Tuesday, April 01, 2008

West Michigan Whitecaps 2008 preview

The Surge is reporting that the West Michigan Whitecaps roster is set for opening day. The complete roster is included below. There are not a lot of high profile prospects at West Michigan this year but there are a number of players worth following:

Brandon Hamilton, a supplemental first round pick in the 2007 draft, is probably the most promising prospect playing for the Whitecaps this year. The right-handed Hamilton is just 19 years old and was playing high school ball at this time last year so he is very raw. However he has a great arm with a fast ball touching the mid 90s and a wicked slider. In 20 1/3 innings for the GCL Tigers last year, he had a 3.10 ERA and struck out 23 but walked 12. He has a lot of potential but still has a long way to go in terms of polish and mechanics.

Noah Krol, an 11th round pick last June, is a pretty strong relief prospect. He is not a hard thrower but has good command of a sinking fastball and slider. After pitching for Wichita State in the spring, he had a 2.20 ERA and 39 strikeouuts in 28 2/3 innings for Oneonta last year. The fact that he pitched in the Arizona Fall League after pitching in short season ball says that he is highly regarded by the Tigers. He is 23 years old and will likely move up quickly if he has early success for the Whitecaps.

Justin Henry is a 22 year old second baseman who was drafted in the 9th round out of Mississippi University last year. His lack of power will make it difficult for him to become a major league starter but he batted an impressive .340 with a .421 OBP for Oneonta last year.

Other prospects of interest are pitcher Mark Brackman and infielder Audi Ciriaco and a special mention goes to Andrew Hess. Hess, a 19th round draft pick out of the University of Michigan last year is now a blogger at Tigers Minor League Baseball, a blog started by Brian Borawski and authored by Mike Cassidy last year. Hess will be writing about his minor league experiences throughout the course of the season and already has one post up about spring training. It will be great to read the perspective of a Tigers minor leaguer.

For more news and discussion of the Whitecaps, check out

The Surge
West Michigan Whitecaps official site
Motownsports.com
Tigers Minor League Baseball Blog
Take 75 North

Opening Day Roster

Catchers

Joe Bowen
Jordan Newton

Infielders
Ron Bourquin 1B
Chris Carlson 1B
Justin Henry 2B
kody Kaiser 2B
roger Tomas 2B
Joe Tucker 3B
Audi Ciriaco SS

Outfielders
Kyle Peter
mark McBratney
Casper Wells
Cory Middleton

Pitchers
Ramon Garcia
Wilton Garcia
Jonathan Kibler
Alfredo Figaro
Santo Mieses
Andrew Hess
Lauren Gagnier
Noah Krol
Kelvin Cedano
Rudy Darrow
Paul Nardozzi
Emmanuel Miguelez

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