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Youngsters look to shine in the sun
04/07/2010 10:00 AM ET
In addition to welcoming a new batch of prospects, the Florida State League opens the season by welcome a new team. The Bradenton Marauders, a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate, takes the place of the Sarasota Reds.

Like every season, a plethora of highly valued youngsters are headed to the heat and humidity of summer in Florida in hopes of proving they have what it takes to get to the next level.

Here's a team-by-team look at what you can expect in the International League in 2010:

Bradenton Marauders
2009 results: N/A
2010 manager: P.J. Forbes
What's on deck:
The brand-new Bradenton Marauders, a Pirates affiliate, will start the season with one of Pittsburgh's most exciting young prospects: 2009 fourth-overall Draft pick C Tony Sanchez. ... RHP Aaron Pribanic, who was acquired from the Mariners in the Jack Wilson trade, will work in the front end of the Bradenton rotation, as will RHP Brian Leach, who was outstanding in the South Atlantic League last season. ... RHP Bryan Morris missed much of last season with a toe problem and an inflamed shoulder, and when he could pitch, the results weren't always pretty. He'll try to turn it around with the Marauders. ... OF Robbie Grossman, who had 36 steals for Class A West Virginia in 2009, joins the Marauders.

Brevard County Manatees
2009 results: 79-48; First-half North Division winner
2010 manager: Bob Miscik
What's on deck:
RHP Cody Scarpetta, who was solid in the Class A Midwest League and struggled in one Double-A start last year, will see if Class A Advanced is the right fit for the beginning of the season. ... RHP Jeremy Jeffress, who's serving a 100-game suspension for drug use, is probably going to end up on the Brevard County staff at some point this year. ... RHP Nick Green may be in the FSL to make some adjustments in the beginning of the season. ... One lucky couple will be married at Space Coast Stadium before a Manatees game on Aug. 28.

Charlotte Stone Crabs
2009 results: 67-69; Wild Card winner
2010 manager: Jim Morrison
What's on deck:
Cal Ripken Jr., who has partial ownership of the team, is scheduled to appear on Opening Night. ... Highly ranked SS Tim Beckham -- the No. 1 overall pick of the 2008 Draft -- hit .275 in the South Atlantic League last year and will try to improve on that average in Class A Advanced. ... LHP Josh Satow will likely work out of the Stone Crabs bullpen for a good chunk of the season. ... Assuming he stays healthy, RHP Nick Barnese, who had a 2.53 ERA in the Sally League in '09, can be expected to split the season between the FSL and Double-A. ... 2B Robi Estrada may be in a Charlotte uniform for part of the 2010 campaign. ... DH Shawn Williams, who played 96 games with the Stone Crabs last year, will likely repeat the Florida State League to prove he can do better than his 2009 .246 batting average, three home runs and 30 RBIs. ... C Jake Jefferies stands to handle the bulk of the Charlotte catching duties.

Clearwater Threshers
2009 results: 35-35
2010 manager: Dusty Wathan
What's on deck:
Anthony Gose ripped off 76 bags last year in the Sally League, and this season he'll have FSL batteries sweating. ... RHP Trevor May dazzled last year in Class A ball, and he's set to begin the season with Clearwater. ... Nicaraguan-born RHP J.C. Ramirez, who was acquired in the deal from Seattle in the Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee blockbuster, is set to pitch for the Threshers. ... RHP Jesus Sanchez will join Ramirez in the rotation. ... OF Steve Susdorf will begin the season with Clearwater, where he played 40 games last year. ... The Threshers are offering several "Feeding Frenzy" nights, during which fans can eat until they drop for $11.

Daytona Cubs
2009 results: 64-71
2010 manager: Buddy Bailey
What's on deck:
Former first-rounder OF Brett Jackson, who worked his way up to the Midwest League after 27 short-season games last year, has a good shot to earn a decent amount of time with Daytona. ... 3B Josh Vitters played 50 games in the FSL last year, and he'll probably be around this year just long enough to prove he can do better than .238 vs. Class A Advanced pitching. ... SS DJ LeMahieu, a 2009 draftee who hit .323 in his first season as a pro, will split time at short with SS Junior Lake, who makes the move up from Class A Peoria. ... Offseason acquisition 1B Ryne White will likely begin the season with Daytona after a decent 2009 in the hitter-friendly California League. ... LHP Brooks Raley, another 2009 draftee, will begin the season in the Daytona rotation. ... C Michael Brenly, son of former Major Leaguer Bob Brenly, will be the D-Cubs' backstop. ... RHP Christopher Archer will start his fifth Minor League season with Daytona.

