Former Appy League players fill MLB Opening Day rosters

Take an inside look at team-by-team breakdowns

By Betsy Haugh | April 2, 2017 7:55 PM ET

With Major League Baseball Opening Day rosters finalized on April 2 prior to the first MLB game of the 2017 season, we took a look at the rosters of all 30 teams and found that 120 players on Opening Day rosters have spent time in the Appalachian League. With 750 players across the 30 25-man rosters, the math shows that 16 percent of players beginning the 2017 season in the big leagues have spent time in the Advanced-Rookie level Appalachian League. 

An inside look at the rosters:

  • All but two MLB teams - Cleveland and Miami - have at least one former Appalachian League player on their Opening Day roster.
  • The Danville Braves have an Appalachian League-high 23 players on MLB Opening Day rosters in 2017, spread across 16 MLB franchises.
  • The Minnesota Twins have a team-high 13 former Appalachian League players on their roster, 11 of whom played for the Elizabethton Twins (affiliated since 1974).
  • Atlanta's Bartolo Colon played in the Appalachian League in 1994 for the Burlington Indians, while the most recent Appalachian League standout to make a 2017 Opening Day roster is Allen Cordoba, a member of Johnson City's 2016 Appy League championship team. Cordoba made San Diego's Opening Day roster after being taken in December's Rule 5 Draft. 
  • While there is no longer an Appalachian League team in Martinsville, Va., Oakland A's pitcher Ryan Madson played for the Philadelphia Phillies' Appy League affiliate located there in 1998.

 

Breakdown by Appalachian League teams:

Bluefield Blue Jays - 5
Bluefield Orioles - 4
Bristol Pirates - 0 *
Bristol White Sox - 13
Burlington Indians - 3
Burlington Royals - 4
Danville Braves - 23
Elizabethton Twins - 18
Greeneville Astros - 12
Johnson City Cardinals - 9
Kingsport Mets - 12

Martinsville Phillies - 1
Princeton Rays - 16
Pulaski Mariners - 2
Pulaski Yankees - 0*
 

120 Total  (Two players played for two different Appalachian League Teams)
* Current affiliations for Bristol and Pulaski since 2014 and 2015, respectively.

 

Complete look at the former Appalachian League players on 2017 MLB Opening Day rosters:

Arizona (5)
P Randall Delgado - Danville Braves (08)
P J.J. Hoover - Danville Braves (08)
C Chris Hermann - Elizabethton Twins (09)
INF Nick Ahmed - Danville Braves (11)
INF Brandon Drury - Danville Braves (11)

Atlanta (5)
P Bartolo Colon - Burlington Indians (94)
P Mike Foltynewicz - Greeneville Astros (10)
P Jim Johnson - Bluefield Orioles (02,03)
P Julio Teheran - Danville Braves (08,09)
C Tyler Flowers - Danville Braves (06)

Baltimore (3)
P Zach Britton - Bluefield Orioles (06)
P Oliver Drake - Bluefield Orioles (08)
INF Jonathan Schoop - Bluefield Orioles (10)

Boston (3)
P Fernando Abad - Greeneville Astros (07)
P Craig Kimbrel - Danville Braves (08)
OF Chris Young - Bristol White Sox (03)

Chicago - AL (5)
P Nate Jones - Bristol White Sox (07,08)
P Jake Petricka - Bristol White Sox (10,11)
INF Tyler Saladino - Bristol White Sox (10)
INF Yolmer Sanchez - Bristol White Sox (11)
C Omar Narvaez - Princeton Rays (12)

Chicago - NL (2)
P Wade Davis - Princeton Rays (04)
OF Jason Heyward - Danville Braves (07)

Cincinnati (2)
INF Jose Peraza - Danville Braves (12)
C Stuart Turner - Elizabethton Twins (13)

Cleveland (0)

Colorado (3)
P Jordan Lyles - Greeneville Astros (08)
P German Marquez - Princeton Rays (13)
P Jake McGee - Princeton Rays (04)

Detroit (1)
P Daniel Norris - Bluefield Blue Jays (12)

Houston (9)
P Lance McCullers - Greeneville Astros (12)
P Charlie Morton - Danville Braves (03)
P Joe Musgrove - Bluefield Blue Jays (11,12), Greenville Astros (12)
P Luke Gregerson - Johnson City Cardinals (06)
P Michael Feliz - Greeneville Astros (12)
P Jandel Gustave - Greeneville Astros (13)
C Evan Gattis - Danville Braves (10)
INF Jose Altuve - Greeneville Astros (08,09)
INF Carlos Correa - Greeneville Astros (12)

Kansas City (4)
P Jason Hammel - Princeton Rays (02)
P Kelvin Herrera - Burlington Royals (08)
C Salvador Perez - Burlington Royals (08)
OF Terrance Gore - Burlington Royals (12)

