Roster madness has begun, and won't stop for another couple of weeks. With draftees signing on a daily basis and injuries from the big leagues all the way down the Diamondbacks minor league affiliates are shuffling their players like its the World Series...of poker.
In Missoula (Rookie Ball) the Osprey find themselves going over signs, and introductions, with some frequency. Among the newcomers RHP Steven Jackson has made the transition from college ball at Clemson to pro ball in Missoula, Vince Davis (LHP) and Marcus Townsend (OF) are in from Southern U, OF Kevin Williams hopes to mimic Luis Gonzalez's successful transition from South Alabama to the pro game, shortstop Derek Bruce has arrived from Lewis and Clark State, and Travis Gulick will patrol the outfield for the Osprey now that he's finished his time at Michigan State. Pitchers Garrett Bauer and Todd Stein move to Missoula from Missouri Baptist College and Illinois State respectively. There will certainly be a Latin flavor to the Osprey this year as 13 players on the current roster hail from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, or Venezuela, but an 'International Flavor' might be more accurate, as the roster also features a Canadian (Ben Krantz) and two Japanese players (Tetsuya Yamaguchi and Kosuke Yonezawa).
Bumping up a level to the short season 'Low A' Yakima Bears the Diamondbacks 3rd round pick, RHP Garrett Mock joins the squad, but he's hardly alone in Bears featuring a higher education. A. J. Shappi joins the squad directly from the University of California at Riverside, and Chris Thompson will also take the mound for Yakima straight out of Mississippi.
Daniel Pohlman will don the tools of ignorance behind the plate, but after coming from Northwestern is seems unlikely anything about him other than the tools will be ignorant. The infield will be stocked with '04 draftees as Erik Schindewolf (Texas A&M), Billy Lockin (Loyola Marymount), Mark Reynolds (Virginia), and Trey Hendricks (Harvard, can't wait to hear the conversations between Hendricks and Pohlman, both screaming 'Safety School' at the other) all could potentially be starters for Yakima. The outfield won't be left out of the Yakima continuing education program, as 6th round pick Brandon Burgess (Sonoma State) joins Josh Buhagiar of Long Beach State, while Stanford's Chris Carter can certainly hold his own both at the plate and in conversations with Pohlman and Hendricks.
The new names at Yakima will not all come from the draft. Joining the organization via free agency are outfielder B.J. Lange from Jackson State, infielder Steve Mena from South Florida Community College, and RHPs Mike White and Chris Kemlo who both played for other organizations last season.
These rosters aren't set in stone, in fact they'll probably change before the ink dries. With the University of Arizona being eliminated from the college World Series today RHP Koley Kolberg (7th round) and his college battery mate catcher Richard Mercado both will start the process of negotiations, as will 2nd round pick outfielder Jonathan Zeringue of LSU following the Tigers elimination Monday. Watch for more changes, and a review of the changes to 'High A' Lancaster, 'AA' El Paso, and 'AAA' Tucson this week.