Dragons Announce 2015 Roster; Reds Top-10 Prospect Aquino Coming to Dayton; Five Reds Top-30 Prospects & Former Dragons All-Star on Roster

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Dragons Announce 2015 Roster

Reds Top-10 Prospect Aquino Coming to Dayton

Five Reds Top-30 Prospects & Former Dragons All-Star on Roster

 

DAYTON, OH – The Dayton Dragons announced their 2015 team roster today, as assigned by the Cincinnati Reds.  The current roster includes 26 players.  One roster move will be made prior to the Dragons Midwest League season-opener on Thursday at West Michigan to get the Dragons to the Midwest League limit of 25.

 

Blue-chip prospect Aristides Aquino, a right fielder, headlines the Dragons roster.  Aquino has been rated as high as the #3 prospect in the Reds organization by some services.  Baseball America rates Aquino as the Reds #9 overall prospect and #2 outfield prospect (behind former Dragon Jesse Winker).  Aquino led the Reds Rookie-level affiliate, the Billings Mustangs, to the Pioneer League championship in 2014.  He finished first in the league in extra base hits, runs batted in, doubles, and total bases, and second in the circuit in home runs, slugging percentage, and stolen bases.  In 71 games, he hit .292 with 16 home runs and 64 RBI.

 

Four other players who are rated as Reds top-30 prospects by Baseball America are on the Dragons roster.  They include corner infielder Gavin LaValley (#17 prospect), starting pitcher Wyatt Strahan (#23 prospect), starting pitcher Tyler Mahle (#26 prospect), and relief pitcher Jeremy Kivel (#29 prospect).

 

LaValley was drafted by the Reds in the fourth round in 2014 after a record-breaking high school career in Oklahoma.  He led his high school team to three straight state championships, batting a combined .516 with 54 home runs in 121 career high school games.  He was also an all-state offensive lineman as a football player.

 

Strahan was a First Team All-PAC 12 selection at the University of Southern California and, along with Mahle, should anchor the Dragons starting rotation.  Kivel is a flame-throwing relief pitcher whose fastball has reached 100 mph at the pro level.

 

The Dragons roster also includes former Midwest League All-Star Alejandro Chacin, a relief pitcher who returns for his third season with the Dragons.  Chacin has 29 saves over his Dragons career, tied for second most in franchise history.  He posted a 2.34 ERA with 20 saves for the Dragons in 2014 and was the Reds Minor League Pitcher of the Month in July.  Left-handed reliever Nolan Becker, who posted a 2.17 ERA out of the 2014 Dragons bullpen, is also a key returning player.

 

The Dragons roster includes 14 players who move up from the Billings team that won the Pioneer League title in 2014.  Among the former Mustangs coming to Dayton is left-handed relief pitcher Brennan Bernardino, who was the top bullpen man in that league last summer.  Bernardino allowed just three earned runs all season over 22 outings, posting a 1.01 earned run average.

 

Starting pitcher Seth Varner, a native of Batavia, Ohio and former star at Miami University in Oxford, is also part of the Dragons roster.  Varner was the Mid American Conference Pitcher of the Year at Miami in 2014.  At Clermont Northeastern High School, he was selected as the Cincinnati Enquirer Division II Player of the Year.

 

The Dragons opening night roster includes six players who have previously played in Dayton.  Chacin is back from the 2013 and ’14 Dragons.  Also returning from the 2014 Dragons are catchers Jose Ortiz and Julio Morillo, infielders Ronald Bueno and Avain Rachal, and relief pitcher Nolan Becker.

 

For the third straight year, the Dragons roster includes a player from a College World Series championship club.  Jake Ehret, a member of the 2013 national champion UCLA Bruins, will pitch out of the Dayton bullpen.  The 2014 Dragons roster featured Zack Weiss, the set-up man out of the UCLA 2013 bullpen.  The 2013 Dragons featured third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean, a star with the 2012 national champion University of Arizona team.

 

Other notable members of the 2015 Dragons will be left fielder Jimmy Pickens, a First Team All Big Ten selection at Michigan State in 2014; catcher Garrett Boulware, former MVP for a Clemson University team that went to the NCAA Regional; outfielder Narciso Crook, who hit four home runs in one game while leading his school to the 2013 Junior College World Series title; first baseman/outfielder Brian O’Grady, a former star at Rutgers University; and slick-fielding shortstop Luis Gonzalez.  Both O’Grady and Gonzalez saw extensive playing time with the Reds in Major League spring training games last month.

 

The Dragons roster includes the Reds third round draft picks from both 2013 (starting pitcher Mark Armstong) and 2014 (Strahan) as well as fourth rounder (LaValley) and fifth rounder (starting pitcher Tejay Antone) from 2014.

 

The 2015 Dragons will be led by manager Jose Nieves, pitching coach Tom Browning, hitting coach Luis Bolivar, and catching coach Corky Miller.

 

Dayton Dragons 2015 Roster

 

Catchers:  Garrett Boulware, Julio Morillo, Jose Ortiz.

Infielders:   Brian O’Grady (1B/CF), Ty Washington (2B), Luis Gonzalez (SS), Gavin LaValley (1B/3B), Avain Rachal (1B/2B), Ronald Bueno (utility), Wendell Soto (2B/SS).

Outfielders:  Aristides Aquino, Jimmy Pickens, Narciso Crook.

Starting Pitchers:  Wyatt Strahan, Tyler Mahle, Tejay Antone, Seth Varner, Mark Armstrong.

