(Reading, PA) - The Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, have announced the club's 2018 roster, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 25-man roster features five of the Phillies' top 30 prospects according to mlbpipeline.com, including pitcher JoJo Romero (no. 9), pitcher Franklyn Kilome (no. 10), pitcher Ranger Suarez (no. 12), pitcher Seranthony Dominguez (no. 13) and outfielder Cornelius Randolph (no. 18).
Reading's pitching staff will feature top 30 prospects JoJo Romero, Franklyn Kilome, Ranger Suarez and Seranthony Dominquez. Romero impressed in both Lakewood (A) and Clearwater (A+) going a combined 10-3 with a 2.16 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 129 innings pitched over 23 starts. He was named Mid-Season All-Star and Pitcher of the Week for Lakewood in 2017 while also being named an Organizational All-Star.
Kilome spent most of 2017 with Clearwater (A+), but did start five games for the Fightins. He went a combined 7-7 with a 2.83 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 127 innings pitched over 24 starts. The tenth ranked prospect held right handed hitters to a .237 batting average against and finished June with a 2.11 ERA.
Suarez, like Romero, split time with both Lakewood (A) and Clearwater (A+) going a combined 8-6 with a 2.57 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 122.2 innings pitched over 22 starts. Suarez was a Mid-Season All-Star for Williamsport (A-) in 2016 and was named Pitcher of the Week twice in 2017, once for Lakewood and once for Clearwater.
Dominguez spent all 2017 with Clearwater (A+) and will be coming out of the bullpen for the Fightins. He finished 2017 at a record of 4-4 with a 4.04 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 15 games (13 starts). He was named a Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star in 2017 for Clearwater (A+).
The rest of the pitching staff includes Harold Arauz , Trevor Bettencourt , Garrett Cleavinger , Edgar Garcia , Tyler Gilbert , Luke Leftwich , Seth McGarry and Jacob Waguespack . Aruaz pitched for Lakewood (A), Clearwater (A+) and Reading (AA), going a combined 5-6 with a 1.97 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 96 innings pitched over 29 games (6 starts). Bettencourt spent 2017 with Lakewood (A) and Clearwater (A+) going 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA, 77 strikeouts, 10 saves and 58.2 innings pitched in 41 games. Cleavinger is returning to Reading (AA) this year after going 2-4 with a 6.28 ERA, 59 strikeouts, 3 saves and 54 innings pitched in 27 games with the Fightins after being acquired from Baltimore. Edgar Garcia went 3-4 with a 4.47 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 27 games (15 starts) for Clearwater (A+) in 2017. Gilbert finished 1-6 with a 2.95 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 35 games (1 start) for the Threshers in 2017. Leftwich was also in Clearwater (A+) for 2017 and went 1-6 with a 2.70 ERA, 98 strikeouts and 8 saves in 42 games. McGarry was acquired from Pittsburgh and split the 2017 with Bradenton (A+) and Clearwater (A+), going 1-4 with a 2.32 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 44 games.
Waguespack returns to Reading (AA) after starting six games for the Fightins in 2017. Last season he pitched for Reading (AA) and Clearwater (A+). He went 9-7 with a 3.42 ERA, 108 strikeouts and 1 save in 31 games (16 starts).
First Baseman, Kyle Martin returns to Baseballtown for his second season. Martin hit 22 home runs and had 68 runs batted in while playing 123 games for Reading (AA) last season. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 draft by the Phillies. He ranked second on the Fightins Phils in home runs and first in runs batted in.
Malquin Canelo returns to Baseballtown for his second season. The shortstop played in 112 games with Reading (AA) last season. He had 22 doubles, 12 stolen bases, 34 runs batted in and 50 runs scored. He signed with the Phillies as an amateur free agent on 5/31/12.
Damek Tomscha will start the season in Reading this year after splitting the season between Clearwater (A+) and Baseballtown. Tomscha hit .307 with 11 home runs, 52 runs batted in, 16 doubles and 53 runs in 374 at-bats over 109 games with the Fightins and the Threshers. Tomscha was named an Organizational All-Star for the Phillies in 2015 and 2017.
Rounding up the Reading infield will be 2016 alum Zach Green plus newcomers Brendon Bednar, Emmanuel Marrero and Heiker Meneses . Green enters in what will be his second stint with the Fightin Phils. He spent 15 games last season with the team, hitting .222 with five runs batted in and two doubles. Bednar spent all of 2017 with Richmond (AA) and hit .280 with 34 runs batted in, 24 doubles and 54 runs over 117 games. Marrero gets the call-up from Clearwater (A+) where he hit .252 with 32 runs batted in, 11 stolen bases and 16 doubles. Meneses brings triple-A experience to the Fightins, as he played 68 games with Pawtucket (AAA) and hit .277 with 20 runs batted in, 11 stolen bases and 42 runs scored.
Backstops Deivi Grullon and Austin Bossart both return to Baseballtown. Grullon played in 71 games with the Threshers and 23 games with the Fightins last season. He hit .249 with 12 home runs, 37 runs batted in, 17 doubles and 41 runs between both Clearwater (A+) and Reading (AA). Bossart, who saw the bulk of his time in Clearwater (A+) and hit .245 with 18 runs batted in and 10 doubles between the Fightins and the Threshers.
Reading's outfield features an equal mix of returnees and newcomers. Cornelius Randolph spent all of 2017 with Clearwater (A+) where he hit .250 with 13 home runs, 55 runs batted in, 18 doubles and 47 runs. He was named a Baseball America Rookie All-Star and a Post-Season All-Star in 2015 with the Gulf Coast Phillies. In 2017 he was named a Rising Star for Glendale in the Arizona Fall League.
Jiandido Tromp , who was selected as an Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star and Player of the Week with Reading, returns where he led the Fightins with 31 doubles and finished tied for 2nd in runs batted in. He was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on 8/8/11.
Zach Coppola returns after showcasing his ability to hit in 2017 after splitting the season with Clearwater (A+) and Reading (AA). He hit a combined .285 with 36 runs batted in, 39 stolen bases and 69 runs scored. Coppola finished first on the Fightins in stolen bases and 2nd in the Eastern League despite only playing in 85 games. Rounding out the outfield is new comer Jan Hernandez . Hernandez spent all of 2017 with Clearwater (A+) and hit .212 with 16 home runs, 35 runs batted in, 10 doubles and 42 runs scored.
Manager Greg Legg returns to the club for his fifth season as skipper. He managed Reading last season and 2002-2004. Joining Legg with be pitching Steve Schrenk, who is back for his fourth season in Reading. Hitting Coach Kevin Riggs and assistant coach Rico Brogna will also join the staff. Brogna returns for his second season (2002). Athletic trainer Mickey Kozack and strength and conditioning coach Mike Lidge round out the coaching staff.
America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region. Individual and season tickets for the 2018 season are available online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in-person at FirstEnergy Stadium. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter at @ReadingFightins and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.