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Fireflies Roster Move and Game Notes: April 22 at West Virginia (Game 17)

April 22, 2019 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Columbia Fireflies News Release

Please note the following New York Mets minor league transactions:

- INF Chandler Avant transferred to Brooklyn

- INF Shervyen Newton transferred to Columbia from Kingsport

Columbia Fireflies (7-9) @ West Virginia Power (9-6)

RHP Jose Butto (0-2, 5.68) vs. RHP Clay Chandler (1-0, 0.53)

Mon., April 22, 2019 - Appalachian Power Park (Charleston, WV) - First Pitch 7:05 p.m. - Game 17

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LAST TIME OUT: The Fireflies dropped both games in Saturday's doubleheader. Anthony Dirocie smashed a three-run HR, though, and drove in four runs.

ROAD TRIPPIN': The Fireflies made the 354-mile trek from Columbia to Charleston, West Virginia on Sunday. When Columbia finishes its three-game series against the Power, it'll head to Charleston, South Carolina, for a four-game set with the RiverDogs before returning home. When it's all said and done, the Fireflies will have logged roughly 1,000 miles during the trip.

"HE'S NOT AFRAID": Ronny Mauricio's .323 batting average is 10th-best in the league and his 20 total hits are tied for second in the South Atlantic League. Manager Pedro Lopez said to The State newspaper this week that the 18-year-old Mauricio is "not afraid" at the plate.

FOLLOW THE LAW: Keith Law, senior baseball writer at ESPN, ranked Columbia's roster as the 7th-most "Loaded Roster" in all of Minor League Baseball. Law recognized the fact Columbia's roster includes the Mets' third, fourth and fifth-rated prospects (infielders Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos and Shervyen Newton, respectively), New York's past two second-round draft choices (RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson, Vientos) and the system's ninth-rated prospect, left-hander Thomas Szapucki (drafted in the fifth round in 2015). The roster also features 26th (Baseball America) and 27th-rated prospects Chris Viall and Christian James, and 2018 New York-Penn League All-Star, 21-year-old pitcher Jaison Vilera. The prospect rankings are according to unless otherwise noted.

YOUTHFUL ENERGY: Columbia's 2019 roster features three teenagers: SS Ronny Mauricio (18), RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson (18) and 3B Mark Vientos (19). All are considered top-10 rated Mets prospects. The Fireflies roster currently includes 10 players aged 21 or younger. Columbia's opening day roster was the youngest (average age 21.6) ever. Take a look below for more information on the prospects in Columbia in 2019.

NEW STAFF: Fireflies second-year manager Pedro Lopez notwithstanding, Columbia has an entirely different coaching staff in 2019. Former big leaguer and Mets pitcher Royce Ring assumes the role as pitching coach and former Eastern League champion Luis Rivera is the new hitting coach. One-time Mets farmhand (and former player for Lopez in Binghamton in 2014) Gilbert Gomez is the team's first-ever bench coach. Daichi Arima (athletic trainer), Sam Nickelsen (strength and conditioning coach), Nicole Collins (assistant athletic trainer) and Dave Williams (mental skills coach) complete the Fireflies coaching staff in 2019.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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