2019 MiLB Opening Day Rosters Analysis
We're breaking down each organization. You can scroll through the post to go team-by-team, or if you're searching for a specific organization, feel free click through directly in the table below.
To see where every prospect in each Top 30 is beginning the season, click here.
Most Loaded Roster: Triple-A Norfolk features third baseman Ryan Mouncastle (No. 3), lefthander Keegan Akin (No. 6), righthanders Luis Ortiz (No. 13) and Braden Kline (No. 22) and outfielder DJ Stewart (No. 15).
Surprise Assignment: Third baseman Jean Carlos Encarnacion (No. 17) is repeating low Class A Delmarva after spending all of last season in the South Atlantic League.
Who’s Missing: Lefthander Alex Wells (No. 2) and righthander Michael Baumann (No. 21) were held back in extended spring training but are expected to join clubs before too long as they build up innings.
BOSTON RED SOX
Most Loaded Roster: Double-A Portland boasts two of the Red Sox’s top three prospects in third baseman Bobby Dalbec (No. 1) and lefthander Darwinzon Hernandez (No. 3). Hernandez was so dazzling in the spring that he nearly made the team as a reliever. Instead, he was sent to Portland to continue to work on maximizing his chances as a starter. The Sea Dogs also have righthander Durbin Feltman (No. 11), who dominated the lower levels of the minor leagues in his first try at pro ball.
Surprise Assignment: It’s hard to find a true surprise among these groups, but Triston Casas (No. 4) moving to low Class A Greenville after getting just one regular-season at-bat in 2018 before succumbing to a thumb injury that ended his year is an aggressive assignment.
Who's Missing: Lefthander Jay Groome (No. 4) is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and could reach an affiliate by midseason.
NEW YORK YANKEES
Most Loaded Roster: Low Class A Charleston has the most enviable pitching staff in the system. The rotation should include a fearsome foursome of righthanders Roansy Contreras (the team’s No. 7 prospect), Matt Sauer (No. 10), Luis Medina (No. 11) and Luis Gil (No. 25). Fellow righthander Tanner Myatt, the team’s 11th-round selection in last year’s draft will join them. Catcher Josh Breaux, the team’s second-round pick, will handle the staff.
Surprise Assignment: There aren’t a whole lot of surprises in this group. If you had to pick one, it’d be righthander Clarke Schmidt jumping over low Class A Charleston to head to the high Class A Florida State League. Even so, he’s a first-round pick from a big-time college, so the FSL should be a suitable test now that he’s healthy.
Who's Missing: None of the team’s top five prospects is beginning the season with a minor league affiliate. Estevan Florial (No. 1) is out with a broken wrist, righthander Jonathan Loaisiga (No. 2) is in limbo while he waits for his spot on the big league roster, outfielder Everson Pereira (No. 3) is sticking back in extended spring training, catcher Anthony Seigler (No. 4) is nursing a quad injury and righthander Michael King (No. 5) suffered a stress fracture in spring training. Outfielder Antonio Cabello (No. 8) is also staying back in extended spring.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
Most Loaded Roster: After low Class A Bowling Green dominated the Midwest League last year, the core of that team has moved up to high Class A Charlotte including catcher Ronaldo Hernandez (No. 4), second baseman Vidal Brujan (No. 7), outfielder Moises Gomez (No. 9) and outfielder/righthander Tanner Dodson (No. 15).
Surprise Assignment: Dodson finished last year in the New York-Penn League, but the two-way player is jumping straight to high Class A in his first full pro season.
Who’s Missing: The Rays are traditionally very conservative with how they promote their young pitchers, so it’s not shocking that lefthander Matthew Liberatore (No. 5) is held back in extended spring training. Righthander Shane Baz (No. 11) and outfielder Nick Schnell (No. 14) were also left off full-season rosters. Righthanders Brent Honeywell (No. 2) and Jose De Leon (No. 30) are still working back from Tommy John surgery.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Most Loaded Roster: Buffalo will have two of the top 10 prospects in baseball on the left side of their infield, with Bo Bichette (Blue Jays No. 2 prospect, No. 7 on the BA Top 100) at shortstop and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the No. 1 prospect in baseball, set to play third base once he joins the club from a rehab assignment as he works back from a strained oblique. Cavan Biggio (No. 9) rounds out a prospect-laden infield at second base, with outfield another possibility for Biggio as well.
