Disclaimer: The Sky Sox 2016 roster is not finalized yet. These players could be on the Sky Sox.
At long last, baseball season is finally upon us. For the Sky Sox, that means a chance to improve upon a 4th place finish in the PCL North Division Standings
Beginning their second season as the top minor-league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Sky Sox should have a strong mix of returning players to go with up and coming young rookies who will be playing in Colorado Springs for the first time next week.
Leading the Sky Sox will be manager Rick Sweet, returning for his third season as the manager of the Brewers Triple-A affiliate. Sweet's 1,731 victories as a minor league manager rank fifth among active minor-league managers. Looking to help him add to that total will be a new batch of Sky Sox, who open the season in Memphis on Thursday, April 7.
Here are a few players that could be in Sweet's lineup as the Sky Sox open the season next week.
Orlando Arica - Shortstop
The Brewers top prospect is expected to get the first Triple-A action of his career when the season begins. Arcia was named the Brewers Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .307 with 8 HR, 69 RBI, and 25 stolen bases at Double-A Biloxi last year. Arcia also lead the Southern League in doubles with 37. His strong 2015 campaign was highlighted by an All-Star Futures Game appearance in July. Arcia is a phenomenal fielder as well, with good range and a strong arm that earned him a Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award last season. Look for Arcia to be starting at shortstop on Opening Day for the Sky Sox.
Eric Young Jr. - Outfielder
Signed by the Brewers in January, Eric Young Jr. may be playing in Colorado Springs for the second time in his career. Young spent parts of the 2009-11 seasons with the Sky Sox while in the Rockies organization. Since his last stint in Colorado Springs, Young has been around the baseball world. The highlight of Young's career came in 2013, after he was traded to the New York Mets. With two stolen bases on the final day of the season, Young finished with 46 to lead the National League. Young Jr. and his father, Eric Young Sr., are now the only father son combo to ever lead their league in stolen bases. Young Sr. lead the National league with 53 steals in 1996 while with the Rockies. Young Jr. brings veteran leadership and a speed threat to the Sky Sox. He could be a invaluable asset for the club if a pinch runner or stolen base is needed late in a game.
Andy Wilkins - First Baseman
If someone is going to provide pop in the middle of the Sky Sox lineup, it is likely going to be hulking first baseman Andy Wilkins. Formerly of the White Sox organization, Wilkins has reached double digit home runs in five of his first six minor league seasons. In 2014, he was an International League All-Star as he led the league in home runs (30), extra base hits (69) and was tied for the lead in RBI (85). In the past year, Wilkins has been around the league as he was claimed off waivers four times in the offseason, finally ending up with the Brewers after a December 23 waiver claim.
Garin Cecchini - Infielder/Outfielder
Another player entering his first season in the Brewers organization is Garin Cecchini, acquired from the Red Sox in December in exchange for cash. Coming into 2015, Cecchini was ranked as the 10th best prospect in the Red Sox organization according to Baseball America. During his minor league career, he has been an All-Star three times and he played in the All-Star Futures Game at Citi Field in 2013. In that 2013 season, Cecchini led all of Minor League Baseball with a .443 on-base percentage. Cecchini has played third base and the outfield during his career, which could give him the extra versatility the Sky Sox need in the field.
Shane Peterson - Outfielder
After playing in both Colorado Springs and Milwaukee last season, Shane Peterson knows what to expect in 2016. He may not know where exactly he is playing though, as he started games at five different positions and batted in seven different lineup spots in 2015. In 2014, Peterson led the PCL in games played (137), at bats (543), hits (167), and doubles (40). He also finished in the top five in runs scored, RBI, and walks that season while being named to the PCL All-Star team.
Come see the Sky Sox on Opening Day at Security Services Field on April 15 as they take on the Memphis Redbirds at 6:35. Click here to purchase tickets today!