GREENEVILLE, TN- The Houston Astros have set the initial 2016 Greeneville Astros Opening Day roster. This year's team of 32 players, who will be led by manager Josh Bonifay, consists of 19 non-drafted free agent prospects, 12 players drafted by the Houston Astros, and one acquired via trade. Twelve players are new to the Astros organization with nine of them recently selected during the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
The nine recently drafted players making their professional debuts with Greeneville, all from the collegiate ranks, include right-handed pitchers Tyler Britton (23rd rd), Colin McKee (18th rd), and Lucas Williams (40th rd) as well as left-handers Howie Brey (31st rd) and Nathan Thompson (27th rd). Newly drafted position players include outfielders Spencer Johnson (16th rd) and Chaz Pal (38th rd) in addition to catcher Raymond Henderson (22nd rd) and infielder Tyler Wolfe (39th rd). The three 2016 non-drafted free agents, who also competed on the collegiate level, are right-handed pitcher Devin Raftery and left-handers Devon Carr and Sean Stutzman.
Seventeen of the players on this season's club have previously spent time playing in the minor leagues and have a combined 20 years of experience. Of those 17 players, there are six players that spent time on Greeneville's 2015 Appalachian League Championship team. The returning pitchers include Diogenes Almengo, Carlos Hiraldo, and Salvador Montaño. Meanwhile, catcher Gabriel Bracamonte, first baseman Justin Garcia, and outfielder Luis Payano are the other returning players.
In total 13 players, including Almengo and Hiraldo, spent time playing in the Gulf Coast League in 2015. While 12 of those players played with the GCL Astros, infielder Jonathan Arauz played with the GCL Phillies and was acquired by the Astros during an offseason trade.
The average age on the team is 20.66 years. The ages range from the 17-year-old Arauz to 24-year-old pitcher Angelo Serrano.
As a whole, the Astros have a total of eight states, one U.S. territory, and six countries represented on the Greeneville roster this season. There are 14 players from the United States with Florida leading the way with four. Other states represented include three from California, two from Missouri, and one each from Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, there are 10 players from the Dominican Republic, three from Venezuela, two from Panama and one each from Australia, Mexico, and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
The complete roster will be as follows, although it is still subject to change even after Appalachian League play begins on June 23:
Pitchers (17): RHP Diogenes Almengo, LHP Howie Brey, RHP Tyler Britton, LHP Devon Carr, RHP Ricardo Castro, LHP Carlos Hiraldo, RHP Colin McKee, LHP Salvador Montaño, RHP Devin Raftery, RHP Abdiel Saldana, RHP Carlos Sanabria, LHP Patrick Sandoval, RHP Angelo Serrano, LHP Sean Stutzman, LHP Nathan Thompson, LHP Framber Valdez and RHP Lucas Williams
Catchers (3): Gabriel Bracamonte, Ruben Castro, and Raymond Henderson
Infielders (6): Jonathan Arauz, Wander Franco, Justin Garcia, Connor MacDonald, Miguelangel Sierra, and Tyler Wolfe
Outfielders (6): Bryan De La Cruz, Frankeny Fernandez, Spencer Johnson, Chaz Pal, Luis Payano, and Vicente Sanchez
The Greeneville Astros will open their season at home on Thursday, June 23 against the Johnson City Cardinals at 7:00pm. Tickets are available now at the Astros administrative office, located at Pioneer Park on the campus of Tusculum College. The office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00am-5:30pm and throughout home games.
The Greeneville Astros are the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. For more information on the Astros, call (423) 638-0411.