Surprise Assignment: For a 10th-round pick signed for just $5,000 a year ago, outfielder Cal Stevenson (No. 16) is moving quickly. After making his pro debut last year in the Rookie-level Appalachian league, Stevenson is skipping the low Class A Midwest League to start in high Class A Dunedin. He's a potential late-round gem for the Blue Jays with outstanding strike-zone discipline.
Who's Missing: Righthander Eric Pardinho (No. 7) is on the low Class A Lansing roster, though right elbow soreness will delay his start to the season. Shortstops Miguel Hiraldo (No. 10) and Orelvis Martinez (No. 13) and righthander Adam Kloffenstein (No. 12) are at extended spring training.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Most Loaded Rosters: High Class A Winston-Salem begins the year with infielder Nick Madrigal (No. 4) and outfielder Luis Robert (No. 5), though neither player should be there for long. Double-A Birmingham has a dynamic outfield duo of Blake Rutherford (No. 8) and Luis Gonzalez (No. 9) and Triple-A Charlotte starts with righthander Dylan Cease (No. 3), as well as catchers Zack Collins (No. 11) and Seby Zavala (No. 15).
Surprise Assignment: Madrigal and Robert going back to Winston-Salem despite moderately successful stints in 2018 is mildly surprising, but certainly not anything that would knock you out of your chair.
Who's Missing: Righthander Michael Kopech (No. 2) is recovering Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire season.
Most Loaded Roster: Low Class A Lake County houses three of the team’s Top 10 prospects. The Captains will begin the season with Tyler Freeman (No. 3) at shortstop, Noah Naylor (No. 4) at catcher and righthander Luis Oviedo (No. 8) in the rotation. That’s two of the New York-Penn League’s Top 20 prospects from 2018, as well as the No. 5 prospect from the Arizona League.
Surprise Assignment: Lefthander Brady Aiken, who has been beset by injuries and ineffectiveness since signing with the Indians, returns to Lake County to try to get back on track after a year in which he didn’t pitch in an official game.
Who's Missing: Righthander Triston McKenzie, the team’s No. 1 prospect, has been out with a back injury since early March and did not break camp with a team. Outfielder George Valera (No. 5) is dealing with a tweaked hamstring suffered late in camp.
Most Loaded Roster: The Tigers prospect talent is pretty evenly distributed, but Double-A Erie has a slight edge thanks to righthanders Matt Manning (No. 2), Alex Faedo (No. 10) and Anthony Castro (No. 26) as well as third baseman Isaac Paredes (No. 3), catcher Jake Rogers (No. 13) and shortstop Sergio Alcantara (No. 14).
Surprise Assignment: Rogers didn’t exactly set Double-A on fire last year, but he did spend all year at Erie and is now being sent back there to repeat the level.
Who’s Missing: Righthander Franklin Perez (No. 4) is on the disabled list again with a sore shoulder after missing most of the season last year with a lat strain and sore shoulder.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Most Loaded Roster: High Class A Wilmington has seven of the team’s top nine prospects, led by righthanders Brady Singer (No. 1) and Jackson Kowar (No. 4), lefthander Daniel Lynch (No. 3), catcher M.J. Melendez (No. 6), first baseman Nick Pratto (No. 7) and outfielders Seuly Matias (No. 8) and Kyle Isbel (No. 9).
Surprise Assignment: Lefthander Kris Bubic (No. 10) did not join Singer, Kowar and Lynch on the flight to Wilmington. Instead he’s starting with low Class A Lexington.
Most Loaded Roster: High Class A Fort Myers will have shortstop Royce Lewis (No. 1), infielders Jose Miranda (No. 13) and Michael Helman (No. 27) and outfielders Akil Baddoo (No.19) and Trevor Larnach (No. 5). The pitching staff will have righthander Jhoan Duran (No. 7), joined by catchers Ryan Jeffers (No. 9) and Ben Rortvedt (No.22).
