Barons Announce Initial 2019 Roster
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - In conjunction with the Chicago White Sox, the Birmingham Barons are set to welcome their initial 25-man roster ahead of their season opener Thursday night against the Biloxi Shuckers.
Headlined by Micker Adolfo, ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the White Sox organization by MLB Pipeline, the Barons' 2019 roster features a talented outfield core. Adolfo, who posted 27 home runs and 118 RBI over the past two seasons at Class-A Kannapolis and Class-A Advanced Winston-Salem, is joined by Blake Rutherford (CWS No. 9 prospect), Luis Gonzalez (CWS No. 10 prospect) and returning member Joel Booker.
Veteran Trey Michalczewski, who ranked second on the club in 2018 with 65 RBI, returns to Birmingham to lead the collection of infielders into the 2019 season. Michalczewski has appeared in 366 career games as a Baron since his Double-A debut in 2016.
Gavin Sheets (CWS No. 18 prospect), a second-round selection from the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft, and Laz Rivera (CWS No. 17 prospect), are slotted in as organizational Top-30 talents among the infielders. Former Kansas City Royals shortstop Ramon Torres, along with Ti'Quan Forbes and Mitch Roman, round out the infield core.
Catcher Alfredo Gonzalez, who enjoyed a three-game stint with the White Sox in 2018, is paired with Yermin Mercedes behind the plate. Mercedes will seek to build off an impressive 2018 campaign in which he ranked among Class-A Advanced Winston-Salem's top five in hits (104), home runs (14) and RBI (64).
The five-man pitching rotation is expected to feature a number of familiar faces, including right-hander Jimmy Lambert (CWS No. 19 prospect) and left-handers Bernardo Flores and Tanner Banks.
Southpaw Sean Nolin, who made six starts for the Oakland Athletics in 2015 before injuries shut down his 2016-17 seasons, enters his first year with the Barons. Right-hander Felix Paulino, whom the White Sox acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 22, 2018, rounds out the rotation.
Right-handers Mauricio Cabrera, Danny Dopico, Matt Foster, Luis Martinez and Connor Walsh, along with left-handers Brian Clark, Hunter Schryver and Matt Tomshaw, make up the bullpen.
Outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe (CWS No. 7 prospect), left-handed pitcher Kodi Medeiros and right-handed pitchers Dane Dunning (CWS No. 6 prospect), Tyler Johnson (CWS No. 28 prospect) and A.J. Puckett will begin the season on the injured list.
Pitchers: LHP Tanner Banks, RHP Mauricio Cabrera, LHP Brian Clark, RHP Danny Dopico, RHP Dane Dunning, LHP Bernardo Flores, RHP Matt Foster, RHP Tyler Johnson, RHP Jimmy Lambert, RHP Luis Martinez, LHP Kodi Medeiros, LHP Sean Nolin, RHP Felix Paulino, RHP A.J. Puckett, LHP Hunter Schryver, LHP Matt Tomshaw, RHP Connor Walsh
Catchers: Alfredo Gonzalez, Yermin Mercedes
Infielders: Ti'Quan Forbes, Trey Michalczewski, Laz Rivera, Mitch Roman, Gavin Sheets, Ramon Torres
Outfielders: Micker Adolfo, Luis Alexander Basabe, Joel Booker, Luis Gonzalez, Blake Rutherford
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