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Gnats Release 2011 Roster
04/04/2011 6:38 PM ET
Savannah, GA - The Savannah Sand Gnats, in conjunction with the New York Mets, released the team's Opening Day Roster today. The Gnats begin the 2011 season with an eight-game road trip and return to Historic Grayson Stadium for the team's home opener, on Friday, April 15. The Gnats roster will feature many of the top prospects in the Mets organization. Thirteen of the players on the Opening Day roster saw action with the 2010 Gnats.

A full roster is attached in pdf form.

Newcomers Cory Vaughn and Darrell Ceciliani, who both set records for short-season Brooklyn in the New York-Penn League 2010, headline an exciting outfield. Vaughn, the son of former Major Leaguer Greg Vaughn, hit .307/.396/.557 (AVG/OBP/SLG) while setting Brooklyn franchise records with 14 home runs and 56 RBI in 2010. The Mets drafted Vaughn in the 4th round of the 2010 draft out of San Diego State where he played for Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn. Ceciliani led the New York-Penn League in batting average (.351) and hits (95) while setting Brooklyn records for batting average, triples (12), runs (56) and hits. The Mets drafted Ceciliani in the 4th round of the 2009 amateur draft out of Columbia Basin (OR) CC. They are joined by OF Javier Rodriguez, who turns 21 today. Rodriguez, the Mets 2nd round pick in 2008, out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, hit .319/.353/.513 in 41 games for Rookie-level Kingsport in 2010. Speedster Alonzo Harris, who played 105 games at second base for Savannah in 2010, will be splitting time in the infield and the outfield in 2011.

On the infield, five of the six Gnats infielders played for Savannah in 2010. 3B Aderlin Rodriguez, who will be just 19 on Opening Day, finished the 2010 regular season by playing eight games with the Gnats and both playoff games after hitting .312/.352/.556 with 13 home runs in 61 games for Kingsport in the Appalachian League. He was third in the Appalachian League in home runs, RBI (48) and total bases (139) and second in doubles (22). Rodriguez will be joined on the left side of the diamond by SS Robbie Shields, the Mets 3rd round pick in 2009, who hit .290/.331/.457 in 39 games with the Gnats in 2010. Defensive whiz Wilfredo Tovar, who saw action at three levels in the Mets system last year -- including 30 games with advanced-A St. Lucie, 44 games with Savannah and 18 games with short-season Brooklyn -- will partner with Shields up the middle. 1B Sam Honeck returns to Savannah as well. Honeck played in just six games for the Gnats in 2010, before breaking his leg in a collision at home plate on May 5th. The newcomer on the infield is 23-year old Joe Bonfe, the Mets 21st round pick in 2009 out of Sierra (CA) College, who hit .326/.388/.426 while playing both first and third base for Brooklyn in 2010.

Behind the plate, the Gnats return Albert Cordero and welcome 2010 draftee Blake Forsythe. Forsythe, the Mets 2010 3rd round pick out of Tennessee, played in 30 games for Brooklyn in 2010. Cordero, who turned 21 in January, 2011, bashed eight home runs in 54 games for Kingsport before joining the Gnats for the final regular season game and the playoffs.

On the mound, the Gnats will feature a mix of 2010 draftees, promising international signees, and hard-throwing relievers. The 2010 draftees include 6th round pick RHP Greg Peavey out of Oregon State, who will make his professional debut with his first pitch as a Sand Gnat. The Mets selected RHP Erik Goeddel in the 24th round out of UCLA. Ryan Fraser, the team's 16th pick in the 2010 draft, was lights out in the Brooklyn bullpen last year with a 1.44 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 31.1 IP. Fraser's Cyclones' teammate, 21-year old Yohan Almonte, will also make the jump from Brooklyn after leading the team's starters with a 1.91 ERA, to go along with 8-4 record. The bullpen should be strong with returnees Josh Edgin, Luis Rojas, Gabriel Zavala, Taylor Whitenton and Guillaume Leduc and newcomers Ronny Morla and Chase Huchingson.

The Savannah Sand Gnats Opening Night is Friday, April 15th, against the Greenville Drive, SAL affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The first 5,000 fans on Opening Weekend will receive a Magnet Schedule Giveaway presented by the US Coast Guard. Please call (912) 351-9150 for ticket information. Tickets are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets 24 hours a day seven days a week at or from 9 AM - 5 PM Monday-Friday by calling (912) 351-9150 or by visiting the team's office at Historic Grayson Stadium.

The Savannah Sand Gnats, the Class-A affiliate of the New York Mets, is a professional minor league baseball team and a member of the South Atlantic League. Savannah plays its home games at Historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah, Georgia, just minutes from downtown Savannah. Historic Grayson Stadium is situated within Savannah's Daffin Park, creating a unique atmosphere and a "Park within a Park" setting. Follow the Savannah Sand Gnats at, on Facebook at and on twitter at @gnatsbaseball.


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