With the major league and minor league seasons almost halfway complete, and the MLB Draft happening tonight, the baseball season is in full swing.
However, there is still one Padres affiliate that has yet to start the season, and that team now has their roster set for the 2017 season.
Among pitchers, there are plenty of guys to keep an eye on this season. At the top of that list is one of last year’s biggest international signees, left-handed pitcher, Adrian Morejon. After experiencing some injury setbacks earlier this year, Morejon finally appears ready to make his professional debut for the Padres. Beyond Morejon, Tri-City will also house several other international signees, including Henry Henry (2015), Emmanuel Clase (2015), Osvaldo Hernandez (2017), Andres Munoz (2015), Emmanuel Ramirez (2012), and Dauris Valdez (2016).
In terms of draft picks among that pitcher group, the Dust Devils will have seven 2016 draftees, including Dalton Erb (30th round), Chasen Ford (27th round), Jose Galindo (13th round), Evan Miller (22nd round), Ben Sheckler (8th round), Will Stillman (6th round), and Mark Zimmerman (33rd round). Among those guys, most had some professional experience at Fort Wayne, although there are a few making professional debuts. To complete the list of pitchers, the Dust Devils also have Jordan Guerrero (2015 6th round draft pick), Travis Radke (2014 25th round pick), and Austin Smith (2nd round pick from 2015).
Of those pitcher names, Adrian Morejon, Henry Henry, and Osvaldo Hernandez may be the international prospects to watch, while the group of 2016 draft picks may also be worth keeping an eye on. However, the most interesting one of all may be Austin Smith, who has struggled over the last two years with the Fort Wayne TinCaps. This latest stint with the Dust Devils could be viewed as a reset for a guy who hasn’t appeared to be right in recent appearances.
Among position players, the Dust Devils will be carrying four catchers, all four of which came to the organization via free agency, Bryant Aragon, Steve Bean, Wilfri De La Cruz, and Tucker Pennell. In the infield, the Dust Devils have a few intriguing names, including two 2016 international free agent signees in Luis Almanzar and Justin Lopez. Rounding out the infield are Felipe Blanco, Kelvin Melean, and 2016 10th round draft pick, Boomer White.
In the outfield, the Dust Devils roster will be filled out with two 2015 draft picks, in Aldemar Burgos (7th round) and Josh Magee (5th round), one 2016 draft pick, Tre Carter (11th round), and one more international free agent, Luis Asuncion, who was signed in 2013. The Dust Devils are set to kick off the season this Thursday, June 15 against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. No starting pitcher has been announced.