Summer Collegiate | Story | 6/9/2016

3-time PGCBL all-star moves up

Blake Dowson        
Photo: Coastal Carolina

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – There are stories in each year’s MLB Draft about players that steadily progressed their games over the years to get to where they are. There are also players that burst onto the scene during their final amateur season to jump onto scout’s radars and draft boards.

Coastal Carolina’s Zach Remillard has figured out in his senior season as a Chanticleer how to be both of those stories.

In his four seasons at Coastal Carolina, Remillard has seen his average rise from .221 as a freshman, to .259 as a sophomore, to .272 his junior year and all the way up to .348 in his final year on campus. Remillard has also increased his run production each year, driving in 21 in his first season, 33 as a sophomore, 42 as a junior and 67 this season.

The steady increase in numbers (Remillard has also hiked his doubles and home run production each year on campus) is impressive on its own, but the breakout he has experienced in his senior season is what has him as a top-400 prospect in the 2016 draft.

The senior was a first-team all-conference player this season, leading the Big South Conference in home runs (18) and RBI (67), and has slugged .632, good for second-best in the conference. As eye-popping as those numbers are for much of the baseball world, Remillard said it was basically what he expected to happen.

“I don’t know if it’s anything more than just becoming more consistent and having a better mindset, and gaining maturity,” Remillard said. “There really isn’t some big reason that there’s power there now. The tool to drive the ball has always been there. The immature mindset I had hindered things when I was younger.”

Remillard was drafted out of high school in the 38th round by Houston in 2012, but elected not to sign and honor his commitment to Coastal Carolina and head coach Gary Gilmore.

Zach Remillard was named a PGCBL all-star three separate summers with the Albany Dutchmen (Photo: Albany Dutchmen)
That summer Remillard signed on to play with the Albany Dutchmen of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, marking the start of one of the most prolific PGCBL careers in league history.

In his first summer with the Dutchmen, the Cohoes, New York native set team records for batting average (.369), runs scored (33), and total bases (76), while also setting then-records with 52 hits and 31 RBI on his way to earning his first all-star selection.

Remillard signed on to play with Albany again after his freshman season at Coastal Carolina, even though he admitted the idea of playing farther away from home appealed to him— his home in Cohoes is only about 15 minutes away from the stadium in Albany.

“After my freshman season [at Coastal Carolina] I definitely wouldn’t have minded being away from home,” Remillard said. “But [Albany] Coach [Nick] Davey was a good guy for me and I wanted to play for him. So I was more than happy to play for him, and he helped me to refine my game and become a better player.”

Davey’s recruitment of Remillard for another season in Albany turned into another all-star selection for the third baseman, as he hit .296 with 48 hits, including eight doubles.

All signs pointed towards Remillard returning to the PGCBL for the summer of 2014 for a third season in Albany, but an elbow issue that flared up during his spring season turned into Tommy John surgery, and he had to miss his summer season. Although missing time rehabbing his elbow took a toll on his physical self, Remillard took the time while sidelined to gain more maturity within the game and refine his approach.

After his rehab was complete, Remillard did in fact return to Albany in 2015 for his third year as a Dutchmen. He hit .276 with 10 doubles, and didn’t commit a single error in the field. Halfway through the season Remillard was once again named a PGCBL all-star, becoming the first player in league history to be named to the team in three separate seasons.

“It was pretty cool being an all-star those years,” Remillard said. “Being able to be an all star, it’s a fun event. It’s good to get to know the other guys you play against. [Coach] Davey’s persistency helping me in certain areas of my game is really what got me there.”

According to him, playing with Albany (who will host this year’s PGCBL All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 20) the PGCBL has been one of the big reasons for Remillard’s success at Coastal Carolina. Summer league schedules offer college players a different routine, taking on more of a minor league feel with games being played almost every day. The grind of the day-to-day helped Remillard with his durability, although he said it does start to take a toll.

“[Playing in the PGCBL] was absolutely beneficial for me,” Remillard said. “It definitely doesn’t lack talent. Amsterdam is always a good team, and there are lots of quality summer arms up there. You’re always getting challenged.”

With his time in the PGCBL now behind him and Coastal Carolina on a mission towards the College World Series, Remillard will have his hands full in the Chanticleers super regional matchup with LSU. After being named the Most Outstanding Player in the Raleigh Regional, Coach Gilmore will need a similar performance from his star third baseman if they have hopes of playing in Omaha.

And if Remillard allows himself to look up from his Super Regional task this weekend, he will see his name called in the MLB Draft. That will make for one busy weekend, not one he would have expected a few years ago. But Remillard said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m just so grateful for everything,” he said. “It’s definitely been an up and down ride. I wouldn’t have drawn it up this way, but I’m grateful for what I’ve been able to do, and I wouldn’t change anything about it.”


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