians designated hitter Mitch Nay hopes to find the kind of success he had in Canadians Red as a Cincinnati Red as the Big Red Machine selected the Northwest League playoff MVP in the recent minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.

Nay arrived in Vancouver just in time for the Northwest League playoffs from the Bluefield Blue Jays to beef up the middle of the order with regular season MVP L.B. Dantzler. and singled in his first at-bat with the C’s against the Everett Aqua Sox. He would go 2-for-4 with a run scored to help the C’s down the Frogs in Game 1 at Nat Bailey Stadium.  The Chandler, Arizona native clubbed his first post-season dinger as the C’s routed the AquaSox on the road in Game 2 to complete a two-game series sweep.

Nay recorded a double in the Game 1 loss to Boise and extended his hit streak to four with an RBI single to open the scoring in Game 2 at The Nat. The right-handed hitter added a single, a double and a run scored in the Game 3 victory that gave Vancouver its third straight Northwest League championship.

Unfortunately for Nay, he has been sidetracked thanks to three knee surgeries which he talked about with Bluebird Banter earlier this season.

When I saw Nay in Vancouver, I thought he looked like a future big leaguer from the moment he stepped on the field. Here’s hoping a new lease on life with the Redlegs pays off for him in the end.

jb_woodman

J.B. Woodman had 21 extra-base hits for Vancouver in 2016.


2016 C’s outfielder J.B Woodman will exchange the Canadians and Lugnuts red for Cardinals red after he was traded to St. Louis for infielder Aledmys Diaz.

Woodman slashed .272/.375/.421 for the C’s and that earned him a trip to Lansing where he batted .441 in a nine-game trial with the Lugnuts. However, his inability to make contact came back to bite the former Ole Miss product in a big way in 2017 as he struck out nearly 38 percent time with Lansing this past season, hitting just .240 with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .699.

Woodman spoke with KMOX Radio in St. Louis earlier this month about the trade. The 23 year-old left-handed hitter revealed he got some contacts this off-season to help him pick up the ball better. Woodman showed off his extra-base power with Vancouver by hitting 18 doubles, just two shy of the Northwest League lead. He racked up 31 extra-base knocks with Lansing last season that included 19 doubles and five triples. That was not enough to keep him on the Top 30 Blue Jays prospects list for 2017 from Batter’s Box after ranking 16th the year before.

Woodman joins 2015 Vancouver Canadian second baseman Lane Thomas in the Cardinals organization after Thomas was traded to St. Louis for international cap space.

Before delving into the most recent tweets from or about the Vancouver Canadians, I like to wish you, the readers, the very best of the holiday season.

src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#biggerthanme #NewProfilePic pic.twitter.com/sXZOLzOp5x
— ⚾Jonathan Davis #3⚾ (@3_JonathanDavis) December 5, 2017

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About Niall O'Donohoe

My name is Niall O’Donohoe and I am an avid follower of baseball, specifically Canada’s Teams – the Toronto Blue Jays and their affiliate, the Vancouver Canadians. My blog beginnings began in 2007 with Batter’s Box, where I’m still allowed to write stories, summaries and photos about the Blue Jays minor league system under the alias #2JBrumfield. The blog formerly known as Niall On Baseball, C’s Plus Baseball follows the C’s from behind the lens at Nat Bailey Stadium. The reason for the name change was to reflect the main purpose of this blog, which is to deliver plus coverage of the C’s through photos and observations of the players striving to make it to the major leagues, be it with Toronto or one of the other 29 MLB teams. From time to time, I do make it to other baseball games outside of The Nat and will post about them here as well. If you like what you see here, please spread the word about CsPlusBaseball.ca by tweeting about this website or using your favourite social media platform about this website that pledges to deliver awesome content about Canada’s only affiliated professional minor league baseball club. Thanks for visiting!
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