DANVILLE, Va. - The Danville Braves will look to continue their winning ways and record their 12th straight season with a record of .500 or better. Manager John Schuerholz, in his second season as skipper of the team, looks to bring Danville its third Appalachian League Championship this summer.
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A number of talented young arms will be taking the mound for the D-Braves this summer. Many 2013 draftees will make their professional debuts this season including Stephen Janas, Jared Dettmann and Dakota Dill. Ryan Gunther, Matt Marksberry, Michael Swanner, and Andrew Waszak also will be making their professional debuts for Danville. Janas was the highest drafted pitcher of the group, going in the sixth round out of Kennesaw State University. Brandon Rohde, Clint Wright, and Ernesto Silva all are returning to Danville for the second time.
Jorge Montenegro, Richard Tate, Matt Kimbrel, and Anthony Nunez each are taking a step up the organizational ladder after pitching the short-season affiliate Gulf Coast League Braves last summer. Kimbrel has some impressive blood-lines being the younger brother of former D-Brave and current Atlanta Brave standout Craig Kimbrel.
Michael Flores is making his stateside debut for the D-Braves this summer after pitching the past two seasons with the Dominican Summer League Braves.
Completing the battery are the catchers for the D-Braves. Bryan De La Rosa, the number 23 prospect in the Braves system, jumps to Danville after debuting last season with the GCL Braves. Carlos Sanchez and Anthony Nunez also join their fellow battery mates that are making the jump from the GCL Braves up to Danville.
There are a few familiar faces returning to Danville this summer in Aris Alacantara and Seth Moranda as both return back to Danville for their second stint with the D-Braves. Jackson Laumann and Johan Camargo each will take the next step up after playing for the GCL Braves last season. The other infielders are all products of the 2013 Rule 4 baseball draft including second round pick Victor Caratini, fifth rounder Mikey Reynolds, and Jacob Schrader who was selected in the 22nd round.
Athletic is a proper term to describe the outfield for Danville this season as the team could have a center fielder at each of the three outfield spots. Eighth round pick, and son of Braves GM Frank Wren, Kyle Wren is the only newcomer to the Braves organization in the outfield. Connor Lien and Justin Black were each early round picks last season and will make the jump to Danville after a season with the GCL Braves. Hector Garcia has been in the Braves organization for four years and has played two seasons with the DSL Braves and two with the GCL Braves. Alejandro Piloto will be making his state-side debut after playing in the Dominican Summer League last season.
The coaching staff for the D-Braves this year includes Schuerholz, Pitching Coach Gabe Luckert, and Hitting Coaches Rick Albert and Nestor Perez. The training staff includes Athletic Trainer Joe Luat and Strength and Conditioning Coach Ryan Sheeks.
The D-Braves open up the season Thursday June 20 against the Princeton Rays. First 1,000 fans in attendance will get a free 2013 Magnetic Schedule presented by Centra. Get your tickets online at dbraves.com or by call or stop by our box office at American Legion Post 325 Field. Box office hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.