Meet your Squirrels
The Flying Squirrels 2010 roster, featuring a number of players ranked among the top-30 organizational prospects by Baseball America, is a blend of players from last year’s division champion Defenders team and players coming up from the 2009 California League Champion San Jose Giants.
The Flying Squirrels 2010 roster, featuring a number of players ranked among the top-30 organizational prospects by Baseball America, is a blend of players from last year’s division champion Defenders team and players coming up from the 2009 California League Champion San Jose Giants. Along with the 14 players, San Jose also gives up manager Andy Skeels to the Squirrels. Like Matt says, there is a good chance that we are going to have a good team in Richmond this season.
Leftfielder Thomas Neal, rated as the fourth-best prospect in the Giants’ system, righfielder Roger Kieschnick, and centerfield Darren Ford are all moving up to AA ball for the first time. Each of the three rate among the top-15 prospects in the Giants’ system according to Baseball America and played together last year in San Jose. Neal and Kieschnick were named to the 2009 California League All-Star team. Ford didn’t make the All-Star squad despite batting .300 and stealing 35 bases.
The Richmond infield holds fantastic potential, with Brandon Crawford at shortstop, Conor Gillaspie at third base, and Nick Noonan at second base all slated to start the season with the Flying Squirrels. Gillaspie and Noonan are both former first round draft selections of the Giants. Crawford has been described as “the system’s best defensive infielder”. Jackson Williams and Tyler La Torre, who both played with the Connecticut Defenders in 2009, will again split time at catcher.
2009 California League Pitcher of the Year Craig Clark and Clayton Tanner, both lefties, are at the top of the starting rotation. Clark set a new San Jose Giants’ record with 15 consecutive wins in 2009 and finished tied for second in all of minor league baseball with 16 overall wins. Former major leager Andy Sisco, another lefty, is attempting a comeback after missing the last two seasons following elbow surgery.
The Flying Squirrels signed autographs and hung out at a “Meet the Team” event this past Tuesday at T Miller’s at the Downtown Marriott on Broad Street.
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