2024 Hitters

by Steve Mims

Tommy Richards was looking to speed up Springfield’s offense this summer. “One thing we wanted to try and do is get guys to run more,” said Richards, who coached the Drifters for the past two seasons and helped build this year’s roster along with new head coach Alan Embree. “That was one of our conversations from the jump.” Springfield ranked fifth in the West Coast League last season with 88 steals, but the four teams ahead of them all had more than 100.

Richards brought back infielder Cooper Mullens and outfielders Rex DeAngelis and Gage Bruce, who combined for seven steals last year. “I think we have a lot of depth, up and down the lineup,” Richards said. “We have more proven guys who have been around a bit. A good nucleus and more experience.” The most experience might come at catcher where Ian Wolski has batted .346 in two years at Hawaii Pacific. Willamette High grad Dane Woodcook spent two years at Tacoma Community College before transferring to New Mexico State. Kooper Jones just finished a redshirt season at Washington State while Burke Mabeus will be a freshman at Oregon. Mullens, a Marist High grad, returns for a second season with the Drifters after hitting .203 with 10 RBI and 18 runs scored in 36 games last summer. He just completed his freshman season at Michigan. The infield also features Smith Chandler, who just finished his first year at Cal State Northridge, along with Jackson Peper from Chaminade. Brandon Stinnett, a Sprague High graduate, is coming off his first season at Seattle University. Clackamas grad Kayle Pisano will be a freshman next year at Oregon along with Jace Hampson. Richards hopes they can continue the trend he saw last year from Ryan Cooney, who batted .351 before becoming regular in the lineup for the Ducks as a freshman.

Mike Tsoukalis just wrapped up his junior year at Seattle University while Kadren Wainkea Kinzie comes from Hawaii. In the outfield, DeAngelis returns from UC Santa Barbara after hitting .320 in nine games last year for the Drifters. Bruce hit .275 with 11 RBIs and seven runs scored in 24 games last summer in Springfield. Dylan Osborne, a two-way player who can also pitch for the Drifters, batted .233 as a freshman at Washington in the spring while Aydan Lobetos hit .298 with two homers and 22 RBIs as a freshman at Chaminade. Garrett Cooper arrives from Lower Columbia College. Santiam Christian graduate Ely Kennel began his college career at Oregon State before transferring to Washington State. Andrew Gauna batted .257 with three homers and 20 RBIs in 28 games at Cal State Northridge. South Eugene graduate Leo Reeves will be a freshman at Oregon next season while Ryder Dykstra and Grady Woodward will begin their college careers at USC and Washington, respectively. Sheldon graduate Nolan Miller will play at Portland next year.