Charleston RiverDogs

RiverDogs Unveil Lineup for 20th Annual Hot Stove Banquet

December 11, 2023 - Carolina League (CarL)
Charleston RiverDogs News Release

Charleston, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs have announced that the organization's 20th Annual Hot Stove Banquet, presented by Container Maintenance, will feature a trio of standout performers from the current run of three consecutive championships. Infielder Curtis Mead from 2021, infielder Carson Williams from 2022 and pitcher Marcus Johnson from the recently completed 2023 season will share thoughts on their experiences with the RiverDogs and answer questions from attendees. Tickets to the event, to be held in the Segra Club at Riley Park on January 26th, are now on sale. Rays Senior Director, Player Development Blake Butera, who managed the team to their first two championships, and 2023 manager Sean Smedley, will also be in attendance.

The event will open with a cocktail hour and silent auction that includes baseball memorabilia from past Hot Stove speakers, collectibles from RiverDogs Director of Fun Bill Murray, vacation packages, and more, beginning at 6:00 p.m. A program, including a conversation with the three featured players, will close the evening.

Acquired in a trade with the Phillies late in 2019, Mead made his debut in the Rays farm system with the RiverDogs in 2021. At the conclusion of the season's first month, he had compiled an impressive .309 batting average. He was even better in June, putting together hit streaks of eight and five games, before starting a 13-game streak that carried into July. Mead was named the Low-A East Player of the Week for consecutive weeks in June and led the circuit in hits and doubles when he departed for High-A Bowling Green. His final numbers in Charleston included a .356 average, 21 doubles, seven home runs and 35 RBI in 47 games. He climbed into Top 100 prospect status during a 2022 campaign that saw him hit a combined .298 between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. His rise continued in 2023 with his MLB debut coming on August 4. Mead closed the year having played 24 games for the Rays and was a starter in both of the team's playoff games.

Selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, Williams lived up to lofty expectations during his first full season of pro baseball at the age of 18. Following a dominant 2022 campaign in Charleston, he was named to the Carolina League All-Star team at shortstop and received the Rawlings Gold Glove as the best defensive shortstop in Minor League Baseball. Williams played in 113 games and put together a .252 batting average, 19 home runs, 70 RBI, 28 stolen bases and a .968 fielding percentage. He closed the regular season tied for first league-wide in triples, second in total bases, extra-base hits and home runs, third in slugging percentage, fourth in RBI and runs scored and sixth in OPS. Williams capped his season by hitting a solo home run in both games of the championship series against Lynchburg. He is currently rated as MLB Pipeline's #2 rated prospect in the Rays farm system. Williams put together another impressive season at High-A Bowling Green this summer, hitting 23 home runs in 105 games for the Hot Rods.

Johnson was acquired via trade with Miami late in 2022 and became a staple in the RiverDogs 2023 starting rotation. A product of Duke University, Johnson was drafted by the Marlins in the fourth round of the 2022 MLB Draft. He made his Rays organizational debut as the opening night starter against Myrtle Beach. Featuring one of the lowest walk rates in Minor League Baseball, Johnson posted a 3.74 earned run average and tossed 130.0 innings, the most in the Carolina league. The California native raised his game down the stretch, recording a career-high 10 strikeouts on August 26 and working 6.2 strong innings in the Game 2 of the Divisional Round playoff series against Myrtle Beach. The right-hander currently ranks as the #16 prospect in the Rays farm system according to MLB Pipeline.

The Hot Stove Banquet has become one of the most highly anticipated offseason events hosted by the RiverDogs each year. Past speakers have included Hall-of-Famers Bobby Cox, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Ryne Sandberg, Wade Boggs, and Goose Gossage.

Individual tickets to the Hot Stove Banquet can be purchased for $130 or groups can reserve a table of eight for $900. Purchase tickets here.

The RiverDogs will aim for a fourth-consecutive championship when the 2024 season commences in April. The full schedule is available here. Season tickets, Dog-E Coin plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park, are available at The Segra Club is also open for events year-round. Visit for more information. The brand new RiverDogs Food Truck is available for your next event! Contact the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS) for more information.

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