2013 Prospect Previews

Opening Day for the 2013 Midwest League season is April 4, when the TinCaps take on the Great Lakes Loons at Dow Diamond in Midland, Michigan. Considering the current cold streak we’ve had, I anticipate that the ballpark 3.5 hours north of Fort Wayne will either look like this:

Hace frio.

Hace frio.

or this:

Hace calor.

Hace calor.

or maybe somewhere in between….perhaps. Yeah, probably a little bit of both. It did snow last year in the team’s first road series at South Bend, so I won’t count anything out.

As we get closer to the TinCaps’ first game of the season, I’m beginning a series of posts which will feature five players per week over the course of eight weeks. I’m going to be introducing you to the 40 players who I believe  may comprise the roster of the 2013 Fort Wayne TinCaps. That said, the roster limit is only 25 so don’t worry, I haven’t all of a sudden forgotten the rules of Minor League Baseball. In compiling this list I’ve got to account for some players from the 2012 team who may return, and trying to give some room for error when projecting which players may land here at Parkview Field from lower levels like Eugene and the Arizona League.

A great example of a guy who might’ve been a surprise to some starting the year in Fort Wayne in 2012 was Matt Wisler. He was just 19 years old and prior to last season, he hadn’t even recorded an out in professional baseball. His line in one Arizona League game was: 0.0 IP, 2H, 4R, 4ER, 1HBP, 2BB.

In other words, a rough outing. Well, he had one of the best seasons for any pitcher in the Midwest League in 2012 and will certainly not be back in a TinCaps uniform to start 2013.  As the slogan goes for the New York Lotto, “Hey, you never know.”

If you’re wondering about some of the top prospects I’ll be taking a look at over this eight-week odyssey, here are a few of the bigger names you might see at Parkview Field in 2013:

-Brandon Alger, a graduate of Leo High School and former Indiana Tech Warrior. Pitched in five playoff games in 2012 for Fort Wayne.

-Jeremy Baltz, 2012 2nd round pick out of St. John’s University. Appeared in five playoff games in 2012 for Fort Wayne.

-Zach Eflin, selected 33rd overall by San Diego in the 2012 draft

-Max Fried, taken 7th overall by the Padres in last June’s draft

-Dane Philips, a 2nd round pick (two behind Baltz) who is said to have a powerful bat

-Maxx Tissenbaum, an 11th round pick last year who led the Eugene Emeralds with a .296 average over 47 games. A former teammate of 2012 TinCaps OF Travis Jankowski at Stony Brook University

-Walker Weickel, selected in the supplemental first round (55th overall) in the 2012 draft

The list will come out in alphabetical order so as to not give preference to any one set of players over another. We usually don’t learn the roster until just a few days before opening day, so this is a great way to learn about the players and have a good idea of who will take the field for the first game of the season. The first post will be published on Monday, February 4th.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about any of the players as the list comes out, please get in touch with me. You can reach me via Twitter (@MikeCouzens) or by email, Couzens@TinCaps.com.


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