The Drive announced today several changes to their already planned Hot Stove Event, which is set for Tuesday, January 29th from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM. The event, which was originally planned to take place at the TD Bank Convention Center in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity, will now be held at ZEN located in Downtown Greenville, just a few hundred feet from the Main Street Gates of Fluor Field.
The Drive also announced that the Hot Stove Event at ZEN will be complimentary for all attendees. In addition, all fans will be able to enjoy free food and beverages throughout the event.
Drive Co-Owner and Team President, Craig Brown, commented on the Hot Stove Event, saying, "Due to late breaking developments our original plan to co-host the event with Habitat for Humanity has been changed. We are pleased and excited the 2013 season annual Hot Stove event will be held at ZEN, with Drive fans and guests able to enjoy free food and drinks, while interacting with Red Sox personnel and Drive alumni."
Special guests for the event include Red Sox Director of Player Development, Ben Crockett, and Red Sox outfield prospect and former University of South Carolina standout, Jackie Bradley Jr. Pitchers Madison Younginer and Jason Garcia, both of whom were members of the 2012 Greenville Drive, will also participate in the event.
Brown added, "We are thrilled that Ben Crockett, Jackie Bradley, Madison Younginer, and Jason Garcia have taken time out of their busy schedules in preparation for the 2013 season to visit Greenville. The Hot Stove Event on January 29th will provide Ben, Jackie, Madison, and Jason with another chance to interact with the Drive's great fan base, and presents us with an opportunity to demonstrate why Greenville and Fluor Field are such a popular and positive experience for the many Red Sox stars who enjoy playing here during their minor league journey."
The 40th overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, former South Carolina Gamecocks standout Jackie Bradley, Jr. will also take part in the event. Shortly after making his professional debut in August of 2011, Bradley joined the Drive for the final five games of the 2011 regular season. In 2012, he split time between High-A and AA and posted a combined line of .315 with nine homers, 63 RBI's, 90 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. He was recently named the second-best prospect in the Red Sox organization by Baseball America.
During his impressive collegiate career, Bradley led the Gamecocks to back-to-back National Championships in 2010 and 2011, having been named both the Most Outstanding Player and to the All-Tournament Team at the College World Series in 2010. During his final year at the University of South Carolina in 2011, Bradley was named to the All-SEC Defensive Team.
A former standout at Mauldin High School, Madison Younginer was a 7th round selection of the Red Sox in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. Younginer was member of the Drive's starting rotation during the 2012 campaign until he was sidelined for most of the second with an injury.
Jason Garcia split time between the Drive's starting rotation and bullpen last season, leading the club in starts (22), innings pitched (115.1), and ranked second amongst Greenville hurlers with 95 strikeouts.
Ben Crockett, who is entering his seventh season with the Red Sox and second as the Director of Player Development, will also be at the event to discuss the team's success from a year ago, as well as the top prospects that fans can expect to see take the field in 2013 as the Drive look to continue their outstanding on-field performance, which includes trips to the South Atlantic League postseason in 2009 and 2010.
Crockett joined the Red Sox organization in 2007, and served as Advance Scouting Coordinator in 2008 and 2009, before being promoted as the club's Assistant Director of Player Development in 2010. A standout pitcher at Harvard University, Crockett was named the Ivy League's Rookie of the Year as a freshman, and was later selected in the 3rd round of the 2002 draft by the Colorado Rockies. Ben spent four seasons in Colorado's farm system, advancing all the way to the Triple-A level.
Drive General Manager, Mike deMaine, added, "This event will be a one of a kind experience for our fans as they'll have the chance to interact with and participate in a Q&A session with Jackie Bradley, Jr., Madison Younginer, and Jason Garcia, all very talented young men who we've enjoyed watching at Fluor Field as they continue their ascent to the Major Leagues."
After seven seasons of record breaking attendance and providing countless fans with an affordable, family-friendly venue and entertainment, the Drive is ensuring that 2013 will be its most memorable year to date. Brown and deMaine will also give fans a sneak peek at what's in store for the 2013 season at Fluor Field, including this year's theme.
In addition to having the opportunity to interact with Drive alumni and Red Sox personnel, this will also be the first opportunity for fans to purchase new Drive merchandise, including exclusive OOBE products, as well as purchase tickets to the upcoming Southern Conference Baseball Championships, hosted at Fluor Field from May 22-26.
Brown commented on the upcoming season, noting, "We are tremendously encouraged by the way the Upstate has supported our efforts to provide a world-class setting and great entertainment value at Fluor Field. The partnerships we've established with our fans, our sponsors and the community at large have been very gratifying, and we are truly excited about the new ways guests at Fluor Field will be able to enjoy themselves at Drive games over the 2013 season, and beyond."
Ticket plans, group outings, and hospitality accommodations are currently on sale for the 2013 season. Call (864) 240-4500 to speak with a representative or log onto to www.GreenvilleDrive.com for more information.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.