Here's the release that the Chattanooga Lookouts sent on the anticipated Opening Day roster for the Twins' Class AA club. As pointed out in the second graph, 12 of the Twins' top 30 prospects will start the season with their new Southern League affiliate. It's quite a contrast to the roster at Class AAA Rochester, which is made up largely of journeymen.
CHATTANOOGA, TN - (Monday), the Chattanooga Lookouts announced their preliminary Opening Day roster for the 2015 season. The 26-man roster led by manager Doug Mientkiewicz comprises of 13 pitchers, two catchers, seven infielders and four outfielders. The roster will be trimmed to 25 by Thursday.
The team's roster features 12 of MLB Pipeline's top-30 Minnesota Twins' prospects including number one overall prospect Byron Buxton (1), number 12 overall prospect Miguel Sano (2) and number 33 overall prospect Jose Berrios (4). Buxton, the number two draft pick in 2012, played in 30 games last year with the Florida State League Champion Fort Myers Miracle and one in Double-A with the New Britain Rock Cats.
Buxton and Sano are just one part of a prospect heavy group of position players. Infielder Jorge Polanco (7) is the only member of the squad who spent time in the Majors last season. The infielder hit .333 with three RBIs in five games with the Twins. Also manning the infield are Heiker Meneses, Levi Michael and Steve Wickens.
Joining Buxton in the outfield are Adam Walker (14), Max Kepler (16) and Travis Harrison (18). All four outfielders spent time with the Miracle and combined to hit 37 home runs.
Rounding out the position players are catchers Stuart Turner (15) and Carlos Paulino. Turner was also on the 2014 Miracle and Paulino will be making his debut in the Twins' organization after spending last season in the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system.
Pitching for the Lookouts' this season will be a group made up of 12 right-handers and one left-hander. The lone lefty on the staff is Ryan O'Rourke who spent the majority of last season with the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats. Projected to come out of the pen with O'Rourke are right-handers, Nick Burdi (8), Dallas Gallant, Cole Johnson, DJ Johnson, Zack Jones (25), Jake Reed (13) and Adrian Salcedo. The rest of the staff consists of Tyler Duffey (20), Greg Peavey, DJ Baxendale and Alex Wimmers. Peavey is the only Lookouts' pitcher who did not spend 2014 with the Twins. The 26-year old split time between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas of the New York Mets' organization and posted an 11-3 record with a 2.90 ERA at Double-A.
Fans will be able to see the 2015 Lookouts' squad make their debut Tuesday at AT&T Field when the team takes the field at 6:15 pm for an exhibition game against Chattanooga State. The regular season begins on Thursday against the Montgomery Biscuits. The Lookouts make their home debut on their home debut on Wednesday, April 15 against the Birmingham Barons.
HERE'S THE RELEASE that the Red Wings sent out on their projected roster:
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Red Wings will have a bunch of a familiar faces on the Opening Day roster as 20 of the 28 players appeared with the Wings last season and 24 of the 28 guys have played for Rochester at some point during their careers.
Ten of the 13 pitchers on the Opening Day roster spent at least some time on the 2014 Red Wings staff which finished second in the International League in both ERA and strikeouts. Nine of the 13 pitchers have Major League experience.
The starting rotation will feature two pitchers who helped anchor the Wings staff for much of last year. RHP Alex Meyer led the IL with 153 strikeouts in 130.1 innings. RHP Trevor May posted a 2.85 ERA for the Wings in 18 starts last year before his first promotion to the big leagues. RHP Mark Hamburger also returns to Rochester as a starter. The Minnesota native made six starts and eight relief appearances for the Wings last year.
The two starting rotation newcomers are both lefties. 24-year-old Taylor Rogers was an Eastern League All Star in 2014 going 11-6 with a 3.29 ERA in Double-A. Jason Wheeler, who pitched in one spot start for the Red Wings last year, led the Twins Minor League system in ERA in 2014 with a 2.67 mark spread across three levels. Meyer, May and Wheeler are all currently on the Twins 40 man roster. Baseball America rates Meyer the Twins 5th best prospect while ranking May the 9th best and Rogers the 15th best in the organization.
Seven of the eight relief pitchers on the Opening Day roster have pitched in the Major Leagues, and all eight have pitched for the Red Wings in the past. RHPs A.J. Achter, Ryan Pressly and Michael Tonkin and LHPs Logan Darnell and Caleb Thielbar are already on the Twins 40 man roster.
Achter was the lone Red Wing selected to the Triple-A All Star Game in 2014 and compiled a 2.38 ERA in 40 appearances last year for the Wings. Thielber appeared in 103 games for the Twins over the last two seasons. Hard throwing righties Lester Oliveros and Stephen Pryor return to the Wings bullpen as well.
LHP Pat Dean is the only member of the bullpen with no MLB experience. Dean was a key starting pitcher for the Wings during their 2013 playoff run who will transition to the bullpen to start this season. The eight Red Wings relievers have a combined 286 games of Major League experience.
Eric Fryer, Josmil Pinto and Dan Rohlfing will backstop the pitching staff. Pinto appeared in 57 games and Fryer in 28 with the Twins last season after both competing for the backup role with Minnesota in Spring Training.
Aaron Hicks starts the season with the Wings for the first time in his career having made the Twins Opening Day roster the last two seasons. Hicks and Eddie Rosario, ranked the 10th best prospect in the organization by Baseball America, will patrol the outfield along with Danny Ortiz and Eric Farris. Farris has appeared in 251 minor league games over the past two seasons and all but one have come with the Red Wings. He led the team in games and stolen bases in 2014.
Brock Peterson returns to the organization for the first time since 2010. The Twins 49th round pick in 2002 spent parts of 2008, 2010 and all of 2009 in Rochester. James Beresford spent all of last season with the Wings and led the club in hits, at-bats, doubles, runs scored and total bases. Doug Bernier was also in Rochester for most of the season and ranked near the top in almost every offensive category, including leading the team in RBI and walks. Reyaldo Rodriguez had a cup of coffee with the Red Wings last season while Argenis Diaz and Jose Martinez are newcomers to the organization.
Roster moves will be needed to get down to the 25-man active roster before Thursday's opener.