CLINTON – The Seattle Mariners and Clinton LumberKings have released the initial roster for the 2015 season.
The roster includes 13 2014 Seattle draft picks, seven players who spent at least part of the 2014 season in Clinton, and two of the top 20 players in the Mariners’ organization according to Baseball America. The initial opening day roster includes 13 pitchers, five outfielders, six infielders, and three catchers.
Alex Jackson, ranked the top overall Mariners prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com, will be joined by Joe DeCarlo (18th by BA, 30th by MLB.com) as ranked prospects on the initial roster. Jackson, the 6th overall pick in the 2014 draft, hit .280 with two home runs in 23 games with the AZL Mariners following last years’ draft. DeCarlo, Seattle’s second round pick in 2013, returns to Clinton looking to build off of a strong 2014 finish, which saw him hit .349 after he returned from a hand injury in June.
Multiple offensive starters from the 2014 LumberKings team will return to start 2015. Nelson Ward, Martin Peguero, and Chantz Mack are all likely to be regulars in the starting nine in the early part of the season. Ward, a 12th round pick in 2014, hit .232 in 18 games with Clinton last season. Mack, the former Miami Hurricane, played 73 games with the LumberKings in 2014, 17 games with the High Desert Mavericks, and two games with the Tacoma Rainiers. The 21-year-old Peguero spent all of 2014 in Clinton, where the infielder hit .263 with 24 RBI’s. Also returning from the 2014 team will be Arby Fields, Tyler Herb, and Ramire Cleto.
In addition to Jackson, 12 other 2014 Mariners’ draft picks will begin the season in Clinton. In the likely starting rotation, Lukas Schiraldi joins Pat Peterson as recent draft picks. Schiraldi, a 15th round pick out of the University of Texas, started eight games with the Everett AquaSox last season, while Peterson, a 23rd round pick out of North Carolina State, started 11 games with the Pulaski Mariners. Four 2014 draftees build out the majority of the LumberKings bullpen. Peter Miller (9th round out of FSU), Kody Kerski (8th round out of Sacred Heart), Rohn Pierce (19th round out of Canisius), and Jarrett Brown (22nd round out of Georgia) will join 2013 Seattle draft pick Ryan Horstman and 2009 IFA Osmel Morales in the LumberKings pen.
Rounding out the LumberKings’ expected rotation will be two touted international free agents, Daniel Missaki (Brazil, 2013) and Jeffeson Medina (Venezuela, 2012). The 18-year-old Missaki posted a 2.76 ERA in 11 starts last season in Pulaski, while the 20-year-old Medina started 14 games between Everett and Pulaski. Two other IFA’s will start the season in Clinton, as Gianfranco Wawoe, an infielder who hit .275 in 56 games with Pulaski in 2014 joins Estarlyn Morales, an outfielder who hit six home runs and 16 doubles in 57 games, also in Pulaski.
A trio of catchers look to begin the season with the LumberKings, as Adam Martin, Wayne Taylor, and Daniel Torres each aim to impress in their first go at full season ball. Martin, a 10th round pick out of Western Carolina in 2014 had 17 extra base hits in Everett in 2014. Taylor, a Stanford Cardinal, appeared in 55 games for Pulaski last season, where he hit .275 with six home runs. A 20th round pick in 2013, Torres played in 41 games with Pulaski in 2014 where he drove in 15 runs.
Rounding out the opening day roster is a pair of infielders, Kristian Brito and Chris Mariscal. Brito, drafted out of Puerto Rico in 2011, hit six home runs with 21 RBI’s in 40 games with Everett in 2014. Mariscal, another 2014 Seattle draft pick, hit .262 with 12 extra base hits in 51 games also with the AquaSox last season.
Two players will start the season on the disabled list for the LumberKings. Aaron Brooks, who pitched well out of the Clinton bullpen in 2014 (3.22 ERA in 40 games), returns this season. He will join former Kentucky Wildcat Austin Cousino, who while known for his elite defense in the outfield, hit six home runs in 66 games with the AquaSox in his pro debut.
The Clinton LumberKings, Midwest League Affiliate of the Seattle mariners, open the 2015 season at home vs. the Beloit Snappers on Thursday, April 9. For the full 2015 schedule, season tickets, group party information, or merchandise, call the LumberKings at 563-242-0727 or visit www.LumberKings.com.