Portland, Maine- The Boston Red Sox have announced a tentative 2013 Opening Day roster for the Double-A affiliate Portland Sea Dogs. Xander Bogaerts, the top-rated prospect in the Red Sox organization by Baseball America and Matt Barnes the top-rated pitcher in the organization highlight the Sea Dogs 2013 roster. The Sea Dogs open their 20th season on Thursday, April 4th at 6:00 PM against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees) at Hadlock Field.
The roster also includes Brandon Workman, the Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012, Christian Vazquez the top rated defensive catcher in the organization by Baseball America, and Daniel Bard.
The roster includes seven of the top 30 prospects in the organization according to Baseball America; Bogaerts (# 1), Barnes (# 3), Drake Britton (# 11), Workman (# 12), Anthony Ranaudo (# 14), Vazquez (#19) and Travis Shaw (# 23).
Additionally, the Sea Dogs roster features three members of the Red Sox 40-man roster; pitchers Bard and Britton along with catcher Vazquez.
The team includes 22 players with prior Double-A experience, including 20 that have previously played for the Sea Dogs. Four players on the roster were All-Stars in 2012 at the Single-A level including Bogaerts, Shaw, Vazquez, and Michael Almanzar.
The Sea Dogs roster currently has 26 players. A roster move will need to be made prior to Opening Day to get down to the 25-man Eastern League limit.
The pitching staff is highlighted by Barnes, Britton, Ranaudo, and Workman. All but Barnes (7-5, 2.86) saw some time with the Sea Dogs in 2012. Barnes split the 2012 season with Single-A Greenville and Single-A Salem and led all Red Sox minor leaguers with 133 strikeouts. Britton ranked fifth in the organization last season with 118 strikeouts between Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland. Ranaudo entered the 2012 season as the top ranked pitcher in the organization. Workman produced a 10-8 record with a 3.50 ERA and 130 strikeouts last year between Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland to earn Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors. Additionally Brock Huntzinger, Will Latimer, and Chris Martin all return to Portland. Miguel Celestino, Keith Couch, Kyle Kaminska, and Pete Ruiz are newcomers to the Sea Dogs' pitching staff. Former Sea Dog Daniel Bard will also start the season in Portland.
Behind the plate will be Christian Vazquez, Alberto Rosario, and Matt Spring. Vazquez is rated by Baseball America as the "Best Defensive Catcher" in the Red Sox farm system. Spring was honored as the Sea Dogs' Citizen of the Year in 2012 for his work in the community.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts will highlight the infield. Bogaerts hit .307 with 20 home runs and 81 RBI in 127 games between Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland in 2012 to earn Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year honors. The infield also includes 2012 Carolina League All-Stars Travis Shaw and Michael Almanzar. Other infielders will include Ryan Dent, Derrick Gibson, Heiker Meneses, and Kolbrin Vitek.
The outfield will consist of Ronald Bermudez, Peter Hissey, Tony Thomas, and Shannon Wilkerson. All four have spent time previous time with the Sea Dogs. Wilkerson ranked third in the Red Sox minor league system with 32 stolen bases between Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland last season.
The 2013 roster is again a team filled with homegrown talent, only four players on the roster were acquired from outside the organization; Celestino, Kaminska, Rosario, and Spring. Rosario and Spring were signed as a free agents while Celestino and Kaminska were acquired in trades.
Kevin Boles returns for his third season as Sea Dogs manager. He will be joined by pitching coach Bob Kipper who is back for his sixth season with the Sea Dogs and new hitting coach former Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman.