UPDATED (Friday afternoon): added C Andrew Cosgrove, C Colton Waltner, IF Andrew Bechtold, IF Carson Crites, IF Jordan Gore, IF JJ Robinson, OF TJ Dixon, RHP Nick Brown, RHP Christian Broussard, RHP Jared Finkel, RHP Bailey Ober, RHP Ricky Ramirez, and LHP Ryley Widell
UPDATED (Thursday afternoon): added OF Brent Rooker, OF Mark Contreras, LHP Bryan Sammons, and RHP Calvin Faucher.
On Thursday, the Elizabethton Twins will open up their 2017 season at home against the Danville Braves. Below you can find the 2017 Elizabethton Twins Opening Day roster... or at least the current Elizabethton Twins roster. More players will be added as early as tomorrow. This team has some older players, college guys drafted this year or last, but there are some very intriguing younger players who are certainly worth watching. I also think there are more players jumping straight from the Dominican Summer League to Elizabethton than in years past.
Elizabethton is a small, mountain town, an ideal place for some minor leaguers to make their professional debut. Many of these players, particularly those drafted earlier this month, have likely never been real far from home or had to pay their own bills. Some may not have ever used a wood bat or played under the lights. Some have been in Ft. Myers for the last three months at extended spring training, eagerly anticipating getting to Tennessee (if not Iowa) to start playing games where box scores show up online!
Manager Ray Smith has been on the coaching staff in Elizabethton for 31 seasons now. This is his 23rd season as manager. His hitting coach, another former big leaguer, Jeff Reed will be in that role for the 15th straight year. This year, Luis Ramirez is the team’s pitching coach. It is his third season in that role after spending 2014 in that same role in the GCL and 2013 in the Venezuelan Baseball Academy.