BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - With the 2019 season just days away, expectations are sky-high at MGM Park, and for good reason.
“Oh, it was a blast. I’d say by far the most fun I’ve had in Minor League Baseball in my career," Trey Supak said.
"It was the first time in pro ball where I’ve really been on a winning team,” Thomas Jankins said. “It was great to show up to the field every day knowing we had an outstanding chance to win. Everyone kind of stuck together.”
Coming off the winningest season in franchise history, the Shuckers have some work to do to if they want to repeat as South Division Champions.
Gone are 2018 Southern League MVP Corey Ray, and the League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher, Zack Brown - but such is life in Minor League Baseball.
“Every year is different, and it’s hard to duplicate a year," 2018 Southern League Manager of the Year Mike Guerrero said. "But I expect as much on a daily basis from these guys.”
The eleven players that did return to Biloxi from last year’s historic campaign are ready to lead the way. like outfielder Trent Grisham, who is coming off a strong showing in Brewers’ Spring Training.
“Last year was a lot of younger guys, this year we have more of a veteran clubhouse," said the Brewers’ No. 30 prospect. "It’s nice to see just a lot of maturity in the club house. I think it’ll be able to take us far.”
Meanwhile, Blake Allemand returns for his third season here on the Coast, now ready to play as many as four positions: shortstop, second base, third base and left field.
“It’s almost like I show up to the park, and I don’t really care where I play," Allemand said. "If I’m in the field, I’m good with it. Pretty comfortable all three positions in the infield and then I’m getting more and more comfortable in the outfield every day.”
But even though there may be more new faces than familiar ones, Guerrero is confident this group can have similar success.
“I think we have enough talent to go out there (and) put in the work for that to translate into (wins).”
The Shuckers host William Carey in an exhibition contest for the third consecutive season on Tuesday, April 2 at 6:35 p.m. before officially getting their regular season underway with a home contest against Birmingham on Thursday, April 4.