GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Milwaukee Brewers have announced the players who will be starting the 2013 season with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Wisconsin has five players who are considered top 30 prospects in the Milwaukee minor league system, seven players returning from the club that won the Midwest League championship in 2012, and fifteen players selected by Milwaukee in last year's draft.
Clint Coulter was one of two first round picks for the Brewers in 2012. Coulter, who was selected 27th overall, is a catcher from Union High School in Camas, Washington and began his pro career in the Arizona League last season. He hit .302/.439/.444 with five homers and 33RBI in 49 games at that level. Coulter is rated as the #9 prospect in the Brewers organization by Baseball America.
Mitch Haniger, an outfielder out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo State University, was taken by the Brewers with the 38th pick in the 2012 draft as a supplemental first rounder. He joined the Timber Rattlers at the start of the second half of last season and appeared in 14 games with a homer and eight RBI before an injury shut him down for the remainder of the season. He is ranked as the #10 prospect in the Milwaukee minor league system.
Outfielder Tyrone Taylor was picked by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Torrance (CA) High School. He played a total of eighteen games between Milwaukee's affiliates in the Arizona League and the Pioneer League last season and hit a combined ..387/.434/.667 with two homers and eleven RBI. Baseball America placed him as the #15 Brewers prospect on their list.
The Brewers signed shortstop Orlando Arcia as an international free agent out of Venezuela in October of 2010. Arcia was 16 when he signed with Milwaukee. The shortstop was an All-Star in the Dominican Summer league in 2011, but missed all of the 2012 season with an injury. He is listed as Milwaukee's #17 prospect by Baseball America.
Pitcher Jorge Lopez was selected in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Caguas Military Academy in Puerto Rico. The right-hander split time between affiliates in the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona League in 2012. He is ranked as the #23 prospect in the Brewers system.
Coulter, Haniger, and Taylor will be joined twelve other members of Milwaukee's 2012 draft class. Those players include Pitchers Tyler Wagner (4th Utah), Damien Magnifico (5th Oklahoma), Preston Gainey (11th US Naval Academy), Eric Semmelhack (12th Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Ryan Gibbard (14th Lynn University), Austin Blaski (21st Marietta College), Taylor Wall (22nd Rice University), Martin Viramontes (28th University of Southern California), and Brent Suter (31st Harvard) and infielders Alfredo Rodriguez (17th University of Maryland), Mike Garza (20th Georgetown) and Jose Sermo (35th Bethany College).
Garza, Haniger, Semmelhack, and Suter are four of the seven players who spent time with Wisconsin last year and are returning to the Timber Rattlers for the start of 2013. The other three players are catchers Parker Berberet and Brent Dean and pitcher Mike Strong.
Matt Erickson returns for his third season as the manager of the Timber Rattlers. He will start the 2013 campaign with 24 players on their active roster. That is one under the Midwest League limit of 25. The 25th player will join Wisconsin after the season starts.
Wisconsin's first game of 2013 is against the Peoria Chiefs in Peoria, Illinois on Thursday, April 4 at 6:30pm. The team opens their schedule with a four game road trip against the Midwest League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.
The new edition of the Timber Rattlers will open the home portion of their schedule at newly renovated Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Monday, April 8 against the Cedar Rapids Kernels at 6:35pm.
Tickets for the home opener or any of the 70 home games slated for 2013 are available one of three ways. Fans may purchase tickets over the phone at (920) 733-4152 or (800) WI-TIMBER; in person at the Timber Rattlers Box Office during regular business hours; or on the internet through timberrattlers.com.