Los Angeles - AL (3)
P Yusmeiro Petit - Kingsport Mets (03)
INF Yunel Escobar - Danville Braves (05)
INF Andrelton Simmons - Danville Braves (10)

Los Angeles - NL (2)
P Luis Avilan - Danville Braves (09)
OF Andrew Toles - Princeton Rays (12)

Miami (0)

Milwaukee (4)
P Neftali Felez - Danville Braves (07)
P Junior Guerra - Danville Braves (06), Kingsport Mets (08)
P Jhan Marinez - Bristol White Sox (13)
P Carlos Torres - Bristol White Sox (04)

Minnesota (13)
P Matt Belisle - Danville Braves (99)
P Tyler Duffey - Elizabethton Twins (12)
P Taylor Rogers - Elizabethton Twins (12)
P Hector Santiago - Bristol White Sox (07)
P Michael Tonkin - Elizabethton Twins (10)
INF Brian Dozier - Elizabethton Twins (09)
INF/C Joe Mauer - Elizabethton Twins (01)
INF Jorge Polanco - Elizabethton Twins (12)
INF Miguel Sano - Elizabethton Twins (11)
OF Byron Buxton - Elizabethton Twins (12)
OF Max Kepler - Elizabethton Twins (11,12)
OF Eddie Rosario - Elizabethton Twins (11)
OF Danny Santana - Elizabethton Twins (10)

New York - AL (4)
P CC Sabathia - Burlington Indians (98)
P Chasen Shreve - Danville Braves (10)
INF Chris Carter - Bristol White Sox (05)
INF Pete Kozma - Johnson City Cardinals (07)

New York - NL (9)
P Noah Syndergaard - Bluefield Blue Jays (11)
P Jacob DeGrom - Kingsport Mets (10)
P Robert Gsellman - Kingsport Mets (12)
P Hansel Robles - Kingsport Mets (11)
P Josh Edgin - Kingsport Mets (10)
P Rafael Montero - Kingsport Mets (11)
INF Jose Reyes - Kingsport Mets (00)
INF T.J. Rivera - Kingsport Mets (11)
INF Wilmer Flores - Kingsport Mets (08)

Oakland (4)
P Ryan Madson - Martinsville Phillies (98)
P Liam Hendriks - Elizabethton Twins (09)
C Josh Phegley - Bristol White Sox (10)
INF Trevor Plouffe - Elizabethton Twins (04)

Philadelphia (3)
P Jeremy Hellickson - Princeton Rays (05)
P Pat Neshek - Elizabethton Twins (02)
P Vince Velasquez - Greeneville Astros (10)

Pittsburgh (2)
P Felipe Rivero - Princeton Rays (11)
C Chris Stewart - Bristol White Sox (02)

San Diego (5)
P Brandon Maurer - Pulaski Mariners (09)
P Luis Perdomo - Johnson City Cardinals (13)
C/P/OF Christian Bethancourt - Danville Braves (09)
INF Allen Cordoba - Johnson City Cardinals (16)
INF Wil Myers - Burlington Royals (09)

San Francisco (3)
P Cody Gearrin - Danville Braves (07)
P Matt Moore - Princeton Rays (07,08)
OF Denard Span - Elizabethton Twins (03)

Seattle (3)
P Edwin Diaz - Pulaski Mariners (13)
INF Taylor Motter - Princeton Rays (11)
INF Danny Valencia - Elizabethton Twins (06)

St. Louis (7)
P Kevin Siegrist - Johnson City Cardinals (10)
P Sam Tuivailala - Johnson City Cardinals (12)
P Adam Wainwright - Danville Braves (00)
C Yadier Molina - Johnson City Cardinals (01)
INF Matt Adams - Johnson City Cardinals (09)
INF Greg Garcia - Johnson City Cardinals (10)
OF Jose Martinez - Bristol White Sox (07)

Tampa Bay (7)
P Chris Archer - Burlington Indians (06)
P Alex Cobb - Princeton Rays (06)
P Blake Snell - Princeton Rays (12)
P Alex Colome - Princeton Rays (08)
INF Tim Beckham - Princeton Rays (08)
OF Kevin Kiermaier - Princeton Rays (10)
C Jesus Sucre - Danville Braves (08)

Texas (4)
P Mike Hauschild - Greeneville Astros (12)
INF Elvis Andrus - Danville Braves (05)
OF Delino DeShields - Greeneville Astros (10)
OF Carlos Gomez - Kingsport Mets (04)

Toronto (2)
P Aaron Sanchez - Bluefield Blue Jays (11)
OF Kevin Pillar - Bluefield Blue Jays (11)

Washington (3)
P Gio Gonzalez - Bristol White Sox (04)
P Enny Romero - Princeton Rays (10)
INF Daniel Murphy - Kingsport Mets (06)

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

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