Relief Pitchers:  Alejandro Chacin, Nolan Becker, Brennan Bernardino, Jake Ehret, Brian Hunter, Jeremy Kivel, Conor Krauss, Jake Paulson.

 

The Dragons open the 2015 season on Thursday, April 9 in Grand Rapids, Michigan against the West Michigan Whitecaps at 6:35 p.m. Opening Day at Fifth Third Field is Sunday, April 12 when the Dragons host the South Bend Cubs at 4:00 p.m.  Call (937) 228-2287 for ticket information.

 

###

 

Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Team

Web: daytondragons.com

DRAGONSBASEBALL

 

DAYTON DRAGONS 2015 ROSTER

CLASS-A AFFILIATE OF THE CINCINNATI

April 6, 2015

No. Pitchers (13) B T Ht Wt Resides Birthdate 2014 Club(s) College Acquired

25

Antone, Tejay

R

R

6’4″

220

Mansfield, TX

12/ 05/ 93

AZL Reds/ Billings

Weatherford Col. (TX)

5th/ 2014

16

Armstrong, Mark

R

R

6’3″

209

Clarence Center, NY

11/ 26/ 94

AZL Reds

None

3rd/ 2013

40

Becker, Nolan

R

L

6’6”

240

New York, NY

06/ 13/ 91

Dayton

Yale

11th/ 2012

28

Bernardino, Brennan

L

L

6’4″

180

Valencia, CA

01/ 15/ 92

Billings

Cal State-Dominguez Hills

26th/ 2014

10

Chacin, Alejandro

R

R

6’0″

204

Maracay, Aragua, VZ

06/ 24/ 93

Dayton

None

Int. FA/ 2010

33

Ehret, Jake

R

R

6’3″

205

San Dimas, CA

03/ 18/ 93

AZL Reds

UCLA

14th/ 2014

20

Hunter, Brian

R

R

6’3”

205

Port Jefferson Station, NY

07/ 16/ 93

Billings

Hartford

9th/ 2014

34

Kivel, Jeremy

R

R

6’1″

200

Spring, TX

10/ 16/ 93

Billings

None

10th/ 2012

23

Krauss, Conor

R

R

6’5″

205

Randolph, NJ

06/ 14/ 93

AZL Reds/ Billings

Seton Hall

20th/ 2014

35

Mahle, Tyler

R

R

6’3″

193

Westminster, CA

09/ 29/ 94

Billings

None

7th/ 2013

17

Paulson, Jake

R

R

6’7″

210

Wixom, MI

02/ 17/ 92

AZL Reds

Oakland (MI)

27th/ 2014

24

Strahan, Wyatt

R

R

6’3″

215

Villa Park, CA

04/ 18/ 93

Billings

USC

3rd/ 2014

26

Varner, Seth

L

L

6’3″

225

Batavia, OH

01/ 27/ 92

Billings

Miami (OH)

10th/ 2014

No.

Catchers (3)

B

T

Ht

Wt

Resides

Birthdate

2014 Club(s)

College

Acquired

30

Boulware, Garrett

R

R

6’1″

190

Anderson, SC

09/ 09/ 92

Billings

Clemson

16th/ 2014

3

Morillo, Julio

R

R

5’10”

193

Barinas, Tachira, VZ

12/ 27/ 92

Dayton/ Bakersfield

None

Int. FA/ 2009

13

Ortiz, Jose

R

R

5’11”

209

Comerio, PR

06/ 11/ 94

Dayton

None

17th/ 2012

No.

Infielders (6)

B

T

Ht

Wt

Resides

Birthdate

2014 Club(s)

College

Acquired

4

Bueno, Ronald

S

R

5’10”

160

Santiago Rodriguez, DR

10/ 04/ 92

Dayton

None

Int. FA/ 2009

2

Gonzalez, Luis

R

R

6’0″

181

Esperanza, Valverde, DR

07/ 28/ 94

AZL Reds

None

Int. FA/ 2012

29

LaValley, Gavin

R

R

6’3”

215

Choctaw, OK

12/ 28/ 94

Billings/ AZL Reds

None

4th/ 2014

22

Rachal, Avain

R

R

5’11”

200

Cypress, TX

02/ 11/ 94

Dayton

None

22nd/ 2012

5

Soto, Wendell

S

R

5’8″

150

Sarasota, FL

01/ 09/ 92

Orem (Angels)

None

MiLB FA/ 2015

12

Washington, Ty

R

R

5’9″

174

Richardson, TX

09/ 01/ 93

Billings

None

43rd/ 2011

No.

Outfielders (4)

B

T

Ht

Wt

Resides

Birthdate

2014 Club(s)

College

Acquired

27

Aquino, Aristides

R

R

6’4″

208

Santo Domingo, DR

04/ 22/ 94

Billings

None

Int. FA/ 2011

36

Crook, Narciso

R

R

6’3″

220

Trenton, NJ

07/ 12/ 95

AZL Reds

Gloucester County Coll.

23rd/ 2013

21

O’Grady, Brian

L

R

6’2″

210

Warminster, PA

05/ 17/ 92

Billings

Rutgers

8th/ 2014

9

Pickens, Jimmy

L

R

6’2″

210

West Bloomfield, MI

03/ 18/ 92

Billings

Michigan State

15th/ 2014

* Disabled List

Pronunciation: Chacin: chah-SEEN;

15 • Jose Nieves- Manager 32 • Tom Browning – Pitching Coach 14 • Luis Bolivar – Hitting Coach 37 • Corky Miller – Catching Coach

 

Andrew Cleves – Athletic Trainer Nate Tamargo – Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Michael Murphy- Clubhouse Manager

 

Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball

 

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