Surprise Assignment: Righthander Blayne Enlow (No. 9) returns to low Class A Cedar Rapids after logging a 3.26 ERA across 17 starts.
Who's Missing: Alex Kirilloff (No. 2) sustained a minor wrist injury and is absent from the Double-A Pensacola's opening day roster.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Most Loaded Roster: Triple-A Round Rock has one of the best rosters in the minors with four players on Baseball America’s current Top 100 and four of the team’s top six prospects. The Express are led by righthanders Forrest Whitley (No. 1) and Corbin Martin (No. 5) as well as outfielders Kyle Tucker (No. 2) and Yordan Alvarez (No. 3). Catcher Garrett Stubbs (No. 14) and outfielder Myles Straw (No. 15) as well as lefthander Cionel Perez (No. 12) add to the team’s impressive depth.
Surprise Assignment: There’s not really any Astros assignments that were unexpected. Most of the team’s best prospects are very close to big league ready and all of them went to Triple-A.
Who’s Missing: Shortstop Freudis Nova (No. 5) was held back in extended spring training after playing in the Gulf Coast League last year. Righthander Jairo Solis (No. 11) is out all year recovering from Tommy John surgery.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Most Loaded Rosters: Double-A Mobile will feature three of the Angels’ top five prospects in OF Jo Adell (No. 1), OF Brandon Marsh (No. 3) and 2B Jahmai Jones (No. 5) once Adell recovers from injury. Triple-A Salt Lake boasts a rotation fronted by RHP Griffin Canning (No. 2) and RHP Jaime Barria, who led Angels starters in wins and ERA as a rookie last year. LHP Jose Suarez (No. 4) will join them after he returns from the injured list with mild shoulder soreness. SS/2B Luis Rengifo (No. 6) and 1B Matt Thaiss (No. 8) lead the Salt Lake offense.
Surprise Assignment: RHP/INF Kaleb Cowart opens in Triple-A as he attempts to become a two-way player. RHP Jose Soriano (No. 10) is repeating low Class A Burlington to start the year despite making 14 starts there last season. RHP Chris Rodriguez (No. 15) is jumping straight to high Class A Inland Empire after missing last year with a stress reaction in his lower back.
Who’s Missing: OF Jo Adell (No. 1) will be out until the middle of May at least with a sprained left ankle and strained right hamstring. Suarez is staying back in camp to build up after he missed time early in the spring with mild shoulder soreness. He is healthy and throwing and should report to Salt Lake soon. OF Michael Hermosillo (No. 19) is out until mid-April with a sports hernia. INF Jeremiah Jackson (No. 11), OF D’Shawn Knowles (No. 13) and OF Trent Deveux (No. 22) are starting the year in extended spring training. RHP Stiward Aquino (No. 16) is nearing the end of his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
Most Loaded Roster: High Class A Stockton boasts the Athletics’ 2017 first-round pick and two high picks from 2018. OF Austin Beck (No. 5) went sixth overall in his draft class, while OF Jameson Hannah (No. 7) and SS Jeremy Eierman (No. 11) were top 70 overall picks last year. The Ports also will have two of Oakland’s top international targets from 2016: Cuban OF Lazaro Armenteros (No. 6) and Dominican 2B Marcos Brito (No. 16).
Surprise Assignment: Brito and double-play partner SS Nick Allen (No. 22) didn’t hit much in the Midwest League last year, but both earned a promotion to the high Class A California League. OF Greg Deichmann (No. 10) hit just .199 at Stockton in an injury-truncated season but will open this season at Double-A Midland. Of particular note is Deichmann’s power production after he had surgery on his hamate last season.
Who's Missing: Neither of the organization’s top two prospects will be on the mound to begin the year. LHP Jesus Luzardo (No. 1) is recovering from a shoulder injury, while LHP A.J. Puk (No. 2) is recovering from Tommy John surgery he had last spring.
Most Loaded Roster: Double-A Arkansas will open with righthanders Justin Dunn (No. 5), Wyatt Mills (No. 18) and Art Warren (No. 27), outfielders Kyle Lewis (No. 7), Jake Fraley (No. 14), and Dom Thompson-Williams (No. 17), infielders Evan White (No. 3) and Donnie Walton (No. 26) and lefthander Anthony Misiewicz (25).
