Keeping Tabs on Bonita Graduate and Now UCLA Outfielder Jeff Gelalich

March 11, 2010
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Jeff Gelalich

Jeff Gelalich

Former Bonita baseball standout Jeff Gelalich, now a freshman outfielder on the undefeated UCLA Bruins, has been selected to play this summer for the Wenatchee, Wash., AppleSox baseball club. Gelalich will join UCLA teammate and senior catcher Trevor Brown, pitcher Adam Plutko from Glendora High School and pitcher Zach Weiss from Upland High School as the four ball players from Southern California to play for the AppleSox.

The Wenatchee AppleSox Baseball Club is part of the West Coast League, one of the premier wood-bat summer collegiate leagues in the country. The AppleSox provide an excellent environment for college players from around the country to develop their skills.The AppleSox were founded in 2000 and have won the West Coast League Championship three out of the last five seasons (2005, 2006, and 2009). The team plays a 54-game schedule and in 2009 averaged 1,340 fans per game. There are currently two AppleSox alumni in the major leagues, Jason Hammel (Colorado Rockies) and Clay Mortensen (Oakland Athletics).

“We love getting more than one player from a school, especially from a program like UCLA,” said AppleSox Head Coach Ed Knaggs. “It’s great to get Pac-10 players, which is arguably the best conference in college baseball.”

Gelalich was drafted in the 41st round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. The 2009 Bonita graduate was a Rawlings Baseball Preseason All-America second-team selection in 2009.

Brown was listed as one of the top five catchers to watch by the Los Angeles Times as a high school senior. He also attended the same high school as Knaggs, Hart High School in Valencia, Calif.

Both are seeing action in their first year with the Bruins. Brown has started one game behind the plate and has appeared in three, while Gelalich has come off the bench in five games. UCLA’s freshman class that includes Brown, Gelalich, and former AppleSox Cody Keefer was ranked 19th nationally by Baseball America.

“They are very athletic players and are pumped to be coming here,” said Knaggs. “They’ve heard good things about playing for the AppleSox from Cody Keefer.”

Plutko and Weiss are both in their senior year of high school and signed with the Bruins in November. Plutko was listed among the top 75 draft prospects for 2010 by Perfect Game. He was also picked as a 2010 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America selection. Weiss, an Irvine, Calif., native from Northwood High School has a fastball that can reach the low 90s.

The AppleSox open the 2010 season on the road June 8 against the expansion Walla Walla Sweets. The home opener is June 11 against the Kitsap BlueJackets at Paul Thomas Sr. Field.

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