Trenton Thunder Reveal 2011 Roster

11 04 2011
Manny Banuelos

Expect young prospect Manny Banuelos to hone his craft with the Thunder this season.

Earlier this week, the Trenton Thunder released their final roster. Below is the complete list, followed by my reactions and thoughts as the Eastern League season gets underway:

PITCHERS: Cory Arbiso, Wilkins Arias, Manny Banuelos^, Dellin Betances*, Jeremy Bleich**, Grant Duff**, Steve Garrison*, Shaeffer Hall, Fernando Hernandez, Craig Heyer, Alan Horne**, Kei Igawa, Tim Norton, Naoya Okamoto, Graham Stoneburner, Pat Venditte

CATCHERS: Myron Leslie^, Austin Romine

INFIELDERS: David Adams**, Corban Joseph, Addison Maruzak, Yadil Mujica, Jose Pirela, Jack Rye, Bradley Suttle

OUTFIELDERS: Cody Johnson, Austin Krum, Ray Kruml, Melky Mesa*, Damon Sublett

* = on the New York Yankees’ 40-man roster

** =  currently on the disabled list

^ = currently on the Temporarily Inactive List

Manny Banuelos is taking a leave of absence from the team to be with his sick grandmother back home in Mexico. He is expected to return to the team by the beginning of the week.

Nevertheless, die-hard Yankees fans should be familiar with several of the names on this list. Young pitchers Banuelos and Betances are currently ranked #41 and #43 respectively on Baseball America’s prestigious Top 100 Prospects list. Expect both to further develop their this year, but don’t be surprised to see Betances in pinstripes come September—as a member of the Yankees’ 40-man roster, he can be called up to the Bronx when MLB rosters expand on September 1st.

Austin Romine is another one of the Yankees’ top prospects currently in Trenton, joining Banuelos and Betances on the Baseball America list at #98. However, Romine will likely stay with the Thunder for a while—fellow catching prospect Jesus Montero waits in the wings up in AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and he’s expected to make his MLB debut sometime this summer.

Meanwhile, there’s another name on the list who Yankee fans will recognize, but for wrong reasons. Kei Igawa signed a 5-year, $20-million contract with the Yankees in 2006 (after the Yankees had to pay his Japanese club, the Hanshin Tigers, $26 million just for the rights to negotiate with him). Igawa only played in 16 games with the Yankees, compiling a 2-4 record with a 6.66 ERA and 53 strikeouts. Since then, he has become a bit of a forgotten player who has been getting buried deeper and deeper in the Yankees’ minor-league system.

Then there’s Pat Venditte, who has the unique distinction of being the only switch-pitcher in all of baseball. Up until now, he’s been regarded as more of a novelty than as a serious prospect in the Yankees’ system, which has hindered his movement through the minor leagues. But after appearing in one game for the Thunder last year, expect the ambidextrous Venditte to have another shot at proving himself.

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18 04 2011
The 40-Man Roster: What Does It Mean? « Making The Majors

[…] If you look back at my last post, you’ll notice that several players on the Trenton Thunder roster are part of the New York Yankees’ “40-man roster”. Besides having some sort of special designation, what does that mean for those guys? Are they major-leaguers or not? […]

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