BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - For fans of the Biloxi Shuckers, Tuesday’s opening day match-up with Birmingham is the day they’ve been waiting for for almost 600 days.
Monday was an important day in itself, as the roster for the 2021 season was finalized - complete with a top prospect, a familiar face, and a jack of all trades.
Headlining the lineup for Biloxi is the Brewers’ top prospect, Brice Turang, a 21-year-old phenom who can do just about anything. The left-handed hitter possesses blazing speed, makes solid contact with the ball, and has great plate discipline, leading Milwaukee’s system in walks (83) in his first full season.
On the bump, former Mississippi State standout Ethan Small will return to the Magnolia State with little minor league experience, but in his short time in Rookie ball and Low-A, he struck out 36 batters in just 21 innings of work.
“He’s going to be one of our main starters. He’s a great competitor,” manager Mike Guerrero said of Small. “He hasn’t had a full season in baseball yet, so he’s going to have his first taste of a full season in Double-A. Hopefully everything goes the way we think. His stuff is undeniable.”
Lucas Erceg is also back in Biloxi, but with an added trait - the infielder can pitch now, too. The two-way player brings a ton of value to the Shuckers, and with his fastball topping out at near 100 MPH, Guerrero said he’s a key piece to his team.
“You’re always looking for a player like that,” Guerrero said. “When they’re not able to pitch, they’re able to be a position player and spare you in case of a pinch. It makes it a lot easier to sometimes make some different moves.”