San Antonio - In conjunction with the Milwaukee Brewers, the San Antonio Missions revealed today their preliminary Opening Day roster for their inaugural season in the Pacific Coast League.
The Missions' Opening Day roster features nine of the Brewers' top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline and five of the top 10. Keston Hiura (No. 1) leads the group of prospects. The infielder hit .293 with 34 doubles, 13 home runs, and 43 RBI while stealing 15 bases in 123 games between Advanced-A Carolina and Double-A Biloxi in 2018. Hiura is joined on the infield by Mauricio Dubon (No. 5) and Lucas Erceg (No. 8). Jacob Nottingham (No. 16) will see time behind the plate and at first base.
Corey Ray (No. 2) highlights the outfielders for the Missions. He was named Southern League MVP in 2018 after becoming the first player in league history to lead the circuit in home runs (27) and stolen bases (37). He was also honored as the Brewers' Minor League Player of the Year. Ray will be joined in the outfield by Troy Stokes Jr. (No. 13) and Tyrone Taylor (No. 29).
The pitching staff features two top prospects with Zack Brown (No. 5) and Adrian Houser (No. 15). Brown was named the Brewers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year and the Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher in 2018 while with Double-A Biloxi. He went 9-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 22 games while striking out 116 batters.
13 of the 27 players on the Opening Day roster have MLB experience. Pitchers Josh Fields, Deolis Guerra, Houser, Jay Jackson, Jake Petricka, Burch Smith, Michael Tonkin, and Aaron Wilkerson have all played in the big leagues. Catchers Nottingham and Tuffy Gosewisch and infielders Nate Orf, Tyler Saladino, and Cory Spangenberg bring major league experience to the ball club as well.
Jackson, Smith, and Spangenberg are the only three players on the Missions' roster to have played for Double-A edition of the franchise. Smith made six starts for San Antonio in 2013, Jackson made six relief appearances in 2015, and Spangenberg has spent parts of three seasons (2013-15) in the Alamo City.
11 members of Double-A Biloxi's team that reached the 2018 Southern League Championship Series will begin the 2019 campaign with San Antonio.
Pitchers Tristan Archer, Bubba Derby, Brad Kuntz, Jon Olczak, and Miguel Sanchez along with catcher/first baseman Skyler Ewing and infielder Jake Hager round out the roster.
More roster moves will be made prior to Opening Day on April 4 at Oklahoma City to get to 25 active players.
The Missions will be led by Manager Rick Sweet who will be in his 30th year as a minor league manager. On his field staff is pitching coach Fred Dabney, hitting coach Al LeBoeuf, coach Ned Yost IV, strength and conditiong coach Andrew Emmick, and athletic trainer Aaron Hoback.
The 118th season of baseball in San Antonio begins Thursday, April 4th, as the Missions begin their new era as a member of the Pacific Coast League and take on the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Single game tickets are on sale now at the Wolff Stadium Box Office or online at samissions.com. Season seat memberships are available now by calling 210-675-PARK (7275).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.