Evansville’s 2014 Opening Day Roster included 10 players who were drafted by major league teams. First baseman Nick Schwaner, now on the disabled list, was also drafted.
Five of the Otters’ 11 pitchers were drafted: Chad James (Miami, 2009, 1st round); Chad Robinson (Milwaukee, 2006, 12th round); Blake Monar (Yankees, 2008, 26th round; Washington, 2011, 12th round); Taylor Dennis (Texas, 2011, 34th round); and Zach Petersime (Baltimore, 2008, 42nd round).
The Marlins chose catcher David Cruz in the 30th round in 2012. The Giants picked 3B Shayne Houck in the 29th round in 2012. The Nationals selected outfielder J.R. Higley in the 9th round in 2008. Baltimore drafted 1B Jeremy Nowak in the 13th round in 2010. Centerfielder John Schultz was the Marlin’s 34th round selection in 2011.
In addition, Schwaner was picked by the Giants in the 42nd round in 2009 and by the Rays in the 30th round in 2010.
Today we signed left-handed starting pitcher Chad James, the Miami Marlins’ first round draft choice in 2009. Chad was the 18th player selected that year. He becomes third first round draft choice ever to sign with the Otters, joining Evansville native Steve Obenchain (2007) and C. J. Henry (2013). Steve was Oakland’s top pick in 2002. The Yankees selected C. J. in the first round in 2005.
Outfielder Chris Weimer announced his retirement today, but we added veteran southpaw Michael Anton to the starting rotation. Anton pitched with Jeremy Thorne, another starter, at Double A Arkansas last year.
Anton was the Anaheim Angels’ 12th round draft choice in 2007. His addition increases the number of players on our roster who were drafted by major league organizations to 16.
We selected two players in yesterday’s Frontier League draft, which followed two days of tryouts in Florence, Kentucky. In the first round we chose catcher Nathan Thompson, who hit .294 during his four-year career at Liberty University. Nathan hit 11 home runs and drove in 74 runs in 127 games. LaDale Hayes, our second round pick, pitched at played the outfield for four years at Alabama A&M. In 159 games, LaDale hit .324 with 10 home runs and 91 RBIs.
Thompson and Hayes bring to 33 the number of players in training camp, which begins Thursday at Bosse Field.
Less than a week before the start of training camp, the Otters’ preseason roster has reached 31. We released shortstop Marcel Champagnie this week, but added four players to the roster.
We resigned righthanded pitcher Chris Rollins after the Padres released him. Chris pitched for us last year. We also signed two players with no professional experience–catcher Jared Jordan of New Mexico State University and third baseman P.J. Sequeira of Oral Roberts University. And Ryan Morris, Cleveland’s fourth round pick in the 2006 draft, has joined our starting rotation.
The roster now includes 14 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders and six outfielders. Thirteen of the players were with us last year; 18 are new.
Fifteen of the 31 players on our preseason roster were drafted by major league organizations.
We signed starting pitcher Jeremy Thorne today. Thorne, 25, pitched for Arkansas, the Angels’ AA team in the Texas League, last year.
A righthander, Thorne was drafted twice by the Anaheim Angels–in the 42nd round in 2007 and in the 29th round in 2008.
Thorne’s addition increases our preseason roster to 28; 14 of those players were drafted by major league organizations.
We are carrying 12 pitchers, 2 catchers, 8 infielders and 6 outfielders. Thirteen of the 28 played for us last year; 15 are new.
Last week we released catcher Chad Clemons and pitcher Payton Tweddale, but we filled their spots on the roster with shortstop Korby Mintken and pitcher Scott Kelley.
Mintken played for Philadelphia’s high Class A team in the Florida State League last year. Kelley, Kansas City’s 23rd round pick in 2009, pitched for the Burlington Bees of the Midwest League in 2010.
Kelley’s addition increases the number prospective Otters who were drafted by major league teams to 13.