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College  | Rankings  | 8/27/2019

West Coast League Top Prospects

Connor Spencer     
Photo: Brooks Lee (Perfect Game)

Year Established: 2005
States Represented: Oregon, Washington, British Columbia 
No. of Teams: 12
Regular Season Champion (Best Overall Record): Corvallis Knights (42-12)
Postseason Champion: Corvallis Knights
No. 1 Prospect, 2018: Matt McLain, ss/2b, Bellingham (UCLA)
First 2018 Player Selected, 2019 Draft: Beau Philip, ss, Corvallis (Oregon State/Braves, 2nd round) 

Player of the Year: Briley Knight, of, Corvallis (Utah)
Pitcher of the Year: Tevita Gerber, lhp, Corvallis (Dixie State)

It’s not hard to tell that the Corvallis Knights are a force to be reckoned with in the West Coast League. Truly though, it’s hard to overstate how dominant the organization has been in the league under head coach Brooke Knight. This 2019 title marks their seventh West Coast League Championship since moving the team to Corvallis in 2007. What’s unthinkable is that this is their fourth title in a row now, taking the championship every year dating back to 2016.

Assembling a so-called dynasty in Major League Baseball is an extremely difficult feat for any general manager, but assembling a so-called dynasty in a collegiate summer baseball league should be downright impossible. Yet, that’s exactly what the Corvallis Knights organization has been able to achieve, bringing in quality talent from around the country year in and year out, thus, earning them the Perfect Game Summer Collegiate Team of the Year for 2019. This season, Corvallis met the Victoria Harbourcats in the championship series, a rematch of 2017’s final round. The Wenatchee AppleSox and the Walla Walla Sweets both made the postseason for the first time since 2013 as well.

The West Coast League has garnered the reputation as a launching pad of a league for young college talent and incoming college freshman who have yet to play in an NCAA game to establish themselves as true next level prospects. Some of the game’s biggest and brightest ballplayers have played in this league in their younger college days. This year, the WCL saw 90 of their alumni get taken in the June MLB draft including Adley Rutschman (Corvallis, 2016), Andrew Vaughn (Victoria, 2017), Michael Toglia (Wenatchee, 2016), Kody Hoese (Bellingham, 2017) and Chase Strumpf (Bellingham, 2016). Moreover, the league’s alumni have a lasting presence already in Major League Baseball with names like Mitch Haniger (Corvallis, 2010) and Shane Bieber (Cowlitz, 2014) who was named the MLB All-Star Game’s MVP this season.

Unlike any other collegiate league in the nation, besides the Northwoods league, the West Coast League may be one of the best simulations of what’s it like to play at the professional level. With the Bend Elks and the Kelowna Falcons over 10 hours apart from each other, players truly get a feel for what travel is like at the next level, and they learn invaluable ballplayer life skills such as optimal bus sleeping positions and how to walk through a fast food drive-thru late at night because all dining rooms are closed and you don’t have a car while on road trips.

Top 25 Prospects

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