Lansing Lugnuts Reveal Opening Day Roster
The Lansing Lugnuts have revealed their projected Opening Day lineup in a press release announced on Monday.
The squad features many of the Toronto Blue Jays' top prospects, including Kacy Clemens, the son of all-time great Roger Clemens. Kacy is projected to play first base. The outfield prospects are slated to include Reggie Pruitt and Chavez Young. The pitching corps is manned by 18-year old Maximo Castillo, plus Andy Ravel, Yennsy Diaz, and Kyle Weatherly. All three saw time with the Lugnuts in 2017.
Lansing opens their 23rd season on April 5th at the Great Lakes Loons. The home opener is on April 7th at Cooley Law School Stadium against the Loons.
Here's more from a Lugnuts press release:
In concert with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Lansing Lugnuts announce a roster featuring first baseman Kacy Clemens, son of Hall of Famer Roger Clemens, along with five of MLB.com’s Top 30 Blue Jays prospects.
Second-year manager Cesar Martin’s Lugnuts are headlined by a star-studded infield of first baseman Clemens, the Blue Jays’ eighth-round draft choice last year, alongside second baseman Samad Taylor (No. 13 prospect), who was acquired via trade with Cleveland; first baseman/outfielder Ryan Noda (No. 18), who posted a .364 batting average and .507 OBP in his pro debut; slugging Kevin Smith (No. 19); and speedy Kevin Vicuña (No. 23), who played 12 games in the Lugnuts’ middle infield in 2017 and batted .340.
The infield is filled out by powerful Christian Williams, who played 66 games for the Lugnuts in 2017 before his season was ended by a broken hand, and switch-hitting Cullen Large, the Blue Jays’ fifth-round draft choice out of William & Mary.
Two catchers made the Nuts’ roster, both of them defensive aces: Ridge Smith, who played in 51 games for Lansing in 2017, and Matt Morgan, a fourth-round draftee in 2014 who played one game with the Lugnuts before joining Vancouver last season.
The Lugnuts’ outfield will showcase the game-changing speed of 20-year-olds Reggie Pruitt (28 steals in 2017) and Chavez Young, a native of the Bahamas, and the patience of sixth-rounder Brock Lundquist, who posted a .364 on-base percentage in the Northwest League.
The pitching staff includes the youngest player on the team, 18-year-old Maximo Castillo, the organization’s No. 24 prospect, joining returning right-handers Yennsy Diaz, Andy Ravel and Kyle Weatherly. Seven of the Lugnuts’ pitchers were selected in the 2017 draft – Zach Logue (ninth round), Donnie Sellers (11th round), Brody Rodning (13th), Ty Tice (16th), Turner Larkins (21st), Graham Spraker (31st) and the unforgettable Maverik Buffo (34th), who pitched a scoreless inning in the 2017 Crosstown Showdown presented by Auto-Owners Insurance. The staff is filled out by Dany Jimenez, who has held batters to a .178 batting average in his three-year career, and Orlando Pascual, who struck out 45 batters in 33 innings a year ago.
In total, seven 2017 Nuts return– pitchers Diaz, Ravel and Weatherly, catchers Morgan and Smith, and infielders Vicuña and Williams. Additionally, 17 players were part of the 2017 Northwest League Champion Vancouver Canadians.
The Lugnuts open the 2018 season, their 23rd season in the Midwest League, at 6:05 p.m. on Thursday against the Great Lakes Loons at Dow Diamond. Yennsy Diaz receives the start.
This Saturday is the Opening Day Block Party, as the Lansing Lugnuts officially open the gates of Cooley Law School Stadium. Meet the Team at 3 p.m. on Michigan Avenue, with entertainers, food, inflatables and more, followed by a team autograph session! Gates open at 5 p.m., with the first 1,000 fans receiving a special commemorative scarf presented by Auto-Owners Insurance. First pitch against Great Lakes is at 7:05 p.m., with LAFCU Fireworks following the game!