Carlos Gonzalez had no trouble in Double-A as a 20-year old last season, so there's eager anticipation as to what he can do there this year. He is joined by other hot position player prospects, such as Emilio Bonifacio, Chris Rahl, Mark Reynolds, and Cesar Nicolas. Additionally, Matt Elliott is widely considered the best relief pitcher in the system.
But perhaps the biggest name on the roster is manager Brett Butler. Butler was a fan favorite during his playing days, and the type of player that you rooted for secretly even when he was on a rival team. He served as manager of the Hi-A Lancaster JetHawks last year, which really tied his hands as far as playing the small ball style of baseball that he advocates.
He'll be able to emphasize fundamentals more in the pitching-heavy Southern League. Butler teaches Christian values and instills a meticulous work ethic in all of his players, many of whom had the pleasure of playing under him last year. This is exactly the kind of manager that you want to coach young players on the right way to play the game of baseball.
|30||A. J. Shappi||SP||R||R||6-2||195||10/16/1982|