Shuckers boast balance of youth, experience entering 2018 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Shuckers boast balance of youth, experience entering 2018

The Biloxi Shuckers pose for their annual team photo at their 2018 Media Day (WLOX Sports) The Biloxi Shuckers pose for their annual team photo at their 2018 Media Day (WLOX Sports)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A new year brings a new crop of big-league hopefuls to MGM Park. As he enters his third season managing the Biloxi Shuckers, Mike Guerrero says he's excited about this year's squad. 

"It's really, I will say, impressive, for our organization and really important for our organization to have these guys and be successful at this level so they can move up quicker," Guerrero said.

Shuckers fans will have quite a few new faces to familiarize themselves with, but there are still plenty of big names for baseball fans on the Coast to get excited about. This year's roster boasts three former first round draft picks, including two starters in the outfield: Corey Ray (5th overall in 2016) and Trent Grisham (15th overall in 2015). Left-handed pitcher Kodi Medeiros, the 12th overall pick in 2014, rounds out the group. 

"That was always a big thing, potential, potential, potential," Grisham said on playing with Ray previously with the Carolina Mudcats. "We did some good things last year, raised some eyebrows, and actually put some numbers on, kind of took it away from potential. It was skill. That's what we plan to do this year, build on that."

As for returnees, many will remember Luis Ortiz. After dealing with injuries for most of 2017 that saw him finish 4-7 with a 4.01 ERA, the Brewers' fifth-rated prospect plans to have a big season on the mound as the first option in the rotation. 

"For me, it's staying healthy," said Ortiz, who missed time last season with a hamstring injury and a bout with hand-foot-and-mouth disease. "Pitching is what got me drafted, (it's) what I do, I'm talented. It's just mainly the skill level and meeting the requirements on that."

He'll be joined on the mound by fellow returnee Nick Ramirez. Pitching for the first time in six seasons, the Cal State Fullerton product  went 7-4 with a 1.37 ERA in 2017, and now plans to round out his game even more. 

"Obviously I have the feel back and the command and all that stuff," Ramirez said. "(But) this year we're gonna be having me play first more, hit more, so it's gonna be more of a legit two-way."

You can see Ortiz, Ramirez and all your favorite Shuckers get one final tune-up before starting the 2018 season, as they host William Carey in a charity exhibition game for the second straight season. Net proceeds go to the school's continued tornado relief.

First pitch from MGM Park set for Tuesday at 6:35 p.m., and then the Shuckers officially begin Southern League play Thursday when they visit Montgomery.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

  • SPORTSMore>>

  • Alliance of American Football to kick off inaugural season in 2019

    Alliance of American Football to kick off inaugural season in 2019

    Tuesday, March 20 2018 4:32 PM EDT2018-03-20 20:32:07 GMT
    The Alliance of American Football will kick off it inaugural season after the 2019 Super Bowl. (Source: Alliance of American Football)The Alliance of American Football will kick off it inaugural season after the 2019 Super Bowl. (Source: Alliance of American Football)
    The Alliance of American Football will kick off it inaugural season after the 2019 Super Bowl. (Source: Alliance of American Football)The Alliance of American Football will kick off it inaugural season after the 2019 Super Bowl. (Source: Alliance of American Football)

    There's a new football league in town...again.  Former NFL executive Bill Polian announced Tuesday morning that he is establishing The Alliance of American Football. 

    More >>

    There's a new football league in town...again.  Former NFL executive Bill Polian announced Tuesday morning that he is establishing The Alliance of American Football. 

    More >>
  • The Latest: Guice among those in green room when round ended

    The Latest: Guice among those in green room when round ended

    Thursday, April 26 2018 6:31 PM EDT2018-04-26 22:31:36 GMT
    Friday, April 27 2018 12:54 AM EDT2018-04-27 04:54:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes, File). FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2016, file photo, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nevada in Reno, Nev. Allen is expected to be a first r...(AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes, File). FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2016, file photo, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nevada in Reno, Nev. Allen is expected to be a first r...
    The NFL has renewed an exclusive partnership with Amazon Prime Video for digital streaming of Thursday night games during 2018 and 2019 seasons.More >>
    The NFL has renewed an exclusive partnership with Amazon Prime Video for digital streaming of Thursday night games during 2018 and 2019 seasons.More >>
  • Mayfield goes 1st to begin rush to get QBs in NFL draft

    Mayfield goes 1st to begin rush to get QBs in NFL draft

    Thursday, April 26 2018 10:20 AM EDT2018-04-26 14:20:11 GMT
    Friday, April 27 2018 12:53 AM EDT2018-04-27 04:53:34 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File). File-This March 20, 2018, file photo shows running back Saquon Barkley catching a football during Penn State NFL football Pro Day in State College, Pa. Barkley is the best player in this year's draft. Yet he might not g...(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File). File-This March 20, 2018, file photo shows running back Saquon Barkley catching a football during Penn State NFL football Pro Day in State College, Pa. Barkley is the best player in this year's draft. Yet he might not g...
    NFL draft arrives, and one general manager insists teams 'can't get too cute'.More >>
    NFL draft arrives, and one general manager insists teams 'can't get too cute'.More >>
Powered by Frankly