By Jason Shetler
After making it to the Division Championship Series in 2014, the Bradenton Marauders failed to reach the playoffs last year. Former big leaguer Michael Ryan will be entering his second season as the Marauders skipper.
Pitching: The Marauders will have themselves two exciting prospects in their rotation in 2016 with Yeudy Garcia, the Pirates Minor League Pitcher of the Year a season ago, and hard-throwing lefty Stephen Tarpley. During Spring Training, Tarpley suffered an oblique strain, but should return sooner rather than later. The other starters will be Austin Coley, Brandon Waddell and Colten Brewer. In the bullpen now is Luis Heredia, who will probably be used in a long relief role.
Infield: 2015 first round selection Kevin Newman will be Bradenton’s shortstop this year. Kevin Kramer is projected to be the second baseman. At the corners, Connor Joe is going to play majority of third base while first base will be a likely platoon of Jerrick Suiter and Chase Simpson. Pablo Reyes should serve in a utility role. Behind the plate is Taylor Gushue.
Outfield: Jordan Luplow had a breakout season last year with the West Virginia Power. He’s currently recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, and will split his time between the outfield and third base for the Marauders once he returns. The other outfielders are Elvis Escobar, Jeff Roy, Logan Hill and Michael Suchy.