April 3rd, 2011
The Detroit Tigers organization along with the West Michigan Whitecaps have set the opening day roster which includes ten returning players and seven that are on Baseball America’s top prospect list. This will be a young team just like last year, with six teenagers being asigned to Detroit’s Single-A affilate in Grand Rapids.
The top prospect making the team is third baseman Nick
Castellanos (pictured), who is ranked number two on Detroit’s list after former ‘Cap Jacob Turner. The 19 year old was Detroit’s first pick and 44th overall in 2010. Castellanos impressed scouts at the 2009 Under Armor All-American Game at Wrigley Field where he won the home run derby and was named Player of the Game after hitting 4-4 with four doubles. Playing at Archbishop McCarthy High School in Florida, he was named 2010 Gatorade Player of the Year after hitting .542, 41 RBI’s, six homers, and 22 steals.
Other prospects joining this years club are relief pitcher Bruce Rondon, catcher Rob Brantley, shortstop Dixon Machado (sweet baseball name btw), and starting pitchers Kyle Ryan and Ramon Lebron.
The amount of young talent has first year Whitecaps manager Ernie Young optimistic about the upcoming season. He told the Grand Rapids Press: “It’s going to be and exciting group of guys. We’re going to do a lot of things baseball-wise–we’re going to hit-and-run, steal and take extra bases. We’re going to do little things to help us become a better ball club.”
Returnig to West Michigan are Brantly, Lebron, Antonio Cruz, Shawn Teufel, Patrick Cooper, Jordan Pratt, Luis Alberto Sanz, Hernan Perez, Jimmy Gulliver and Jeff Rowland.
Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Press