Bandits 2017 Opening Day roster announced

Seven of top-30 Astros prospects begin season in Quad Cities

By Jake Levy / Quad Cities River Bandits | April 4, 2017 5:00 PM ET

In conjunction with the Houston Astros, the River Bandits announce the Opening Day roster for the 2017 season. Seven of MiLB.com's Astros top-30 prospects will begin the season with Quad Cities. Two first-round draft picks and each of the top four choices from the Astros' 2016 draft class will begin the season with the River Bandits. 2015 Competitive Balance A first-rounder, OF Daz Cameron, starts the season with Quad Cities for the second consecutive year and 2016 first-round pick RHP Forrest Whitley will begin his first full professional season with the River Bandits.

DAVENPORT, Iowa - In conjunction with the Houston Astros, the River Bandits announce the Opening Day roster for the 2017 season. Seven of MiLB.com's Astros top-30 prospects will begin the season with Quad Cities. Two first-round draft picks and each of the top four choices from the Astros' 2016 draft class will begin the season with the River Bandits. 2015 Competitive Balance A first-rounder, OF Daz Cameron, starts the season with Quad Cities for the second consecutive year and 2016 first-round pick RHP Forrest Whitley will begin his first full professional season with the River Bandits.

Nine members of the 2017 Opening Day roster spent part of 2016 with the River Bandits. In addition to Cameron, 2016 sixth-round pick OF Stephen Wrenn returns to the Midwest League as does UTL Spencer Johnson, INF Randy Cesar, C Jake Rogers and pitchers Tyler Britton, Hector Perez, Abdiel Saldana and Carlos Sierra.

Whitley is the highest ranked prospect on the roster, entering 2017 as MiLB.com's fifth-best prospect in the Astros organization and the No. 84 prospect in all of Minor League Baseball. The 6'7" right-handed pitcher was selected 17th overall in the 2016 draft out of San Antonio, Texas. Cameron is ranked ninth in the Astros system entering this season after starting 2016 as the fifth-rated prospect in the Houston organization. He began the year in Quad Cities in 2016 before a move to short season ball that saw tremendous improvement in his numbers before a finger injury prematurely ended his season.

Infielder Anibal Sierra was signed as an international free agent in 2016 and the Cuban native immediately jumped on the top-30 list, entering the season at No. 17. The Astros second-round pick from a year ago, OF Ronnie Dawson, comes in as the No. 19 prospect after spending all of last season with short-season Tri-City after being selected out of Ohio State. Rogers is the No. 22 prospect for Houston after the Astros selected him in the third round out of Tulane last season. Rogers ended the year in Quad Cities, showing off his defensive prowess. Wrenn, 2016 sixth-round pick out of the University of Georgia, also returns after ending last season with the Bandits. Rounding out the top prospects on the River Bandits roster is No. 29 prospect Jorge Alcala, who pitched at three levels in his first stateside season in 2016.

Below is the entire River Bandits opening day roster:

PITCHERS: Brett Adcock, Jorge Alcala, Tyler Britton, Ryan Hartman, Dustin Hunt, Carson LaRue, Hector Perez, Erasmo Pinales, Abdiel Saldana, Edgardo Sandoval, Carlos Sierra, Derick Velazquez, Forrest Whitley.

POSITION PLAYERS: Rodrigo Ayarza, Carmen Benedetti, Daz Cameron, Randy Cesar, Ronnie Dawson, Alexander De Goti, Ray Henderson, Spencer Johnson, Taylor Jones, Chuckie Robinson, Jake Rogers, Anibal Sierra, Stephen Wrenn.

The 2017 River Bandits take the field for the first time on Thursday, April 6, at 6:35 p.m. hosting the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Modern Woodmen Park. Gates open at 5:30 and tickets are available now by calling (563) 324-3000, visiting riverbandits.com, or stopping by the newly expanded box office at the ballpark.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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