COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College baseball May graduate Julien Giroux-Harvey (Montreal, Québec/Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf) has made the Vermont Lake Monsters' opening day roster, with the club, now a member of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL), kicking off its season tonight in Westfield, Mass.
After 27 seasons in the New York-Penn League as a minor-league affiliate of the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals (1994-2010) and Oakland Athletics (2011-20), the 2021 Lake Monsters joined the eight-team FCBL in February, and their 68-game regular season will stretch from May 27 to August 13. The minor league atmosphere remains at Burlington's Centennial Field, with affordable pricing, events such as postgame fireworks and hot dog nights, and mascot Champ still entertaining fans. Visit MiLB.com/Vermont for tickets.
Wearing his familiar No. 30, Giroux-Harvey is listed as a pitcher on the Lake Monster roster. The versatile Canadian made his college pitching debut this spring, striking out 11 in 10.1 innings over six games of relief. The left-handed-hitting, right-handed-throwing Giroux-Harvey began his career as a catcher before transitioning to the outfield, often also serving as designated hitter, ultimately finishing with 42 walks, 40 hits, 30 runs, 25 RBI and 11 extra-base hits - including three home runs - across 79 games.
The Lake Monsters begin their season tonight on the road against the Westfield (Mass.) Starfires before beginning a six-game, seven-day homestand on Saturday, taking on the Norwich (Conn.) Sea Unicorns, Brockton (Mass.) Rox and Worcester (Mass.) Bravehearts for two games apiece. The Nashua (N.H.) Silver Knights, New Britain (Conn.) Bees and Pittsfield (Mass.) Suns round out the FCBL's members.
Giroux-Harvey is among many players bringing a local flair to the 2021 Lake Monster roster, with two even hailing from Colchester. Chase Carey, a 2020 Colchester High School graduate, is a rising sophomore at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where the right-handed hurler went 2-0 with a 1.50 earned run average over three games this spring. Among nearly two dozen inactive players, many of whom are still playing in NCAA and conference tournaments, 2019 Colchester High grad Tom Vesosky is a rising junior at the University of Southern Maine. The Huskies' regular leadoff hitter and right fielder, Vesosky bats a team-high .367 with 29 runs, 21 RBI and six stolen bases. Southern Maine begins play at the NCAA Division III Hartford Regional today.
Middlebury College placed a pair of players on the roster, while Assumption University rising senior Patrick Harrington, a right-handed pitcher, joins Giroux-Harvey as the lone Northeast-10 Conference players on the squad. South Burlington native Ben Tate, now a pitcher at Dean (Mass.) College, also dots the roster. Among other inactive players, three additional Vermonters are slated to appear this summer. Regional and national powers such as Harvard University, Kansas State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Vanderbilt University and University of Virginia at Division I, University of Tampa at Division II, and Eastern Connecticut State University at Division III are represented on the roster.
Now in its 11th year, the FCBL quickly emerged as one of the most talented and competitive wooden-bat summer collegiate baseball leagues in the country. College players from around the country descend upon New England each summer to take part in a competitive league that closely mirrors the style of a minor league season. More than 150 players have been drafted by Major League Baseball organizations, and more than two million fans have attended games since the FCBL began in 2011. In 2017, the FCBL became the first baseball league to substitute traditional extra innings with a home run derby; games tied after 10 innings are decided by a home run derby, with each team getting three minutes to hit as many home runs as possible.