BILOXI, MS (Biloxi Shuckers) - The Biloxi Shuckers must finalize their roster from 28 players to the 25-man roster by Thursday, when the Double-A team opens the 2017 Southern League season at Montgomery. The current roster has 14 pitchers, three catchers, seven infielders and four outfielders.
Mk Guerrero returns as he Shuckers manager for the second consecutive season. He said, "This group brings a lot of talent and experience to Biloxi. We had an outstanding spring training and are ready to get on the field at MGM Park."
18 players will be back from the 2016 Shuckers. Pitcher Jorge Lopez and Michael Reed return. Two years ago Lopez was the Shuckers ace and helped propel Biloxi to the Southern League Championship series. Both Lopez and Reed have previous Major League experience having been called up to the Milwaukee Brewers. Lopez had a stellar performance in the 2017 World Baseball classic representing Puerto Rico. Lopez is ranked No. 13 on the MLB Pipeline Brewers Top 30 list and Reed No. 28.
Other top prospects: Luis Ortiz is No. 4, Mauricio Dubon No. 9 and 2016 Southern League All-Star Jacob Nottingham is rated No. 14 on the Top 30 list. Bubba Derby, Aaron Wilkerson, and Javier Betancourt return after several high-profile trades by the Brewers over the past two seasons.
Art Charles is a new player to keep an eye on. He batted .352 with 29 home runs and 101 runs batted in to win the triple crown in the independent Can-Am League.
2016 Southern League All-Star Tristan Archer returns along with Preston Gainey, Jon Perrin, Tyler Spurlin, Angel Ventura, Dustin DeMuth and Johnny Davis.
Joining the Shuckers this season are Matt Ramsey, Forrest Snow, Blake Allemand and George Iskenderian.
Twenty of the Shuckers players currently reside in the United States, Dustin Houle hails from Canada, Taylor Scott is from South Africa, Natanael Mejia from the Dominican Republic, Betancourt is from Venezuela while Lopez, Ortis and Angel Ortega are from Puerto Rico.
The Shuckers entertain William Carey in an exhibition game beginning at 6:30 Tuesday at MGM Park. Proceeds will benefit the tornado victims in Hattiesburg.