Beloit Snappers Opening Day Roster
Manager: Nelson Prada… Hitting Coach: Tommy Watkins… Pitching Coach: Gary Lucas
Pitchers: AJ Achter, Madison Boer, Bart Carter, Clinton Dempster, Nelvin Fuentes, Steven Gruver, Cole Nelson (DL), Ryan O’Rourke, Tim Shibuya, Matt Summers, Matt Tomshaw, Michael Tonkin, Jason Wheeler, Corey Williams
Catchers: Matt Koch, Jairo Rodriguez, Kyle Knudson (DL)
Infielders: Rory Rhodes, AJ Pettersen, Eddie Rosario, Adam Bryant, Tyler Grimes, Miguel Sano,
Outfielders: Jhon Goncalves, Wang-Wei Lin, Daniel Ortiz, Nate Roberts (DL), JD Williams
This is a very talented roster. Those 2011 draft picks force their way onto this roster and combine with some pitchers who threw very well for the Snappers a year ago. O’Rourke and Achter pitched well as starters for the Snappers in 2012. Shibuya was the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year last year. Summers, Gruver and Williams all pitched well in the E-Town bullpen a year ago, but in their first full seasons, each could get some time as starters as well. Tomshaw was a 42nd round pick just last year. He got a chance with the Miracle and became one of their better starters late in the year. He’ll step back to the Snappers. Tonkin likely pitches at the end of games. Wheeler signed late last year, but two summers ago, he was the pitcher of the year in the Northwoods League. There are some strong arms and talented pitchers.
The players that everyone is excited to see are Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario. The two combined for 41 home runs in their 68 game season last year. Rosario was the Player of the Year in the Appy League, and Sano is the teams consensus top prospect. Bryant and Grimes were drafted last year and held their own with the Snappers in the second half. Pettersen was also drafted last year and played well in E-Town after breaking his nose running into a fastball. Rhodes is 6-7 and the Australian has very good power. He can help the infielders with his big target at 1B. Lin is back in Beloit for the third straight season, and Goncalves comes back after spending most of the past two seasons in Ft. Myers. JD Williams quietly had a remarkable season in Elizabethton last year, hitting for average, getting on base and stealing bases. He may be as fast as anyone in the organization.
Twins fans, it is 5 1/2 hours from the Twin Cities to Beloit. I know I'll be making at least two trips to see the Snappers this summer (and I'm 13 hours from Beloit).