This week the Missoula Osprey have begun announcing players for the 2011 season. By all accounts the general management are excited to have a great deal of experience "up the middle".
Osprey Executive Vice President Matt Ellis has a very solid theory to success in the Pioneer League … experience pays off up the middle. The more of it you have at shortstop, second base, in center field and behind the plate, the better off you will be as a team, and will give you the best chance to compete. - Ben Catley
Check out our line up after the jump!
- Robby Rowland, pitcher. Last year's 2nd round draft pick returns after starting 14 games for the Osprey last year. He racked up a 4-6 record with a 5.67 ERA. He will be the opening night starter, according to his Twitter.
- Enrique Burgos, pitcher. He pitched in Class A ball at Yakima last year, and started for the Osprey in 2009.
- Victor Lara, pitcher. The right handed reliever struggled last year in Missoula, running up an ERA of 8.02.
- Eric Groff, infielder. He was 2nd on the team in both homeruns and RBI's last year. Plus, he's the only Osprey ever to hit 3 homeruns in a single game. Groff received a late-season promotion to Triple-A Reno, and in 63 games in Missoula, hit .281 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs.
- Stephen Cardullo, infielder. The Florida State product played a limited roll in 20 games in Missoula last year.
Roidany Aguila, catcher. Returning for his 3rd season in Missoula. Only drove in 6 RBI and batted .234 last year. He joins a dubious list of players to have 3 seasons in Missoula [Gerardo Bustamante (2005-07), Donald Julio (2003-2005), Brett Reynolds (2006-07-08), Bobby Stone (2008-09),
Houston Summers (2005-07), Tetsuya Yamaguchi (2002-2004)].
- Fidel Pena, catcher/infielder. Played 2nd base and DH for the Osprey, while batting .272 last year. Will play there again, but also catch this season. "He has stepped up and has become a very good baseball player since recovering from his injury," said Arizona Diamondbacks Director of Player Development Mike Bell. "He will play catcher and some second and third defensively."
- Ty Linton, outfielder. Was a late signee after getting drafted in the 14th round last year. Only had one plate appearance with the Osprey, and drew a walk. Turned down a football scholarship to North Carolina to play baseball. "He is a great athlete with big time power," commented Bell.
- Tom Belza, infielder/outfielder. Can play any position but pitcher or catcher. Batted .212 for the Bears last year.
- Westley Moss, outfielder. He batted .244 in Yakima, and stole 21 bases in 67 games. Arizona Diamondbacks Director of Player Development Mike Bell calls him one of the fastest players in the organization.
- Jesse Darrah, pitcher, Fresno Pacific, 8th round pick. Earned a 7-1 record with a 2.44 ERA in college this year. Had 101 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings.
- Joshua Parr, shortstop, Illinois, 12th round pick. Drafted for his solid glove and speed. Batted .302 for the Fighting Illini.
- Taylor Siemens, pitcher, California Baptist, 18th round pick. Was named the Golden State Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year after a 9-2 record and a 2.93 ERA.
- Ryan Court, third baseman, Illinois State, 23rd round pick. Batted .323 with 6 home runs and 35 RBI's for the Redbirds, and is a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Candidate.
- Dexter Price, pitcher, South Carolina-Beaufort, 30th round pick. Previously played for Auburn. Was drafted in the 43rd round out of high school.
- Bryan Henry, catcher, Keystone College, 36th round pick. Batted .374 this season, helping the Giants advance to the NCAA Division III national semifinals.
- Chris Ellison, outfielder, Oklahoma, 39th round pick. Batted .321 in his college career, and stole 44 bases as a Sooner.
We should be seeing another press release this afternoon and I'll update soon after it's made public.