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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

4/6/22 : Minor League opening roster projections - Clearwater

We project the Clearwater roster as our final article in a series on discussing the 2022 opening day Minor League rosters. If you missed the first three articles below are links :

2022 Clearwater Threshers

The team opens the season on Friday, April 8th at home vs Fort Myers ( Twins affiliate ).

Manager and Coaches :

Marty Malloy (manager)

Jake Elmore (hitting coach)

Ray Ricker (bench/position coach)

Vic Diaz (pitching coach)

Blaine Taylor (strength & conditioning coach)

Raul Pérez (athletic trainer)

Pitchers :

Starters :

RH Andrew Painter - 18 years old - 2021 1st round draft choice - FB consistently in the upper nineties with three secondary offerings ( curve, slider & changeup ). He had spring training outings where he dominated.

RH Micah Ottenbreit - 18 years old - 2021 4th round draft choice - great form and mechanics - ball comes out of his hand with loads of movement. Velocity is in low nineties but will increase with added strength. Reminds me of former Phillie Andy Ashby.

LH Rafael Marcano - 21 years old - signed as international free agent 4/25/18 from Venezuela - pitched in 18 games last season with the Threshers. FB generally sits in the 92-94 range and also has a curve and changeup. Similar in style and moxie to Ranger Suarez.

RH Gunner Mayer - 21 years old - 2019 5th round draft selection - was the 2021 opening day starter for the Threshers but various setbacks limited him to just 13 games ( 26 1/3 IP ). FB generally is in the 92-94 range with a curve and changeup. Raw stuff has upper level ability - needs to build experience and to harness control and command.

RH Oswald Medina - 20 years old - signed as international free agent 5/9/19 from Venezuela - outstanding mechanics, control and command. Top level spin and movement on his pitches - low nineties velocity will increase with both experience and strength. Slider and changeup are plus deliveries.

LH Gabriel Cotto - 21 years old - 2018 7th round draft selection - made 8 appearances for CW in 2021 including 6 starts. Tall and lanky hurler who hides the ball well - three pitch mix - FB in the 91-93 mph range. Posted a 3.11 ERA in 46 1/3 innings last season in between FCL and CW.

Bullpen :

RH Malik Binns - 23 years old - 1st full season assignment - big arm - 92-97 mph FB

RH Alex Garbrick - 23 years old - 5 pitch mix - FB range 92-95 mph

RH Tristan Garnett - 24 years old - imposing 6’6” frame - out front release point - 1st full season assignment

RH Buddy Hayward - 23 years old - coming off TJ surgery rehab - 1st full season assignment

RH Victor Lopez - 22 years old - pitched 3 levels in ‘21 - cutter & curve are primaries

RH Fernando Lozano - 22 years old - returns to CW - 2.60 ERA in ‘21 in 52 IP

RH Tommy McCollum - 22 years old - was in 9 CW games in ‘21 - features a splitter

LH Matt Osterberg - 22 years old - pitched in 7 CW games in ‘21 - multi inning capabilities

LH Jared Wetherbee - 23 years old - pitched in 8 CW games in ‘21 - 0.79 ERA in 11 1/3 IP

RH Cam Wynne - 23 years old - pitched in 7 CW games in ‘21 - 93-96 mph FB - backend reliever

LH Gabriel Yanez -22 years old - 2.32 ERA in 42 2/3 IP in ‘21 at 3 levels including CW

Closer :

RH Rodolfo Sanchez - 22 years old - acquired in trade with Rays 11/9/20 - pitched in 20 games in 2021 primarily with CW as part of the piggyback rotation amassing 57 IP. Converts to a reliever this year - features a FB generally in the 93-95 range as a multi inning pitcher - may ramp up as a closer. Secondary pitches are a slider and changeup.

Catchers :

Arturo De Freitas - 20 years old - signed 3/18/18 as international free agent from Venezuela - strong defender, quick release and accurate arm. First full season opening day assignment - played in 8 games with CW in 2021

Anthony Quirion - 24 years old - first full season assignment after signing in July of ‘21 as an undrafted amateur free agent. Can also play corner infield positions. Good defensive skills and has pop offensively.