Surprise Assignment: The Mariners were bit aggressive with outfielder Jarred Kelenic (No. 2), who will start out with low Class A West Virginia after accruing just 220 at-bats across the Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League last season.
Who's Missing: Righthander Sam Carlson (No. 13) will continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery last July.
Most Loaded Rosters: Low Class A Hickory has the Rangers' top two prospects with righthander Hans Crouse (No. 1) and outfielder J.P. Martinez (No. 2). The club also will see shortstop Chris Seise (No. 17) return after missing all last season due to Tommy John surgery. High Class A Down East features outfielders Leody Taveras (No. 3) and Bubba Thompson (No. 8), shortstop Anderson Tejeda (No. 5), shortstop/second baseman Diosbel Arias (No. 27), first baseman Tyreque Reed (No. 21) and righthanders Demarcus Evans (No. 16), Tyler Phillips (No. 18), A.J. Alexy (No. 20) and Emmanuel Clase (No. 25)
Surprise Assignment: While Taveras struggled last year at Down East, Tejeda was voted the best shortstop in the league last season by coaches, managers and media members, so it's a little bit of a surprise he's being sent back to the Wood Ducks to begin the season.
Who's Missing: Righthanders Cole Winn (No. 4) and Mason Englert (No. 10) are being held back in extended spring training as the Rangers take it slow with their young pitching prospects.
Prospect Report: Aiming For Opening Day Roster, Volpe Stays Hot
The Yankees' top prospect continues his excellent spring.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Most Loaded Roster: Triple-A Gwinnett features one of the best rotations in the minors with righthanders Mike Soroka (Braves No. 3 prospect), Touki Toussaint (No. 5) and Bryse Wilson (No. 6) as well as lefthanders Kolby Allard (No. 14). The Stripers lineup will include Austin Riley (No. 1) and catcher Alex Jackson (No. 23). Double-A Mississippi can match Gwinnett pitcher for pitcher with a rotation that includes righthanders Ian Anderson (No. 2) and Patrick Weigel (No. 13) as well as lefthanders Kyle Muller (No. 11) and Joey Wentz (No. 12). The lineup is just as good as well thanks to outfielders Drew Waters (No. 7) and Cristian Pache (No. 8)
Surprise Assignment: Third baseman C.J. Alexander jumped all the way to Double-A to start his first full pro season. The 2018 20th round pick out of State JC of Florida is starting 2019 at a higher level than most four-year college first-round picks from the 2018 draft.
Who’s Missing: Lefthander Luiz Gohara (No. 10) is on the disabled list for Triple-A Gwinnett with a shoulder injury.
Most Loaded Roster: High Class A Jupiter gets to unveil the Marlins big offseason signee Victor Victor Mesa (No. 2) roaming in the outfield as well as shortstop Jose Devers (No. 11). The rotation also includes lefthanders Trevor Rogers (No. 12), Braxton Garrett (No. 13) and Will Stewart (No. 21) as well as righthanders Edwar Cabrera (No. 8) and Jordan Holloway (No. 16).
Surprise Assignment: The Marlins assignments were much as expected. After pushing outfielder Connor Scott (No. 6) and catcher Will Banfield (No. 10) to low Class A Greensboro last season, they return to low Class A (now in Clinton) to begin 2019.
Who’s Missing: Righthander Sixto Sanchez (No. 1) is being built up in extended spring training but should join Double-A Jacksonville before too long.
NEW YORK METS
Most Loaded Roster: The Mets assigned five of their Top 10 Prospects to low Class A Columbia, highlighted by SS Ronny Mauricio (No. 3), 3B Mark Vientos (No. 4) and SS Shervyen Newton (No. 7). On the pitching side, the Fireflies will have RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson (No. 8) and LHP Thomas Szapucki (No. 10) in the rotation. Szapucki is returning from Tommy John surgery.
