After Triple-A Rochester set its Opening Day roster and began the 2023 season last week, it’s time for the lower levels of the minor leagues to get underway.
Double-A Harrisburg, High-A Wilmington and Single-A Fredericksburg announced their Opening Day rosters Thursday before starting their seasons.
The Senators will start the season with 16 pitchers (11 right-handers and five left-handers), two catchers, six infielders and four outfielders.
Right-handers: Gerardo Carrillo, Michael Cuevas, Richard Guasch, Ronald Herrera, Joel Peguero, Malvin Pena, Orlando Ribalta, Carlos Romero, Jackson Rutledge, Reid Schaller and Amos Willingham
Left-handers: Garvin Alston, Tim Cate, Evan Lee, Mitchell Parker and Alex Troop
Catchers: Brady Lindsly and Drew Millas
Infielders: JT Arruda, Jackson Cluff, Will Frizzell, Omar Meregildo, José Sánchez and Leonel Valera
Outfielders: Yasel Antuna, Justin Connell, Trey Harris and Armond Upshaw
The Senators have 16 players who were with the team at some point last year returning. The roster has 28 active players with 20 of them being original Nationals draftees or signees (15 drafted and five signed as undrafted free agents). Five players were acquired in trades and three signed as free agents. There are only two newcomers to the Nationals organization (Peguero and Valera) with the other 26 players having been in the system last year.
This roster features four players in MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Nationals prospects list: No. 11 Rutledge, No. 24 Parker, No. 28 Carrillo, and No. 30 Millas. Per Pipeline’s farm system rankings, the Nationals are ranked 10th in the sport.
It also has six players in Baseball America’s top 30: No. 9 Rutledge, No. 14 Parker, No. 23 Lee, No. 25 Millas, No. 26 Carrillo and No. 28 Cate.
Catcher Jarrett Gonzales is starting the season on the development list. No players are starting on the injured list, although Robert Hassell III (No. 2 by both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America) will join the Senators after completing his rehab for a hand injury down at the Nats facility in West Palm Beach.
Manager Delino DeShields is at the helm of a nearly all-new coaching staff. Harrisburg finished 52-85 last year, last in the Eastern League. They will start the year tonight at the Somerset Patriots (Yankees).
The Blue Rocks will start the season with 15 pitchers (10 right-handers and five left-handers), three catchers, six infielders and five outfielders.
Right-handers: Brendan Collins, Chance Huff, Andry Lara, Kyle Luckman, Todd Peterson, Nick Pogue, Tyler Schoff, Jack Sinclair, Rodney Theophile and Jaren Zinn
Left-handers: Andrew Alvarez, Dannel Diaz, Peyton Glavine, Marlon Perez and Dustin Saenz
Catchers: Caleb Farmer, Wilmer Perez and Matt Suggs
Infielders: Jordy Barley, Leandro Emiliani, Trey Lipscomb, Viandel Pena, Yoander Rivero, Nick Shumpert
Outfielders: Jeremy De La Rosa, Jared McKenzie, T.J. White, James Wood and Jacob Young
This roster features six players in MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Nationals prospects list, mostly from its stacked outfield: No. 1 Wood, No. 8 De La Rosa, No. 10 White, No. 15 Lara, No. 19 Lipscomb and No. 25 McKenzie. Per Pipeline’s farm system rankings, the Nationals are 10th-ranked in the sport.
It also has five players in Baseball America’s top 30: No. 1 Wood, No. 8 De La Rosa, No. 10 White, No. 15 Lara and No. 24 Lipscomb.
Manager Mario Lisson is back for his second season leading the Blue Rocks, who finished seventh in the South Atlantic League with a 65-65 record last year. They will start the season tonight at the Aberdeen IronBirds (Orioles).
The FredNats begin their season tomorrow night against the Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians) at Virginia Credit Union Stadium. Their roster includes 15 pitchers (13 right-handers and two left-handers), three catchers, eight infielders and four outfielders.
Right-handers: Juan Abreu, Jose Atencio, Bryan Caceres, Christian Cuiffetelli, Riley Cornelio, Mason Denaburg, Miguel Gomez, Brad Lord, Kevin Rodriguez, Bryan Sanchez, Jarlin Susana, Jose Ulloa and Luke Young
Left-handers: Pablo Aldonis and Jake Bennett
Catchers: Maxwell Romero Jr., Steven Williams and Paul Witt
Infielders: Branden Boissiere, Armando Cruz, Brady House, Sammy Infante, Cortland Lawson, Zion Pettigrew, Roismar Quintana and Murphy Stehly
Outfielders: Brenner Cox, Elijah Green, Daylen Lile and Johnathan Thomas
(Note: Quintana is listed as an infielder although he’s been an outfielder since signing as an international free agent on July 2, 2019. With the Nationals’ now deep group of prospects in the outfield and Quintana’s reported limits in right field, he may be getting a shot to play first base.)
Fredericksburg’s roster includes 16 players that played at least one game with the FredNats last year. It features eight players in MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Nats prospects list, including Washington's last two first-round draft picks: No. 3 Green, No. 5 House, No. 6 Susana, No. 9 Bennett, No. 14 Cruz, No. 16 Lile, No. 17 Quintana and No. 23 Cox.
It also has seven players in Baseball America’s top 30: No. 3 Green, No. 5 House, No. 7 Susana, No. 11 Bennett, No. 12 Cruz, No. 17 Quintana and No. 27 Lile.
No players are starting on the injured list nor the developmental list.
A notable exclusion is Cristhian Vaquero (No. 7 per Pipeline and No. 6 per Baseball America). He's only 18 and hasn't played stateside yet, spending all last summer in the Dominican Summer League. Looks like he'll start at the Rookie-level Florida Complex League in West Palm Beach.
Jake Lowery is back for his second season managing the FredNats, who went 75-55 overall and 42-22 in the second half to clinch a spot in the Carolina League playoffs. They lost to Lynchburg 2-1 in a three-game series, winning the only game at home.
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