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Legends On Deck

Class-A Advanced: 2017 Florida State League Preview

(Gabe Rodriguez)

On Thursday April 6, the Florida State League season will begin a new year of exciting Class-A Advanced minor league baseball. In 2016, the Bradenton Marauders won their first FSL title, and this season the rest of the 11 teams will be gearing up to dethrone the champs. Who will it be?, and what future stars will shine the brightest in 2017?

FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE NORTH

Clearwater Threshers – Philadelphia Phillies Affiliate

The Threshers had the best record overall in their division in 2016, but finished in second place both halves, narrowly missing the playoffs. This year they look to get over the hump and secure a spot.

Home Stadium: Spectrum Field

Phillies Top Prospects on Roster: #5 Franklyn Kilome-RHP, #10 Cornelius Randolph-OF, #29 Jose Pujols-OF

2016 Record: 39-29 (1st half), 43-25 (2nd half),  82-54 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th v. Dunedin Blue Jays

 

Tampa Yankees – New York Yankees Affiliate

The Yankees won their division in the first half which gave them a nod on the post season. They won their semi-final series against the Dunedin Blue Jays, but lost in the finals to the Marauders.

Home Stadium: George M. Steinbrenner Field

Yankees Top Prospects on Roster: #6 James Kaprielian-RHP (DL), #13 Jordan Montgomery-LHP, #14 Domingo Acevedo-RHP, #20 Nick Solak-2B, #21 Ian Clarkin-LHP, #22 Chad Green-RHP, #23 Zack Littell-RHP, #25 Kyle Holder-SS, #30 Taylor Widener-RHP

2016 Record: 42-27 (1st half – Division Winner), 35-31 (2nd half), 77-58 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th v. Lakeland Flying Tigers

 

Dunedin Blue Jays – Toronto Blue Jays Affiliate

Dunedin has been an affiliate of Toronto since 1987 and has played in their current stadium since 1990. They have yet to win a FSL Championship. In 2016, they won the second half title, but lost in the semi-finals to the Tampa Yankees.

Home Stadium: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium

Blue Jays Top Prospects on Roster: #7 T.J. Zeuch-RHP, #12 Max Pentecost-C, #16 Ryan Borucki-LHP, #20 Angel Perdomo-LHP, #22 Danny Jansen-C, #23 Jordan Romano-RHP, # 24 Juan Kelly-IF

2016 Record: 33-36 (1st half), 43-23 (2nd half – Division Winner), 76-59 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th v. Clearwater Threshers

 

Daytona Tortugas – Cincinnati Reds Affiliate

The Tortugas were affiliates of the Chicago Cubs from 1993-2014, before becoming the Reds affiliate in 2015. They have are a 6-time FSL Champ, last winning in 2013.

Home Stadium: Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark

Reds Top Prospects on Roster: #12 Vladimir Gutierrez-RHP, #13 Chris Okey-C, #14 Shed Long-2B, #11 Alfredo Rodriguez-SS, #28 Tanner Rainey-RHP

2016 Record: 36-33 (1st half), 40-28 (2nd half), 76-61 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th @ Florida Fire Frogs

 

Lakeland Flying Tigers – Detroit Tigers Affiliate

The Flying Tigers have been in the Florida State League since 1960 and an affiliate of Detroit since 1963. They are a 4-time FSL champion, last winning in 2012.

Home Stadium: Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium

Tigers Top Prospects on Roster:#3 Beau Burrows-RHP, #11 Sandy Baez-RHP, #12 Jose Azocar-OF, #14 Gerson Moreno-RHP, #15 Spencer Turnbull-RHP, #17 Drew Smith-RHP, #18 Arvicent Perez-C, #19 Matt Hall-LHP, #20 Mark Ecker-RHP, #21 Jairo Labourt-LHP, #22 Zac Shepherd-IF

2016 Record: 34-34 (1st half), 26-38 (2nd half), 60-72 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th @ Tampa Yankees

 

Florida Fire Frogs – Atlanta Braves Affiliate

This will be the first season for the Fire Frogs.  In 2016, the Brevard County Manatees, former affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers held their spot in the North Division, but the team left for Kississmee, Florida and now the Fire Frogs have taken over and will be the new affiliate of the Braves.

Home Stadium: Osceola County Stadium

Braves Top Prospects on Roster: #7 Ronald Acuna-OF, #10 Luiz Gohara-LHP, #11 Touki Toussaint-RHP, #12 Austin Riley-IF, #19 Ricardo Sanchez-LHP, #23 Alex Jackson-C/OF, #25 Drew Harrington-LHP, #28 Braxton Davidson-OF

2016 Record: N/A

Opening Night: April 6th v. Daytona Tortugas

FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE SOUTH

St. Lucie Mets – New York Mets Affiliate

St. Lucie has been in the FSL and affiliates of New York since 1988. They are 5-time FSL champs and last won a league title in 2006 and division title in 2016.

