HAGERSTOWN M.D. - The Hagerstown Suns announced today the 25 players who will be making up the team's 2014 opening day roster. The Suns begin their 34th season on Thursday, April 3 when they host the Rome Braves at Municipal Stadium at 6:35pm.
Headlining the group of players headed to Hagerstown this season is Nationals 2012 first round draft pick RHP Lucas Giolito. Giolito is the Nationals top ranked prospect heading into the season according to Baseball America, having gone 2-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 12 starts since joining the Nationals organizations. Other top prospects headed to Hagerstown this season include RHP Jake Johansen (#8 Nationals prospect according to Baseball America), RHP Austin Voth (#15 Nationals prospect according to Baseball America), INF Drew Ward (#17 Nationals prospect according to Baseball America), RHP Nick Pivetta (#22 Nationals prospect according to Baseball America), and OF Rafael Bautista (#28 Nationals prospect according to Baseball America).
Joining Johansen and Voth as players on the opening day roster who spent time with the Suns last year are RHP Dixon Anderson, RHP L.J. Hollins, LHP Justin Thomas, LHP Jake Walsh, catcher Craig Manuel, INF Wilmer Difo, INF Khayyan Norfork, OF Isaac Ballou, and OF Estarlin Martinez.
There are 11 players on the opening day roster who the Nationals acquired in the 2013 draft, five of whom were selected in the first ten rounds. Breaking the roster down by position, there are 13 pitchers (four lefties), two catchers, six infielders, and four outfielders. There are four players who hail from the state of Texas, three from California, two from Tennessee, and one each from Mississippi, Washington, South Carolina, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Virginia. In addition there are seven foreign players on the roster (six from the Dominican Republic and one from Victoria, British Columbia).
The average age of the players on the roster is 22 years old, with the oldest (Norfork) being 25 and the youngest (Ward) 19. Leading the group of young adults will be first year manager Patrick Anderson, who spent last season skippering the Gulf Coast League Nationals. Anderson's staff includes hitting coach Luis Ordaz and pitching coach Sam Narron.
To catch the Suns in action all season long and to reserve your seats at Municipal Stadium, call 301-791-6266, or go to www.hagerstownsuns.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.