JACKSONVILLE - Many former Jacksonville Suns will get opportunities to show their skills at the major league level during Spring Training, earning invitations to Miami Marlins big league camp.
Along with former Suns already on Miami's 40-man roster, other players receiving invitations last week were left-handed pitchers Andrew Heaney, Adam Conley, Justin Nicolino, and James Leverton; right-handed pitchers Anthony DeSclafani, Bryan Evans, Rett Varner and Nick Wittgren; catchers Austin Barnes and Kyle Skipworth; and infielders Danny Black and Mark Canha.
The former Suns on Miami's 40-man roster going into 2014 Spring Training are right-handed pitchers Henderson Alvarez, Michael Brady, Arquimedes Caminero, Steve Cishek, Sam Dyson, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Hatcher, Tom Koehler, A.J. Ramos, and Jacob Turner. Left-handed pitchers are Grant Dayton, Brian Flynn, Brad Hand, Dan Jennings, and Edgar Olmos. Catchers are Jeff Mathis, who rehabbed with the Suns in 2013, and J.T. Realmuto.
Derek Dietrich is the lone former Sun in the infield on Miami's 40-man roster, while Kyle Jensen, Brent Keys, Jake Marisnick, Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton, and Christian Yelich round out the outfield.
Heaney has earned plenty of press this offseason, and earlier this week MLB.com announced that the southpaw is the No. 1 left-handed pitching prospect in baseball. His 2013 Suns rotation mate Nicolino also made MLB.com's Top 10, with the website ranking him the seventh best southpaw prospect.
Wittgren saw brief time in Jacksonville at the end of the season, but the right-handed closer got attention this week as a potential closer for the Marlins according to MLB.com's Bernie Pleskoff in this column.
DeSclafani was the Marlins Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2013 as the former Florida Gator was a force in the Suns rotation during the second half of the season going 5-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 13 starts.
Keys was the Marlins Minor League Player of the Year in 2013 as he finished his campaign in Jacksonville after winning the Florida State League batting title with a .346 average.
Another name to keep an eye on is third baseman prospect Colin Moran, who also received a non-roster invitation to big league camp. Moran was drafted with the sixth overall pick in last year's first round out of the University of North Carolina, and is projected to play in Jacksonville at some point during the 2014 season.
For the latest Suns news this offseason, fans are encouraged to visit www.jaxsuns.com and can keep up with the Jacksonville Suns on the club's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media platforms, as well as the "Tales from Bragan Field" blog: www.sunsradio.com.