Surprise Assignment: The Mets’ scouting department hasn’t typically focused on high school pitchers early in the draft. They eschewed that line of thinking when they made Texas prep fireballer Woods-Richardson a second-round pick last year. He showed so well last year in a 17-inning Rookie-ball stint, in instructional league and again this spring (he even appeared in a Grapefruit League game) that he earned a spot in the South Atlantic League.
Who's Missing: RHP Franklyn Kilome (No. 9) had Tommy John surgery late in 2018 after being acquired from the Phillies for Asdrubal Cabrera. He will miss the season.
Most Loaded Roster: Philadelphia's top two prospects—third baseman Alec Bohm (No. 1) and shortstop Luis Garcia (No. 2)—will open the year on the left side of the infield for low Class A Lakewood. Righthander Francisco Morales (No. 9) joins them in the starting rotation.
Surprise Assignment: No major surprises here. The Phillies could have split up Adam Haseley (No. 4) and Mickey Moniak (No. 10) to make sure both players get everyday repetitions in center field, but they will share time there on Double-A Reading.
Who's Missing: Catcher Logan O'Hoppe (No. 12) was a big arrow-up guy for the Phillies out of last year's draft, but he's still in extended spring training with Rafael Marchan (No. 23) and Abraham Gutierrez going to Lakewood. Outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz (No. 22) is in extended as well working back from a hamstring injury.
Most Loaded Roster: Double-A Harrisburg starts the season with shortstop Luis Garcia (No. 3) as well as righthanders Wil Crowe (No. 5), Sterling Sharp (No. 8), James Bourque (No. 18) and Ronald Pena (No. 29). The pitching staff will also have lefthander Ben Braymer (No. 20) as well as catcher Tres Barrera (No. 16).
Surprise Assignment: After he hit .299/.338/.412 in the high Class A Carolina League, 18 year old Luis Garcia (No. 3) received an aggressive assignment to Double-A.
Who's Missing: Righthander Mason Denaburg will remain back at extended spring training as he looks to build up his innings.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Most Loaded Roster: High Class A Myrtle Beach has a glut of the team’s top prospects, including catcher Miguel Amaya (No. 2), righthander Paul Richan (No. 7) and shortstop Aramis Ademan (No. 10). Lefthander Brailyn Marquez (No. 3) and outfielder Cole Roederer (No. 4) make for a nice duo at low Class A South Bend.
Surprise Assignment: Shortstop Nico Hoerner (No. 1) jumped over high Class A Myrtle Beach and instead moved all the way to Double-A Tennessee in his first full season as a pro, after a strong stint in the Arizona Fall League.]
Who's Missing: Outfielder Brennen Davis (No. 5) will begin the year in extended spring training
Most Loaded Roster: Double-A Chattanooga has catcher Tyler Stephenson (No. 6), first basemen Ibandel Isabel (No. 24), shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez (No. 22) and outfielders TJ Friedl (No. 12), Jose Siri (No. 9) and Taylor Trammell (No. 3) leading a loaded lineup. The pitching staff will feature righthanders Tony Santillan (No. 5), Ryan Hendrix (No. 28) and Joel Kuhnel (No. 30) and lefthander Scott Moss (No.25).
Surprise Assignment: Third baseman Jonathan India (No. 4) has been assigned to high Class A Daytona after struggling at low Class A Dayton last season. He hit .229/.339/.396 with just three home runs and 28 strikeouts in 96 at-bats.
Who's Missing: 2B/OF Nick Senzel (No. 1) will miss a few weeks with an ankle injury he suffered in spring training, while Hunter Greene (No. 2) will have Tommy John surgery to repair his torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Most Loaded Roster: More than half of the Brewers Top 10 Prospects begin at Triple-A San Antonio as the organization settles in to its new Triple-A home. The Missions roster includes second basemen Keston Hiura (No. 1), infielder Mauricio Dubon (No. 6), third baseman Lucas Erceg (No. 8), outfielder Corey Ray (No. 3), catcher Jacob Nottingham (No. 10), outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. (No. 15) and righthanders Adrian Houser (No.18) and Zack Brown (No. 5).
Surprise Assignment: It’s a bit surprising to see righthander Trey Supak (No.11) back at Double-A Biloxi since last year he tossed 87 innings with a 2.91 ERA and 7.8 strikeouts-per-nine for the club last year.
