Clinton opens Midwest League season today
CLINTON — On the eve of opening night of Midwest League baseball in Burlington, the Seattle Mariners announced the 25-man roster for the Clinton LumberKings on Wednesday.
The roster consists of five returnees from last year’s team and a slew of 2012 draft picks, led by third-round pick Tyler Pike and fourth-rounder Patrick Kivlehan. Clinton has four players listed in Baseball America’s top-30 prospects in the Seattle organization.
Guillermo Pimentel headlines the list of returning LumberKings who again will play for manager Eddie Menchaca.
Pimentel came into his own in the second half of 2012 when he hit .272 with six home runs and 29 RBIs after the All-Star break. The outfielder carried his success into the playoffs, where he hit .294 with a pair of homers and five RBIs.
Left-handed pitcher Jeremy Dobbs also returns after finding success in the latter stages of 2012. Dobbs was 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in August and September and threw three scoreless innings in the playoffs. Another pitcher, Stephen Landazuri, is back in Clinton after pitching in nine games last year, seven of which he started. Landazuri, 21, was 3-2 with a 3.06 ERA for Clinton in 2012.
Two position players who saw limited action with the LumberKings last year return: catcher Carlton Tanabe and middle infielder Ketel Marte. Tanabe was 4-for-13 in five games, and Marte was 4-for-14 in four games.
Pike, ranked as the No. 14 prospect in the Mariners organization by Baseball America, headlines the pitching staff. The 19-year-old was a third-round supplemental selection (126th overall) in the 2012 June draft. The left-hander began his pro career with the Arizona League Mariners and was 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings.
Outfielder Gaby Guerrero and Kivlehan are Clinton’s highest ranked position players by Baseball America. Guerrero is 15th in the top 30. Guerrero, the nephew of former major leaguer Vladimir Guerrero, was named the Dominican Summer League MVP after he hit .355 and led the league in homers (11) and RBIs (54) in 50 games. He finished ’12 with the AZL Mariners by hitting .333 in 18 games with four homers and 18 RBIs.