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Valin Becomes First Rapids Player to Sign Pro Contract

Matt Valin

Watertown, NY - Earlier this week, 2018 Watertown Rapids pitcher and LaFargeville native Matt Valin signed his professional contract to play for the Ottawa Champions in the CanAm league. Valin is the first Rapids player to play professionally from the team’s 2018 inaugural season.

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In 2018, Valin pitched in five games for the Rapids in which they won each game. Valin finished the season with 28 strikeouts in 22 innings and a 2.86 earned run average. Valin believes his time in the PGCBL prepared him for professional baseball, “My experience with the Rapids will help me because it got me used to the travelling. I also faced a higher level of competition, where I couldn’t afford to make too many mistakes. Lastly, calling my own game and having to learn how to read hitters to get them out will be a benefit” said Valin.

Valin is coming off a highly successful season with the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons, finishing with a 9-0 record. In 69 innings pitched, he struck out 92 batters with a 2.35 earned run average. 

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 Joining the Champions a little over halfway through their season, Valin is ready to do whatever is asked of him. “My goal this summer with Ottawa is to help them win games in whatever role I’m in” said Valin. The Champions currently sit in fifth place in the league with a 25-29 record.

This is a big step and an exciting one for Valin, “Signing a professional contract means a lot. It’s something I’ve been aiming for ever since I started playing baseball. My goals as I move forward in pro ball would be to sign a contract with an affiliated team.”

Former Rapids Field Manager and current Pitching Coach for Emory University David Anderson worked closely with Valin last summer and believes he’s a great pickup by the Champions. “Matt has the tools to excel at the next level and is absolutely deserving of this opportunity. The CanAm League is a great forum for him to showcase his ability against top talent and I fully expect him to maintain his work ethic, character, and success on the field. I’m extremely excited to see what the future holds for him!” Anderson said. Anderson spent time pitching professionally in the Atlantic League and in the CanAm league.

Fans can follow Valin and the Ottawa Champions this summer at ottawachampions.com and on the team’s social media accounts.