The Kamloops NorthPaws’ first signee has Major League Baseball pedigree.
Trey Newman, a 20-year-old catcher for the NCAA Division 1 Utah Valley University Wolverines, will join the West Coast League expansion franchise for its inaugural season in 2021.
Newman’s grandfather, Jeff, caught for the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox during his nine-year MLB career.
His uncle, Ryan Newman, is a minor league manager for the Chicago White Sox.
“He has everything you look for in somebody you’re going to have behind the plate,” said NorthPaws’ head coach Cole Armstrong, a catcher during his 10-year Minor League Baseball career.
“He’s really good defensively. He can really catch and throw the ball and he works great with the pitching staff.”
Armstrong, who worked for the White Sox in player development, coaching and managing roles from 2014 to 2019, has experience working with Newman, including during a stint in the Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League.
“The amount that he cares is crazy,” Newman, from Phoenix, said in the press release. “He put in more hours than anybody in the player development side of it.
“That’s a guy that’s been in baseball a really long time. He’s been through it and he’s going to have the players’ best interest in mind. He’s a great guy to play for.”
Newman started four games for Utah Valley in 2020 before his freshman season was cut short by the pandemic.
The WCL, founded in 2005, is a collegiate summer wood-bat league that features 15 teams representing Oregon, Washington State, B.C. and Alberta.