The Beloit Snappers, in conjunction with the Oakland Athletics, have announced their tentative Opening Day roster. The Snappers begin their 2018 campaign with a split series with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, with the first two games to be played April 5th and 6th at Pohlman Field with both games scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.
Four top-30 prospects, eight returnees, 15 new comers, and 12 2017 draftees will make their way to Beloit to begin the 2018 season for the Snappers.
19-year-old Austin Beck leads a group of four top-30 prospects. The outfielder played his first professional season last year with the Arizona League club and hit two home runs, seven doubles, four triples and had 28 RBI in just 41 games. Beck ranks as the Athletics No. 6 prospect by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline and was the sixth overall pick in the 2017 June draft.
Another 19-year-old, Nick Allen, joins a Snappers infield that has three returning Snappers from 2017 which include; Trace Loehr, Miguel Mercedes, and Jean Carlo Rodriguez. Allen dazzled fans with his glove in the Arizona League last season, and again in Major League Spring Training this March. The shortstop robed Los Angeles Dodgers Donovan Solano of a base hit with a diving back-handed grab in his first Spring Training game as a non-roster invitee to A's Spring Training. The Athletics grabbed Allen in the 3rd round, 81st overall pick in the 2017 June draft out of San Diego's Francis Parker School in San Diego, CA. The rangy shortstop is ranked as the Athletics No. 14 prospect by MLB Pipeline, and the No. 15 prospect by Baseball America.
The Snappers will also boast two right-handed pitching prospects from the Athletics top-30 prospects. Dakota Chalmers, who is among the eight returnees, and Wyatt Marks who was a 13th round pick by the A's in 2017 join a pitching staff headed by pitching coach Don Schulze.
Chalmers spent his 2017 campaign with the Snappers, and went 2-2 with a 4.34 ERA in 10 games with five starts. The Cumming, GA native also struck out 47 batters to a tune of a 14.6 strikeout-per-nine-inning ratio. He ranks as the Athletics No. 30 prospect by Baseball America.
Marks, who pitched collegiately at Louisiana Lafayette in Lafayette, LA, is regarded as the A's No. 26 prospect by MLB Pipeline. In 2017, Marks pitched for both the Arizona League club, and the Vermont Lake Monsters of the short-season New York-PENN League. Between the two levels, Marks was 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA in 13 games with seven starts and struck out 56 batters in 42.0 innings.
Along with Chalmers, the Snappers welcome back seven other players who spent time with the club in the 2017 Season. Xavier Altamirano, Heath Bowers, Seth Martinez, Jesus Zambrano, Trace Loehr, Miguel Mercedes, and Jean Carlo Rodriguez return to the Snappers roster to begin the 2018 campaign.
Altamirano finished with a 3.59 ERA in 2017 with the club, placing him seventh among Midwest League qualifying pitchers and Loher led the Snappers in triples for the second straight year with eight three-baggers.
Including Beck, Allen and Marks, the Snappers will boast 12 draftees from the 2017 First Year draft. Those players also include sixth round pick LHP Logan Salow, ninth rounder LHP Jared Poche and 10th round pick OF Jack Meggs. Other 2017 draftees joining the club will be LHP Josh Reagan, OF Raymond "Mickey" McDonald, RHP Michael Danielak, RHP Bryce Conley, INF Jake Lumley and OF Logan Farrar.
Other players joining the Snappers 2018 roster will be Ty Damron, who returns to the Snappers after spending the 2017 season with the Arizona League club and Vermont, RHP Jean Ruiz, and Catchers Jordan Devencenzi and Skyler Weber.
The 2018 Snappers will be managed by first year manager Webster Garrison, who returns to the Midwest League after guiding Kane County in 2003. He brings 20 years of coaching experience to the Stateline area and boasts a 589-576 (.506) managerial record in 10 seasons.
His coaching staff consists of Pitching Coach Don Schulze, Hitting Coach Juan Dilone, Athletic Trainer Brian "Doc" Thorson, and Strength and Conditioning Coach Scott Smith.
Click here for the Tenative 2018 Opening Day Roster
The Stateline community will have their first chance to meet their 2018 Beloit Snappers at the annual "Meet The Snappers" event to be held Tuesday April 3 in the Beloit Memorial High School Cafeteria at 6:00 p.m. Tickets to the event are just $5 and can be purchased at the Beloit Snappers Front Office or at the door of the event.
The Beloit Snappers are a member of the Midwest League and have been the Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics since 2013. Opening Day for the Snappers 37th season is April 5, 2018 at Pohlman Field as the Snappers host the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. For more ticket information, contact the Snappers office at (608) 362-2272 or on our website, www.snappersbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.