 

Home Stadium: First Data Field

Mets Top Prospects on Roster: #3 Justin Dunn – RHP, #12 Wuilmer Becerra, #10 Peter Alonso-1B, #22 Jhoan Urena – 3B, #28 Patrick Mazeika, #27 Colby Woodmansee – SS

2016 Record: 35-32 (1st half), 39-29 (2nd half – Division Champs), 74-61 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th v. Palm Beach Cardinals

 

Bradenton Marauders – Pittsburgh Pirates Affiliate

The Marauders have been members of the FSL and also affiliates of the Pirates since their inception in 2010. Last season was a banner year for the Marauders as they won their first ever Florida State League Title. They were a playoff team in three other seasons, 2010, 2011, 2014.

Home Stadium: LECOM Park

Pirates Top Prospects on Roster: #7 Will Craig – IF, #5 Ke’Bryan Hayes – IF, #6 Cole Tucker – IF, #11 Gage Hinsz – RHP, #12 Taylor Hearn– LHP

2016 Record: 38-30 (1st half – Division Winners), 32-36 (2nd half), 70-66 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th @ Charlotte Stone Crabs

 

Fort Myers Miracle – Minnesota Twins Affiliate

The Miracle have been an affiliate of the Twins since 1992, winning one league title (2014) since, and three division titles (1995, 2008, 2014), four first half titles (2003, 2008, 2009, 2014) and four second half titles (1995, 2000, 2006, 2009).

Home Stadium: Hammond Stadium

Twins Top Prospects on Roster: #26 Lachlan Wells – LHP, #27 Randy Rosario – LHP, #28 Luis Arraez – IF

2016 Record: 34-35 (1st half), 36-33 (2nd half), 70-68 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th @ Jupiter Hammerheads

 

Jupiter Hammerheads – Miami Marlins Affiliate

The Hammerheads have been an affiliate of the Marlins since 2002 and won a Division title in 2012. They were previous affiliates of the Montreal Expos from 1969 – 2001.

 

 

Home Stadium: Roger Dean Stadium

Marlins Top Prospects on Roster: #8 Stone Garrett-LF, #14 Cody Poteet-RHP, #17 Jeff Brigham-RHP, #20 Roy Morales-C, #24 Andy Beltre-RHP

2016 Record: 31-37 (1st half), 37-32 (2nd half), 68-69 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th v. Fort Myers Miracle

 

Charlotte Stone Crabs – Tampa Bay Rays Affiliate

The Stone Crabs have been in the Florida State League since 1980, but became affiliates of the Rays in 2007. Since then they have won one League title (2015), and four Division titles (2009, 2010, 2013, 2015).

 

Home Stadium: Charlotte Sports Park

Rays Top Prospects on Roster: #19 Kevin Padlo-3B, #22 David Rodriguez-C, #29 Genesis Cabrera-LHP, #30 Ryan Boldt-OF

2016 Record: 33-36 (1st half), 31-35 (2nd half), 64-71 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th v. Bradenton Marauders

 

Palm Beach Cardinals – St. Louis Cardinals Affiliate

The PB Cardinals became affiliates of the parent club and members of the FSL in 2003. They won one League title and Division Title in 2005. They were playoff teams also in 2006, 2008, and 2015.

Home Stadium: Roger Dean Stadium

Cardinals Top Prospects on Roster: #7 Magneuris Sierra-OF, #10 Junior Fernandez-RHP, #13 Edmundo Sosa-SS, #15 Randy Arozarena-OF, #17 Jake Woodford-RHP, #22 Connor Jones-RHP, #30 Jeremy Martinez-C

2016 Record: 32-36 (1st half), 26-43 (2nd half), 58-79 (overall)

Opening Night: April 6th @ St. Lucie Mets

 

SOME PHOTOS FROM THE 2016 FSL SEASON

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David Conde

David Conde

Co-Founder/Executive Editor at Legends On Deck®
David is the Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®. He was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com. David's idea forLegends on Deck is to be a site where passionate fans of the game have a place to read about their favorite baseball teams. The site is also for people who had a talent to write or even take photographs and have the platform to share. The passion of following the Minor Leagues can be seen all over the site as the players journey's are what what drives the LOD team to share their content. David's passion is making available a site that people can have fun sharing and reading.

You can also reach out to David at daconde@legendsondeck.com
David Conde