Who's Missing: Young and toolsy outfield prospects Joe Gray (No. 9) and Carlos Rodriguez (No. 19) did not break camp with a team and will remain in extended spring training for now.
Most Loaded Roster: Triple-A Indianapolis has half of the organizations’ Top 10 prospets, including Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in righthander Mitch Keller and third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes. The middle infield combination of Kevin Kramer (No. 5) and Cole Tucker (No. 6) supplement those two, and outfielder Bryan Reynolds (No. 9) rounds out the five.
Surprise Assignment: It’s not a huge surprise considering his college pedigree and draft position, but outfielder Travis Swaggerty (No. 4) is opening with high Class A Bradenton after just 16 games in low Class A in 2018. Righthander Luis Escobar, after finishing with Double-A Altoona, is moving back to high Class A as well.
Who's Missing: Shortstop Ji-Hwan Bae (No. 18) will start the season in extended spring training.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Most Loaded Roster(s): Triple-A Memphis’ boasts a loaded pitching staff led by LHP Genesis Cabrera (No. 6), RHP Ryan Helsley (No. 11), RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (No. 13), RHP Jake Woodford (No. 16) and LHP Austin Gomber, who went 6-2, 4.44 for the Cardinals as a rookie last year. OF Lane Thomas (No. 7), C Andrew Knizner (No. 8), SS/2B Tommy Edman (No. 12) and OF Adolis Garcia (No. 15) should help provide plenty of run support. Low Class A Peoria has a number of high-upside position players, including 3B Nolan Gorman (No. 4), C Ivan Herrera (No. 21) and OF/1B Leandro Cedeno (No. 28). SS Delvin Perez, SS/3B Edwin Figuera and OF Wadye Ynfante are also players of note starting in Peoria.
Surprise Assignment: The Cardinals pushed 3B Elehuris Montero (No. 5) to Double-A Springfield after only 98 at-bats at high Class A. It’s a testament to just how advanced of a hitter Montero is and advances the timetable for his major league debut.
Who’s Missing: 3B Malcom Nunez (No. 9) and OF Jhon Torres (No. 19) will begin the year in extended spring training. OF Justin Williams (No. 14) is on the injured list with fractured and dislocated fingers on his right hand after he punched a television during the offseason. OF Randy Arozarena (No. 17) is out indefinitely with a fractured hand after getting hit by a pitch in spring training. RHP Griffin Roberts (No. 18) is on the restricted list while he serves a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for cannabis.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
Most Loaded Roster: Double-A Jackson has a potentially dangerous lineup with SS Jazz Chisholm (No. 1 prospect in the organization), C Daulton Varsho (No. 3) and 2B Andy Young (No. 12) leading the way. 1B Pavin Smith (No. 17), OF Marcus Wilson (No. 20) and 3B Drew Ellis (No. 21) will join them in Jackson looking for bounce back seasons.
Surprise Assignment: While the D-backs chose to slow play most of their teenaged prospects, they made exceptions for SS Geraldo Perdomo (No. 5) and OF Alek Thomas (No. 8). Perdomo and Thomas will be the two youngest players at low Class A Kane County, and two of the youngest players in the Midwest League as a whole.
Who’s Missing: RHP Jon Duplantier (No. 2) got called up by the D-backs on Tuesday. OF Kristian Robinson (No. 6), SS Blaze Alexander (No. 10), RHP Matt Tabor (No. 14) and RHP Matt Mercer (No. 26) are beginning the year in extended spring training. 3B Buddy Kennedy (No. 19) has a small fracture on the tip of his right index finger but should be ready in a few weeks.
Most Loaded Rosters: SS Brendan Rodgers (No. 1 prospect in the organization) leads a loaded Triple-A Albuquerque roster that includes RHPs Peter Lambert (No. 3), Ryan Castellani (No. 11), Jesus Tinoco (No. 13) and Justin Lawrence (No. 15), OF Sam Hilliard (No. 10), reigning Pacific Coast League MVP and 3B Josh Fuentes (No. 12), OF Yonathan Daza (No. 20) and mashing first baseman Roberto Ramos (No. 27). Low Class A Asheville’s pitching staff features three first-round picks in LHP Ryan Rolison (No. 7), RHP Riley Pint (No. 8) and RHP Mike Nikorak (No. 23). 1B Grant Lavigne (No. 5), SS Terrin Vavra (No. 14) and RHP Ryan Feltner (No. 20) join them on the Tourists.
