DUNEDIN, FL-The Dunedin Blue Jays are proud to release their projected 2018 Opening Day roster as they prepare to defend their 2017 Florida State League championship. The 25-player roster features Toronto's top pitching prospect, four of Toronto's Top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline, and 13 returnees from last year's title-winning team.
The Blue Jays rotation will be headlined by a pair of first-round picks with 2016 21st overall pick T.J. Zeuch and 2017 28th overall pick Nate Pearson slated to open in Dunedin's starting five. Zeuch, a key member of Dunedin's title run, sits as Toronto's #9 overall prospect while Pearson and his 100+ mph fastball rank at #4 overall and #1 among pitching prospects in the organization. Righties Josh DeGraaf and Patrick Murphy will join lefty Tayler Saucedo to round out the rotation, all three members of last year's championship squad.
In the bullpen, Dunedin opens the season with a pair of key relief aces from 2017. Righty Jackson McClelland (7 saves, 1.07 ERA) and lefty Kirby Snead (8 saves, 1.36 ERA) will combine to give the Blue Jays a fearsome back end of the bullpen. The bullpen will also feature the 2017 Northwest League saves leader William Ouellette , returnees Connor Eller and Nick Hartman , and newcomers Travis Bergen , Justin Dillon , and Juliandry Higuera .
A pair of top prospects will lead the Blue Jays on the offensive end. The #5 overall prospect in the organization Logan Warmoth will anchor the middle of the infield. The 2017 1st round pick slashed .306/.356/.419 for Vancouver in 2017, helping to lead them to the Northwest League title. Riley Adams , the #16 prospect in the organization, will give Dunedin a potent threat both offensively (.305 average) and defensively (40% caught stealing rate) behind the plate. Bradley Jones , the 2016 Appalachian League home run champ, will provide power from the corners of the infield.
The Blue Jays outfield projects to be dynamic and laden with speed. D.J. Davis , who finished second in the Florida State League with 32 stolen bases in 2017 will look to build on a strong second half during which he hit .283 with 18 steals. Josh Palacios and Rodrigo Orozco join the outfield from Lansing where they both flashed plus speed in limited action. Eduard Pinto , who hit .311 with the Down East Wood Ducks (A+) before being obtained at the trade deadline by Toronto, will round out the outfield corps.
The Blue Jays will open their season this Thursday, April 5th against the Clearwater Threshers in Clearwater. Their home opener will be Saturday, April 7th at 6:30 PM at Dunedin Stadium. The home opener celebration will feature a magnet schedule giveaway and post-game fireworks.
Individual game tickets as well as season ticket, voucher packs, and Jr. and Silver Jays packages are available now and can be purchased on www.DunedinBlueJays.com.
The Dunedin Blue Jays full projected Opening Day roster:
LHP Travis Bergen
RHP Justin Dillon
RHP Josh DeGraaf
RHP Connor Eller
RHP Nick Hartman
RHP Juliandry Higuera
RHP Jackson McClelland
RHP Patrick Murphy
RHP William Ouellette
RHP Nate Pearson
LHP Tayler Saucedo
LHP Kirby Snead
RHP T.J. Zeuch
John La Prise
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.