2013 Boise Hawks Roster
The group includes 11 pitchers, three catchers, five infielders, and four outfielders – which will open the Northwest League season on Friday at Eugene.
Six players will be making a return trip, while no players have initially been assigned to Boise from the 2013 first-year player draft.
Right-hander James Pugliese (right) was tabbed the Opening Day starter by manager Gary Van Tol. Pugliese, who led the Hawks last season with 51 strikeouts, posted a 1-5 record and a 5.37 ERA in 60.1 innings of work.
A pair of highly-touted 2012 draft picks will also be in the rotation, as supplemental first-round pick Paul Blackburn and second-round pick Duane Underwood head to Boise. Blackburn went 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA last season with the Mesa Cubs, while Underwood, who has a mid-90s fastball, made five appearances last season in rookie ball.
Returning pitchers Tyler Bremer and Matt Iannazzo return in bullpen roles, joined by 2012 draft picks Corbin Hoffner, Ethan Elias, and Jasvir Rakkar. Other arms include Cuban defector Carlos Martinez, Venezuelan Loiger Padros, and Orbandy Rodriguez of the Dominican Republic.
Three catchers are on the initial roster – including returning Hawks Justin Marra and Lance Rymel. Rymel (left) will join the club after spending the past two weeks with the AA Tennessee Smokies. Rony Rodriguez, who played last season in independent baseball, will also be in the catching mix.
The infield will be anchored by slugger Jacob Rogers and slick-fielding shortstop, Carlos Penalver. Rogers hit four home runs between Mesa and Peoria last season, while Penalver is noted as one of the better defensive middle infielders in the organization. David Bote heads to Boise after stops in both Daytona and Kane County, while Trevor Gretzky and Danny Lockhart make their first trips outside of rookie ball. Gretzky is the son of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, while Lockhart is the son of former MLB infielder, Keith Lockhart.
The outfield will be roamed by returning Boise Hawk, Shawon Dunston, Jr., along with Yasiel Balaguert, Kevin Encarnacion, and Jose Dore. Dunston, the son of former MLB shortstop, Shawon Dunston, split time between Boise and Mesa last season. Balaguert had 33 RBI between Mesa and Peoria last season, while Encarnacion has stolen 55 bases and driven in 73 runs in 181 games in the Dominican Summer League. Dore returns to the NWL for the third-straight year after spending two seasons in the San Diego Padres system with the Eugene Emeralds.
The Hawks land in Boise tomorrow at 5:20 p.m., with Media Day scheduled at Memorial Stadium at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday (no exhibition game will be played on Wednesday night due to current depth in the pitching rotation). The team will leave Thursday morning for Eugene, with first pitch at PK Park on Friday night at 8:05 p.m. – live on 1350 KTIK-AM.