Today is Minor League Baseball Opening Day. The AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos, A+ Daytona Tortugas, and A Dayton Dragons all begin play today. The AAA Louisville Bats start their season tomorrow. All four of these teams have released their opening day rosters. Let’s take a look at each team’s roster to see where the Red’s prospects will be to start the season.

 

AAA Louisville Bats

 

Lineup
C Tony Sanchez
1B D.J. Peterson
2B Nick Senzel
3B Brandon Dixon
SS Alex Blandino
LF Patrick Kivlehan
CF Mason Williams*
RF Tyler Goeddel
DH Sebastian Elizalde*

Bench
C Stuart Turner
C Tony Cruz
C Joe Hudson
IF Blake Trahan
IF Hernan Iribarren*
IF Rosell Herrera#

Rotation
SP Robert Stephenson
SP Jose Lopez
SP Jackson Stephens
SP Justin Nicolino*
SP

Bullpen
RP Zack Weiss
RP Tanner Rainey
RP Jimmy Herget
RP Kyle Crockett*
RP Barrett Astin
RP Dylan Floro
RP Evan Mitchell
RP Ben Rowen

 

The Bat’s have a lot flexibility with their lineup having at least a half dozen guys on the roster who can play multiple positions. I’ve taken a crack at an opening day lineup above, but I believe their lineups going forward will be juggled around a lot to get playing time for different guys. Other than Senzel at 2B, nobody else is a lock at a certain position. There is still some sorting out with the catchers to do. Don’t be surprised to see one or two of these guys to be either released or sent down to Pensacola.

 
The starting rotation has one spot that appears to still be open. I’d expect that spot to be filled by Cody Reed once Brandon Finnegan returns from the DL. The bullpen is already strong, and will get even better once it receives the trickle down from when Hernandez/Lorenzen/Shackelford return from the Reds DL.

 

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

 

Lineup
C Chadwick Tromp
1B Gavin LaValley
2B Shed Long
3B Taylor Sparks
SS Alfredo Rodriguez
LF Nick Longhi
CF Gabriel Guerrero
RF Aristides Aquino
DH Josh Van Meter*

Bench
C Garrett Boulware
IF Alberti Chavez
OF Brian O’Grady*
OF C.J. McElroy#

Rotation
SP Jesus Reyes
SP Vladimir Gutierrez
SP Keury Mella
SP Wyatt Strahan
SP Daniel Wright

Bullpen
RP Ariel Hernandez
RP Brennan Bernardino*
RP Jose Adames
RP Rafael De Paula
RP Dean Kiekhefer*
RP Robin Leyer
RP Alex Powers
RP Domingo Tapia
RP Carlos Navas

 

The Blue Wahoo’s lineup seems fairly straight forward and should be a pretty good one as six of their starters have significant time in AA already. As noted above, I’ll be surprised if the mix at C doesn’t get changed soon.

 
The starting rotation is headed by three good prospects in Reyes/Guitierrez/Mella. It is a bit of a surprise to see Ariel Hernandez back in the AA bullpen.

 

High A Daytona Tortugas

 

Lineup
C Tyler Stephenson
1B Bruce Yari
2B Brantley Bell
3B Mitch Nay
SS Luis Gonzalez
LF Daniel Sweet#
CF Taylor Trammell*
RF T.J. Friedl*
DH Dilson Herrera

Bench
C Cassidy Brown
IF Carlos Rivero*
OF Malik Collymore

Rotation
SP Tony Santillan
SP Scott Moss*
SP Seth Varner*
SP Wennington Romero*
SP Alex Webb

Bullpen
RP Ryan Hendrix
RP Aaron Fossas
RP Nick Howard
RP Ryan Olson
RP Joel Kuhnel
RP Jesse Stallings
RP Juan L. Martinez*
RP Kevin Canelon*
RP Jesse Adams*

 

The Tortuga’s lineup is already strong with the inclusion of Dilson Herrera who we can only assume is in A+ to maximize his plate appearance by utilizing the leagues use of the DH. Their lineup will soon be even stronger as OF Jose Siri returns form injury and maybe C Chris Okey when he’s back from injury as well.

 
Santillan and Moss head up a strong starting rotation. Hendrix and Fossas will anchor the bullpen. There have been some good reports on Nick Howard recently, hopefully he can start to turn things around.

