LIU Post's James Varela recently signed a minor-league contract with the Los Angeles Angels. Varela becomes the third Pioneer in their Division II era to play professional baseball. He is also the third player in ECC history to join the Angels organization, joining New Haven's Ed Sempey (FA) and Dowling Wilberto Ortiz (33rd Round), both of whom signed in 2006.
His signing comes on the heels of two standout seasons to close out his college career. In 2018, Varela was named the ECC Pitcher of the Year and a consensus All-American after finishing 11-1 with a 2.40 ERA and 116 strikeouts over 101.1 innings pitched.
Varela was arguably even better in 2019, compiling a 10-3 record with a 2.01 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 107.1 innings to claim a spot on the All-Conference and All-Region First Team. His strikeout total was third in all of Division II, while his win (11th) and ERA (15th) marks ranked in the top-15 in the nation.