Dunedin Blue Jays
2009 results: 67-67
2010 manager: Clayton McCullough
What's on deck:
McCullough comes to the Class A Advanced Blue Jays after managing the Class A Lansing Lugnuts for the past two seasons. ... SS Justin Jackson was a Midwest League All-Star in 2008, but struggled with Dunedin in 78 games in 2009. He'll return for another shot this season. ... RHP Wade Townsend, a 2005 first-rounder who's bounced around after Tommy John surgery in 2006, looks or a revival in the Florida State League. ... Dunedin Stadium will host a Boy Scout and Girl Scout sleepover after the game against the Clearwater Threshers on April 24.

Fort Myers Miracle
2009 results: 80-58; First- and second-half South Division winner
2010 manager: Jake Mauer
What's on deck:
Manager Jake Mauer, whose brother Joe is also involved in baseball, makes the jump to helming a Class A Advanced team after managing the Twins' Gulf Coast League affiliate last year. He's got big shoes to fill: the Miracle took the South Division in both halves of 2009, and they've made it to the playoffs in three of the previous four seasons. ... RHP Kyle Gibson, who was the 22nd overall pick in the 2009 Draft, will make his pro debut with the Miracle against Bradenton on Opening Day. ... Billy Bullock, who was taken in the second round last year and went 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA and 11 saves across two levels in his first pro season, appears to be the closer for Fort Myers. ... RHP Zach See is likely to also work out of the Fort Myers bullpen. ... RHP Bobby Lanigan appeared in seven FSL games last season and will gain some more experience there this year.

Jupiter Hammerheads
2009 results: 67-70
2010 manager: Ron Hassey
What's on deck:
RHP Natividad Dilone, who was released by the Mariners after struggling in the California League last year, looks to build on his late-season performance across two levels in the Marlins system. He'll give Class A Advanced ball another shot this year. ... 1B Ryan Keedy saw action in the FSL with Daytona in 2009. After being released and signed by the Marlins, he's ready to give it another go in a Hammerheads uniform. ... OF Christopher Dunn is poised to patrol right field in Jupiter. ... The Hammerheads will host fan sumo wrestling before Sunday home games.

Lakeland Flying Tigers
2009 results: 55-75
2010 manager: Andy Barkett
What's on deck: LHP Casey Crosby and RHP Luke Putkonen, two of the finest young guns in the Detroit system, will anchor the Flying Tigers rotation this year. ... 1B Rawley Bishop, who was named a New York-Penn League All-Star last year, will join Lakeland at the start of the year. ... LHP Adam Wilk, who impressed last year across two levels, will kick off his first full year as a pro in the FSL. ... Fellow LHP Charlie Furbush, who was up and down for the Flying Tigers last year, will return and stick around for at least a few starts. ... OF Christopher White, who struggled in 15 Double-A games last year, should benefit from some more seasoning with Lakeland. ... White will be joined by OF Ben Guez, who hit .275 in the Class A Midwest League in 2009. ... SS Brent Wyatt stole 23 bases in 32 attempts in the Midwest League last year, and he'll bring his speed to the Flying Tigers. ... 3B Bryan Pounds will hold down the hot corner for Lakeland.

Palm Beach Cardinals
2009 results: 61-77
2010 manager: Luis Aguayo
What's on deck:
After the 2009 campaign, Palm Beach named Marshall Jennings the new general manager of the Cardinals. ... 3B Jermaine Curtis hit a meek .197 with one homer in 90 games for Palm Beach last season, and he'll have a shot at redemption this year. He'll likely split time with 3B Domnit Bolivar. ... 1B Xavier Scruggs belted 14 homers between the Midwest League and the New York-Penn League in '09, and he'll bring his act to South Florida. ... Matthew Frevert, who was excellent out of the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits bullpen last year, makes the jump to Palm Beach.

St. Lucie Mets
2009 results: 66-68
2010 manager: Edgar Alfonzo
What's on deck:
Alfonzo, a resident of Port St. Lucie, steps into the managing role to replace Tim Teufel, who was named skipper of the Double-A Birmingham Mets this season. ... SS Reese Havens, who hit .247 but swatted 14 homers for St. Lucie last year, will likely be back until he can prove he can hit more consistently. ... RHP Jeffrey Kaplan, who posted a 2.45 ERA while splitting 2009 between the Sally League and the FSL, is likely to spend some more time at Tradition Field. ... St. Lucie Mets staff members will play 24 straight hours of softball from April 9 through April 10 in a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Tampa Yankees
2009 results: 77-56; Florida State League champions
2010 manager: Torre Tyson
What's on deck:
RHP/LHP Pat Venditte, who's garnered national attention with his switch-pitching, will begin the season in the Tampa bullpen, where he impressed in the second half of last season. ... RHP Hector Noesi, who racked up 118 punchouts in 117 innings pitched in 2009, starts 2010 in the Tampa rotation, and RHP Andrew Brackman will join Noesi in the beginning of the season and may move to the bullpen if he struggles.



This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.