 

Low A Dayton Dragons

 

Lineup
C Hendrik Clementina
1B Montrell Marshall
2B Jose Garcia
3B Leandro Santana
SS Jeter Downs
LF Miles Gordon*
CF Stuart Fairchild
RF Andy Sugilio#
DH Narciso Crook

Bench
C Mark Kolozsvary
C Morgan Lofstrom*
IF Hector Vargas
IF John Sansone

Rotation
SP Hunter Greene
SP Tyler Mondile
SP Packy Naughton
SP Wendolyn Bautista
SP Mac Sceroler

Bullpen
RP John Ghyzel
RP Ryan Nutof
RP Luis Alecis
RP Tyler Buffett
RP Sarkis Ohanian
RP Austin Orewiler
RP Connor Ryan
RP Cory Thompson

 

The Dragons will have a strong lineup this season anchored by top prospects Downs/Garcia/Fairchild. It will be interesting to see how they handle the SS/2B positions between Downs and Garcia.

Hunter Greene headlines what should be a very strong starting rotation. The bullpen looks to be deep with some players, Ohanian/Orewiler, returning from last season after promotions to A+.

 

Join the conversation! 17 Comments

  1. Dayton resident who hasn’t been to a Dragons game in a while. Might need to change that this year. Pretty exciting.

  2. Great article full of good info. There should be no cellar dwellers in the minors this season. I just hope all these young men chasing the dream stay healthy this year. I do have a question why is AA so tough on hitters?

    • I believe it has to do with the level of pitching that has advanced to this level. At AA pitchers can no longer throw the ball by hitters, they have to be able to throw breaking balls for strikes, change speeds, and locate their fastball. So likewise, the hitters that advance here have to be able to recognize pitches, hit pitches that have bend to them, and be able to make adjustments to be successful there.

  3. Great information – thank you! Would love to see this updated throughout the season.

    A couple of questions:
    -I’m curious why Stuart Turner isn’t starting?
    -Why is Herrera in single A?

    • “we can only assume is in A+ to maximize his plate appearance by utilizing the leagues use of the DH”

      question answered…

    • If Turner stays at AAA (He only hit .239/.322/.363/.686 in his 2nd full season at AA in 2016) he’ll get plenty of playing time because of his glove. He’s really not much of a step up from Joe Hudson. So as mentioned above, expect to see some AAA moves with the catchers.

  4. Where’s Jose Siri? Is he injured and not on an active roster?

  5. We have a starting AA catcher named Chadwick Tromp? How is this guy not better known? I’d call him up to be part of the 25 man roster just based on his name alone. He should totally grow a handlebar moustache. (Maybe he has one already. Maybe he has an eye patch. Maybe he time travelled from an 1880s professional team. Anything is possible when you’re a catcher named Chadwick Tromp.) #LegendOfChadwick

    Oh, and thanks for all the great info!

  6. Wasn’t Longhi traded for cash considerations? I think to the Marlins. I’m pretty sure he was the player.

    • I believe you thinking of Eric Jagielo who came over from the Yankees as part of the Chapman trade.

      From MLB Trade Rumors

      “The Marlins’ media info account tweeted that the team has acquired third baseman Eric Jagielo from the Reds in exchange for cash considerations.”

  7. Interesting that former top prospect, Blake Trahan, is now a utility player for AAA. Probably will spend a lot of time at SS, which is his position. Pending Blandino and / or Senzel coming up to the Majors.

    Do you think that Blandino and Senzel will do some flip-flopping at SS and 2nd base?

    Also, suspect that Brandon Finnegan will actually be the 5th starter at AAA for rehab purposes. When he is ready, likely Garrett or Reed return to AAA rotation. Depends on how they have pitched.
    Desclafani is still probably 2 months away.

    • Bear in mind that the potential lineups above are my best guess, so your mileage will vary once the season begins. My thought is that Trahan is basically Zach Vincej light, he only hit .222/.311/.275/.585 at AA last season. Props to him for the good BB totals, but still pretty weak. He being the only true SS on the Bat’s roster, he will probably get quite a bit of playing time, may even start most games, this is one of those things we’ll have to wait and see how the Reds proceed as the season starts. Before it’s all said and done, we’ll probably see each of Trahan/Irabarren/Herrera/Blandino/Senzel all at SS at some time or another.

      With Senzel, I’d expect him to play primarily 2B for a while before the Reds fire back up the IF merry-go-round they got him on.

  8. What do the * and # mean? Didn’t see that described anywhere…

  9. Heard Sansone will start at 1B for Dayton as Marshall is injured.

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