Surprise Assignment: College first-rounders often start at high Class A in their first full seasons, but Rolison will start in low Class A after being last year’s 22nd overall pick.
Who’s Missing: LHP Breiling Eusebio (No. 26) is continuing his rehab from Tommy John surgery. He is currently throwing bullpens. OF Nico Decolati (No. 29) is out with a broken wrist.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Most Loaded Roster: Double-A Tulsa sees the return of C Keibert Ruiz (No. 1 prospect in the organization), SS Gavin Lux (No. 3), RHP Dustin May (No. 4), RHP Mitchell White (No. 9), OF DJ Peters (No. 10) to give the Drillers half of the organization's top 10 prospects. RHP Yadier Alvarez (No. 14) returns from last year’s Tulsa team as well, while 3B Cristian Santana (No. 13), 2B/SS Omar Estevez (No. 26) and power-hitting OF Cody Thomas join the squad as newcomers. RHPs Dennis Santana (No. 7) and Tony Gonsolin (No. 8) lead a staff at Triple-A Oklahoma City that will throw to C Will Smith (No. 5).
Surprise Assignment: RHP Michael Grove (No. 17) hasn’t pitched in almost two years since Tommy John surgery but will start at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga. With Smith in Triple-A and Ruiz in Double-A, C Connor Wong (No. 16) is repeating Rancho Cucamonga to play everyday despite finishing in the top 10 in the California League in home runs and OPS a year ago. Peters is repeating Double-A after leading the Texas League in home runs.
Who’s Missing: RHP Zach Willeman (No. 22), LHP Robinson Ortiz (No. 23), LHP John Rooney (No. 27) and RHP Braydon Fisher will begin the year in extended spring training to build up endurance. Rooney will to join an affiliate shortly but the others do not have a timetable. C Diego Cartaya (No. 11) will begin in the Dominican Summer League.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
Most Loaded Roster: Triple-El Paso boasts four of the Padres top 10 prospects with 2B Luis Urias (No. 3) and LF/1B Josh Naylor (No. 9) anchoring the lineup and LHP Logan Allen (No. 8) and RHP Cal Quantrill (No. 10) leading the rotation. C Austin Allen (No. 16), 3B Ty France (No. 28) and 100-mph flamethrowing RHP Gerardo Reyes round out a loaded Chihuahuas prospect group. High Class A Lake Elsinore's rotation will be fronted by LHP MacKenzie Gore (No. 2) and RHP Luis Patino (No. 7).
Surprise Assignment: The Padres converted Javy Guerra from shortstop to pitcher and assigned him to high Class A Lake Elsinore, where he will come out of the bullpen. RHP Kazuhisa Makita is 34 years old and pitched in the majors last year, but he will open at Double-A Amarillo rather than Triple-A El Paso.
Who’s Missing: RHP Michel Baez (No. 11) and LHP Osvaldo Hernandez are beginning the season on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. RHP Anderson Espinoza (No. 12) will continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery in extended spring training and go out to Lake Elsinore in late April or early May. RHP Jacob Nix (No. 14) suffered a small UCL tear and is attempting to rehab it rather than have Tommy John surgery.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Most Loaded Roster: With catcher Joey Bart (No. 1) and outfielder Heliot Ramos (No. 3), high Class A San Jose has the most high-impact position prospects in the organization. With righthanders Sean Hjelle (No. 5) and Gregory Santos (No. 7), low Class A Augusta has the organization's best rotation.
Surprise Assignment: The Giants sent outfielder/first baseman Chris Shaw (No. 11) back to Double-A Richmond, which is not an encouraging sign for a player who first played in Double-A in 2016. Shaw has more than 700 Triple-A at-bats and reached San Francisco last year.
Who’s Missing: Shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 2) is being held back in extended spring training, which isn’t surprising considering he’s 17.