South Bend Cubs Release 2015 Opening Day Roster
For Immediate Release
For the complete, downloadable roster, click here.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The South Bend Cubs, in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, announced their 2015 Opening Day roster Monday. The 28-man squad features 14 pitchers, three catchers, five infielders and six outfielders. South Bend hosts the University of Notre Dame in a seven-inning exhibition game Tuesday and opens the regular season Thursday at Four Winds Field against the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
Jimmy Gonzalez enters his first season as the manager in South Bend after making his managerial debut last season in Mesa, Arizona, for Chicago's Rookie League team. Pitching coach Brian Lawrence and hitting coach Jesus Feliciano, who both have major-league playing experience, coached in Boise (Short-Season A) in 2014. Assistant hitting coach Osmin Melendez assisted Gonzalez in Mesa last year.
"We are excited about our roster and about the things they can do," Gonzalez said. "We have strong starting pitching and a strong bullpen as well. All the players are excited about getting to South Bend and getting the season underway."
Talented 18-year old shortstop Gleyber Torres and right-handed pitcher Jake Stinnett headline the roster. Torres is slotted as the No. 8 and No. 5 prospect, respectively, in Chicago's top-ranked organization, according to Baseball America and ESPN.com's Keith Law. The Caracas, Venezuela, native hit .297 between Boise and Mesa in 2014, the third-best average in the Cubs organization.
Chicago tabbed Stinnett in the second round of the MLB Draft in June. The 6-foot-4 right-hander racked up a single-season program record 132 strikeouts as a senior in 2014 at Maryland. MLB.com pegs Stinnett as the No. 13 prospect in the organization.
Ten Cubs played for the Kane County Cougars in 2014. The Cougars rolled to a 91-49 regular-season record, eight games better than second-place South Bend, en route to the Midwest League title. Infielder Chesny Young, the Cubs' 14th-round draft choice in June, accelerated through the minors and joined Kane County in late July. In 27 games, Young hit at a .324 clip and drove in nine runs. Catcher Cael Brockmeyer batted .297 in 77 games for the Cougars, clocking eight home runs and driving in 43 runs.
Catcher Gioskar Amaya played in the Midwest League in 2013, batting .252 for the Cougars. Amaya was named a Florida State League All-Star in 2014 with Daytona.
Ten 2014 draftees comprise the Cubs' roster, nine of whom will be making their debuts in full-season ball. Right-handed pitchers James Farris, James Norwood and Ryan Williams were all selected in the first 10 rounds of June's draft, as was left-handed pitcher Tommy Thorpe. In total, 17 players will be making their full-season debuts.
Four of South Bend's six outfielders bring Midwest League experience. Jeffrey Baez, Yasiel Balaguert, Kevin Brown and Trey Martin all suited up for Kane County in 2014.
Twenty-one of South Bend's players were originally drafted by Chicago.
"We have heard nothing but good things about the fan support in South Bend and their love of the Cubs," Gonzalez said. "Our staff and players will be active members in the community and the fans will be proud of how we play on the field. We are thrilled to be a part of the South Bend Cubs."
About the South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs are a Class A minor league team affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. Over the past 27 seasons, the team has won three Midwest League titles, most recently in 2005, and has captured seven division titles. The team is owned and operated by Swing-Batter-Swing, LLC whose sole shareholder is Andrew T. Berlin of Chicago, Ill.