Micah Yonamine - 21 years old - 2019 29th round draft selection - also will see time at 1B, big frame at 6’4” - good bat speed, powerful swing. Limited playing time last season between FCL & CW - 48 AB’s - could have a breakout season as a hitter.

Infield :

Alexeis Azuaje - 2B/SS/3B - 19 years old -signed 7/2/18 as an international free agent from Venezuela - he’s an exciting player to watch with good all around baseball skills, can play all four infield positions and can really swing the bat. Has both power and consistent bat to ball contact abilities. Will be in the lineup most every game.

Jamari Baylor - SS/2B - 21 years old - 2019 3rd round draft selection - has very quick hands as a hitter and drives the ball with authority. He’s got good range defensively, excellent arm. Will steal bags as a base runner, good speed and instincts. A middle infield lineup regular.

Hao Yu Lee - 2B/3B/SS - 19 years old - signed as an international free agent 6/15/21 from Taiwan - he’s got a quick swing that also generates plenty of bat speed to drive the baseball, defensively we’ve seen him mostly at second base however he also has played both shortstop and third base. Good skill set all around but the hitting ability is what stands out, advanced approach and skills in that regard - “professional hitter” type that you slot in the upper third of the order each day.

Freylin Minyety - 2B/3B - 22 years old - signed as an un-drafted amateur free agent last summer - this will be his first full season - whenever we’ve seen Freylin play he seemingly always gets multiple hits or at the least sharply puts the ball in play. Quick hands and great bat to ball skills. Defensively has worked at both second and third base. Leadership skills are also evident, will take charge on the field.

Kendall Simmons - 3B - 21 years old - 2018 6th round draft selection - Had an injury plagued summer in 2021 - Appeared in 46 games ( 147 AB’s ) with the FCL Phillies and Clearwater. Great strength and has shown the ability to hit the baseball out of the yard - turns quickly on high fastballs. Highlight this spring was a two home run scrimmage with dingers against big leaguers Zack Wheeler and Seranthony Dominguez. Needs to get consistent reps both offensively and defensively - if that occurs we feel that good things will happen.

Rixon Wingrove - 1B/DH - 21 years old - signed as an international free agent 4/20/18 from Australia - played his first full season schedule in 2021 with Clearwater - 11 home runs and 39 RBIs in 306 AB’s. Swing can get long at times on the pull side as a left handed hitter but he has big time power as was evidenced in last intra-squad scrimmage this spring when he drove a ball far over the right field fence on Carlton Field. Plays hard, competes to win.

Outfield :

Yhoswar Garcia - 20 years old - signed as an international free agent 3/14/20 from Venezuela - he has an unbridled energy and passion to perform. Very quick bat and the ability to drive the baseball into the gaps, outstanding speed and defensive skill set - nicknamed the “drone”. Will be a top of the order presence, outstanding base stealer and runner. Very exciting player to watch, will play primarily center field.

Marcus Lee Sang - 21 years old - 2019 11th round draft selection - he has very good bat speed which generates both home run power and the ability to drive the ball into gaps. A good finisher, gets the barrel thru the baseball. Played in 37 2021 games ( 26 - FCL, 11 - Threshers ) and posted a respectable.256 batting average in 121 AB’s with 7 doubles and 5 home runs. Defensively plays all three outfield positions well, good jumps and reads and accurate throwing arm.

Felix Reyes - 21 years old - Birthdate - signed as an international free agent - 2/22/20 from Dominican Republic. He is a middle of the order power bat - skill set is raw but the talent is evident. A big fella at 6’4” - a corner outfielder who will also see time at first base. We like what we’ve seen in small samples, hands seem quick, bat speed is quick and strong - desire is high to succeed, sounds like a formula for success.

Jadiel Sanchez - 20 years old - 2019 12th round draft selection - Quick hands and good bat to ball skills - he hit .297 with a .373 OBP in 74 AB’s with the 2021 Threshers. Outstanding arm defensively and moves well with good reads and jumps. Can play all three outfield positions - has a right fielder’s throwing ability.

Wilfredo Flores - 21 years old - signed as an international free agent - 5/8/18 from Dominican Republic - We’ve seen him play multiple times and he can definitely swing the bat, also plays 2B, 3B and the outfield so will provide skipper Marty Malloy with defensive options.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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