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Future UCLA Bruins Are on Their Way to Bellingham

February 3, 2020 - West Coast League (WCL) - Bellingham Bells News Release

BELLINGHAM, Wash.- The Bells are excited to announce the addition of three UCLA Bruin commits to the 2020 Bells roster. Right-handed pitchers Max Rajcic and Kenji Pallares, as well as outfielder Jake Vogel, will all graduate high school this spring and then join the Bells for the 2020 campaign.

"It's going to be great to have UCLA players on our team again this summer," said Bells Pitching Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Jim Clem. "Coach Savage has sent a lot of great Bruins to our Bells teams in past years and this group looks to be truly exceptional as well. We are all very excited to add these players to our roster!"

Pallares, a 6-foot-2-inch RHP, will graduate from Bishop Mora Salesian High School in San Gabriel, Calif., then join the Bruins for his first season of collegiate ball next spring. He has a deceptive delivery from the mound and will be exciting to watch in his senior season of high school.

"Kenji Pallares is a RHP that will surely be an important piece of our pitching staff. Kenji is known to be an exceptional athlete," said Clem. "Besides playing baseball in high school, Kenji is an exceptional basketball player too. He's big and physical and has already had a lot of success as a young pitcher. Kenji has a live fastball (90-92) and good command of his secondary pitches as well. It's going to be great to have Kenji in our clubhouse."

Pallares is a versatile player who has experience at shortstop and can be a threat in the box. He has played on the varsity team all four years of high school, batting .226 his junior year of high school with 14 home runs and 11 RBI. His fielding percentage during his sophomore season was .907.

Rajcic also had a productive junior season and is primed for success in 2020. The RHP is set to graduate from Orange Lutheran High School and is coming off an 8-1 record his junior season with an ERA of .55.

"Max Rajcic is a special talent, that has already received many accolades in his young career," said Clem. "This past summer, Max pitched on the Team USA 18-U team, helping the team to a Silver Medal at the World Cup 18U games. Max is a hard throwing RHP (92-94) with an exceptional breaking ball. Along with his terrific stuff as a pitcher, his outstanding character, and his fierce competitive spirit, Max will surely be a lot of fun for Bells fans to watch this summer." Rajcic was selected for the 2019 Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field and is a top MLB draft prospect. He was referenced by La Mirada High School baseball coach Jimmy Zurn as an 'elite pitcher' his junior year in the Los Angeles Times.

Vogel is also from Southern California and will graduate from Huntington Beach High School. The 5-foot-11 165-pound outfielder will also be exciting to watch in the box and in the outfield.

"Jake Vogel will be a very exciting player for our fans to watch. Jake is an outstanding talent both offensively and defensively," said Clem. "His speed plays, as he's an exceptional runner. Defensively, he'll help us cover a lot of ground in the outfield, plus he can really throw. We're really excited about what Jake brings to our team as a person and a player!"

After the season with the Bells, these players will be ready to debut in their collegiate careers with the Bruins.

The Bells home opener is set for Tuesday, June 2 at Joe Martin Field.

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