Columbus, Georgia- The Columbus Catfish, the Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, is proud to announce their 2008 team roster. Coming off of their South Atlantic League Championship in 2007, the Catfish are hopeful of repeating their success in 2008 with a very talented young group of baseball players.
This squad is highlighted by three of the Tampa Bay Rays Top 30 prospects; including left-handed pitcher Glenn Gibson, acquired from the Washington Nationals in December of 2007. He went 4-0 in his first 8 starts with the Vermont Lake Monsters, sporting a 0.62 ERA. Gibson was named the 8th best prospect in the Washington Nationals Minor League system and Baseball America recognized him as possessing the best change-up and best control in the Nationals organization.
This pitching rotation is also bolstered by right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb, who spent the 2007 season with the Hudson Valley Renegades, the Short-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Cobb was named the Hudson Valley Pitcher of the Year after leading the Renegades in innings pitched with 81.1, strikeouts with 62, and games started with 16. Rounding out the rotation will be right-handed pitchers Josh Johnson, Jason Ragan, and 2007 Catfish Jeremy Hall, who helped the club by posting a victory in their South Atlantic League playoff run.
Providing pop with the bat for the Catfish lineup will be another of the Rays Top 30 prospects; catcher Michael McCormick, who led the Hudson Valley Renegades with 67 games played, 20 doubles, and 8 home runs in the 2007 season. McCormick also batted .267 and was named a New York Penn League All-Star. Also featured in the 2008 lineup is outfielder Reid Fronk from the University of North Carolina, who lead the Renegades last season with .961 OPS, outfielder Stephen Vogt who posted 48 RBI, along with 72 hits and a .300 batting average for Hudson Valley in 2007, and second baseman Cody Cipriano who joins the Catfish after leading the Renegades last season with 43 runs scored and ranked second in homeruns with 6.
Led by new manager Matt Quatraro, returning pitching coach Bill Maloney, and new hitting coach Ozzie Timmons, this young group of talent promises to bring an exciting brand of baseball to Golden Park every night. Four returning players from last season's Championship squad, IF Seth Dhaenens, IF Joey Callendar, OF Maiko Loyola, and P Jeremy Hall; combined with other note-worthy players such as 2007 Hudson Valley Player of the Year and University of Alabama product Emeel Salem and Princeton's Player of the Year Omar Luna, have the Columbus Catfish organization excited about the prospects for the 2008 season.
Opening Night for the Columbus Catfish is this Thursday, April 3rd with first pitch at 7:00 p.m. The Catfish will square off with the Savannah Sand Gnats for four games, concluding Sunday, April 6th.
Tickets may be purchased by calling (706) 571-8866 or by ordering online at www.columbuscatfish.com. The Golden Park ticket office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Catfish are the Class-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.