June 14, 2012 - New York-Penn League (NYPL) - Tri-City ValleyCats
TROY, N.Y. - The tentative Opening Day roster for the Tri-City ValleyCats was released on Thursday afternoon. It features 24 players who will begin their summer with Tri-City for the 2012 season.
Five players from the 2011 team will make their return to Tri-City including pitchers Jamaine Cotton, Juri Perez and Tommy Shirley. Shirley, also a member of the ValleyCats 2010 championship team, pitched in just five games in 2011 after battling injuries throughout the 2010-11 seasons.
Position players making their return include infielders Neiko Johnson and Chase Davidson. Davidson was promoted to Tri-City in 2011 following an all-star first half for Rookie League Greeneville, before going down with an injury.
13 college players selected in the 2012 MLB Draft will make their professional debuts with the ValleyCats. Third-round pick Brady Rodgers, a starting pitcher, and fifth-round selection Andrew Aplin, an outfielder, were teammates with Arizona State, and will join each other in Tri-City to begin their professional baseball careers.
Rodgers is one of seven players on the ValleyCats roster from the state of Texas. He was most recently selected to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-America third team. He led the Sun Devils in innings pitched with 115 and strikeouts with 79.
Aplin earned Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention recognition and ranked first on the team and fourth in the Pac-12 in runs scored.
There are three international players on the tentative Opening Day roster, two from Puerto Rico and one from Venezuela.
The team will be led by second-year manager Stubby Clapp, hitting coach Mark Bailey and pitching coach Rick Aponte, who is entering his first season with Tri-City.
The ValleyCats begin their 2012 season against the Lake Monsters in Vermont on Monday, June 18. The team will return to "The Joe" on Wednesday, June 20 for their home opener against the same Lake Monsters. First pitch is scheduled for 7pm, and there are only a limited number of seats still remaining. For ticket information and more, call 629-CATS or visit www.tcvalleycats.com.