Your 2018 Eugene Emeralds!

Here is the 2018 Opening Day roster for the Eugene Emeralds. The roster is provisional and subject to change.

The Emeralds first game is Friday night at home versus Vancouver (the Blue Jays affiliate in the Northwest League) 

Teams that play in the NWL have a 35-man Reserve List limit - AND - a 35-man Active List limit (with 25 players designated "active" for each game, of which ten must be pitchers). However, because players selected in last month's MLB First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) and any Rule 4 draft-eligible player signed as a Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA) after the draft do not count against a minor league reserve list until next November 20th, once the 2018 draft picks start getting assigned to Eugene, there will be players (2018 draft picks) on the Emeralds' active list who are not on the reserve list and (presuming there are players on the Eugene DL) there will be players on the Emeralds' reserve list who are not on the active list, effectively creating a general roster that exceeds 35 players.   

Also, there is no restriction on minor league service time for players in the NWL until July 1st, at which point there can be a maximum of three players with four or more years of MLB and/or minor league partial or full active seasons accrued (VSL/DSL seasons excluded) on the active roster. 


EUGENE EMERALDS 

SS-A 

* bats or throws left 
# bats both

PITCHERS: 20 
Jose Albertos (SP)
Luis Aquino 
Sean Barry 
* Faustino Carrera (SP) 
Yan de la Cruz
Hector Alonso Garcia (see NOTE)
Dalton Geekie
* Danny Hultzen (see NOTE
* Brailyn Marquez (SP)
Junior Marte (see NOTE)
M. T. Minacci (see NOTE)
* Eugenio Palma 
Jeffrey Passantino 
Eury Ramos (SP)
Stephen Ridings
Andry Rondon (see NOTE)
Jose Rosario (see NOTE)
Casey Ryan 
Jake Steffens
Mitch Stophel  
NOTE: H. Garcia, Hultzen, Marte, Minacci, A. Rondon, and J. Rosario are on the Eugene Reserve List but will likely either be placed on the Eugene DL or assigned to one of the AZL Cubs rosters.  

CATCHERS
: 3
Cam Balego (also 1B-3B)
Gustavo Polanco (also 1B)
* Jonathan Soto (also 1B)

INFIELDERS: 5 
Luis Diaz (2B-3B)
Rafael Mejia (1B) 
Christopher Morel (3B-SS)
Ramsey Romano (3B-2B-SS-1B-LF-CF-RF)
Luis Vazquez (SS)

OUTFIELDERS: 5  
Fernando Kelli (CF-LF)
* Kwangmin Kwon (RF-LF-CF) 
* Ruben Reyes (LF-CF-RF)
* Jonathan Sierra (RF)
Nelson Velazquez (CF-RF-LF)

MANAGER
Steve Lerud 

COACHES
Armando Gabino (Pitching Coach)
Osmin Melendez (Hitting Coach)
Jacob Rogers (Assistant Coach)

ATHLETIC TRAINER
Sean Folan 

STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH
Dallas Lopez 

Comments

Even before the 2018 draft picks arrive, this is a talent-laden Eugene Emeralds team with ten legit prospects:   

1. Christopher Morel, 3B-SS (org Top 10)
2. Nelson Velazquez, OF (org Top 15) 
3. Jose Albertos, RHSP (org Top 15)
4. Jonathan Soto, C (org Top 15) 
5. Brailyn Marquez, LHSP (org Top 20) 
6. Luis Vazquez, SS (org Top 20)
7. Fernando Kelli, CF (org Top 25) 
8. Luis Diaz, 2B (org Top 25)  
9. Eury Ramos, RHSP (org Top 30) 
10. Faustino Carrera, LHSP (org Top 30) 

There are only four pitchers (Albertos, Marquez, Carrera, and Ramos) on the Eugene Opening Day roster who were stretched-out to be starting pitchers at Extended Spring Training, so the Cubs may try and stretch-out Jeffrey Passantino as a SP, or possibly move a RP down from South Bend (perhaps Brendan King or Enrique de los Rios) who could be stretched-out as a SP or piggy-back with another pitcher at Eugene. It's also possible that one or two of the recently-signed college SP the Cubs selected in the draft (like Richan, Vega, Whitney, and/or Patterson) could be ready to work as a SP (or piggy-backer) at Eugene in fairly short order. 

This should be a fun team to keep track of all Summer.

Cubs sign 2nd rd pick OF Brennan Davis (High School, Miami (FL) Commit) for $1,100,000 which is only $39,100 over slot, I thought for sure he'd be the trouble of the Top 10 rds signee.

The Cubs have placed LHP Danny Hultzen (2016 shoulder surgery) and RHP Jose Rosario (elbow) on the Eugene 7-day DL, and RHPs Hector Alonso Garcia, Junior Marte, M. T. Minacci, and Andry Rondon have been transferred from the Eugene reserve list to AZL Cubs #2.   

I noticed on the roster at the Eugene Emeralds web-site that Fernando Kelli is listed as a switch-hitter, but I have seen Kelli a lot (post-2016 AZ Instructs, 2017 EXST, post-2017 AZ Instructs, and 2018 Minor League Camp and EXST), and I can tell you I have never seen Kelli bat LH.

It's possible that Kelli was a switch-hitter when he first signed with the Cubs or maybe he was a switch-hitter in the DSL in 2016 before he came to Mesa for the first time, but he is strictly a RH hitter now (at least since post-2016 AZ Instructs) with a line-drive stroke, and other than occasionally laying down a bunt (usually at the behest of his manager), he is looking to drive the ball into the OF. So despite his plus-speed (he is probably the fastest player in the organization), he does not seem to enjoy playing "small ball."   

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