VIERA, Fla. - The Milwaukee Brewers have announced the Opening Day roster for the 2014 Brevard County Manatees, which features eight of the Brewers' top 30 prospects, according to Baseball America.
Outfielders Tyrone Taylor (ranked 2nd) and Victor Roache (5th), infielders Orlando Arcia (7th) and Yadiel Rivera (13th); along with pitchers Tyler Wagner (16th), Jed Bradley (18th), Damien Magnifico (23rd) and Jorge Lopez (24th) will suit up for the 'Tees to start the season.
Taylor, a second round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, led Class-A Wisconsin last season in hits, runs scored and doubles.
Roache, the 28th overall pick in the 2012 Draft, finished third in the Midwest League in 2013 with 22 homers and led the Timber Rattlers with 74 RBI and 202 total bases.
Along with Taylor and Roache, Brevard's Opening Day roster features several other top hitters from the 2013 Wisconsin squad. Michael Reed hit a team-high .286 with the Timber Rattlers, stole 26 bases and finished second in the Midwest League with 13 triples.
Mike Garza ranked second on the Timber Rattlers with a .282 batting average last season, while Alfredo Rodriguez hit .270 and finished second on the team in on-base percentage.
Arcia, who according to Baseball America has the best infield arm in Milwaukee's minor league system, finished 2013 with the third-lowest plate appearances per strikeout ratio as he struck out just once every 12.15 plate appearances in Wisconsin.
Wagner and Lopez were the top two starting pitchers for the Timber Rattlers last season. Wagner finished eighth in the Midwest League with a 3.21 ERA, third with 148.2 innings pitched and a batting average against of .236, which ranked fifth. Lopez ranked second on the team behind Wagner in wins, innings pitched and earned run average.
Along with the returning Rivera, Bradley and Magnifico, five other players from last year's Brevard squad will start 2014 with the 'Tees.
Pitchers Jacob Barnes, Stephen Peterson, Chad Pierce, Tommy Toledo and catcher Cameron Garfield also return as they helped the Manatees to a 66-68 record, the club's best mark since 2009. In the first half the 2013 season, the 'Tees finished one-half game out of first place.
Barnes tied for third in the Florida State League in 2013 with nine wins, while Pierce ranked fifth in the FSL with 106 strikeouts and Toledo finished the season with 20 saves, tying him for second in the league.
Fans will have the opportunity to meet the team on Tuesday, April 1, during the annual Manatees Fan Fest beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Space Coast Stadium in Viera. Players will be available for autographs and fans can watch the team practice under the lights as they prepare for the 2014 season. Admission for Manatees Fan Fest is free.
The Manatees will open the 2014 season at Space Coast Stadium on Thursday, April 3 at 6:35 p.m. as they host the defending Florida State League Champions and rival Daytona Cubs.
Opening Night is presented by Parker Brothers Concepts and admission is free. In lieu of paying for admission, the Manatees are asking for fans to please make a monetary donation to the Manatees Community Foundation on Opening Night.
There will also be Thirsty Thursday drink specials from when gates open until the end of the fifth inning as select 16 ounce Miller draft beers and 16 ounce Coca-Cola fountain drinks will be just $2. Following the game, there will be a fireworks show presented by Creative Pyrotechnics.
For more information on the Brevard County Manatees, call (321) 633-9200 or go online to ManateesBaseball.com.