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Tentative Opening Day Roster Released
The Daytona Cubs have announced the tentative 2013 Opening Day Roster. Daytona welcomes back 12 players from the 2012 roster (six pitchers, six position players) and boasts 2011 first round draft pick (ninth overall) Javier Baez, outfielder Jorge Soler who was signed by Chicago to a nine-year major league contract in June of 2012, and four players who were drafted in the third round of the MLB Draft.
04/01/2013 1:57 PM ET
 

Daytona Beach, FL - The Daytona Cubs Organization has announced its tentative 2013 Opening Day roster. With an entirely new coaching staff at the helm for the second consecutive year, Daytona welcomes back 12 players from the 2012 roster (six pitchers, six position players) and boasts 2011 first round draft pick (ninth overall) Javier Baez, outfielder Jorge Soler who was signed by Chicago to a nine-year major league contract in June of 2012, and four players who were drafted in the third round of the MLB Draft (RHP Zach Cates (SD - '10), LHP Austin Kirk  ('09), INF/OF Zeke DeVoss ('11), C Micah Gibbs ('10)). The roster consists of 13 pitchers (10 RHP, three LHP), three catchers, six infielders and three outfielders.

Soler, 21, enters his first full professional season after signing the nine-year major league contract with the Cubs on 6/30/12. Soler played for the Cuban National Team this off-season and is recognized as the third-best prospect in the Cubs organization heading into the 2013 season by Baseball America. Soler batted .299 (40-for-134) with seven doubles, five home runs, and 25 RBIs in 34 games between Mesa-R and Peoria-A last year.

The Cubs return OF John Andreoli who led the Florida State League in stolen bases (55) and walks (75) in 2012, and was named a Florida State League End-of-the-Season All-Star. Expected to patrol center field, Andreoli looks up at fellow center fielders Matt Szczur and Jae-Hoon Ha who are expected to start the season in Tennessee-AA and Iowa-AAA respectively.

Andreoli is not the only 2012 Daytona Cubs All-Star to return to Florida to start the 2013 season. Kirk, who went 7-3 with a 3.13 ERA over 21 starts and 22 appearances for Daytona last season, started the All-Star game in Charlotte. Kirk was promoted to Tennessee-AA in July and went 2-0 with a 3.09 ERA in four starts and five appearances.

Within the organization, Daytona welcomes four standout players from the 2012 Peoria-A Chiefs / Boise-A Hawks squads: INF Stephen Bruno led the Northwest League in hitting (.361, 91-252) for the Hawks, and held a 22-game hitting streak . DeVoss led the Midwest League in walks (88) and finished third with 88 runs scored and fourth with a .382 on-base percentage. The Mims, FL resident was named a Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star. INF Dustin Geiger tied a Peoria Chiefs single-game record when he drove in eight runs on 8/1/12 at Quad Cities. Geiger blasted 17 home runs in 75 games last season.  INF Tim Saunders, who split time between Mesa-R, Peoria-A, & Daytona last season, hit .381 (74-194) between the three stops, never hitting lower than .310 for any team (Peoria). 

Three players on the roster have experience beyond Advanced-A ball. Kirk and catcher Chad Noble both spent time in Tennessee-AA last season, and RHP Ryan Searle, who will be pitching in Daytona for the fifth different season, made two appearances for Iowa-AAA in 2012.

The 2013 Daytona Cubs will also feature a Stetson University graduate in INF Ben Carhart. Carhart was selected by the Cubs in the in 35th round of the 2012 draft, and hit .353 (48-136) with one home run and 21 RBIs in 35 games for Mesa-R. Stetson University is located in Deland, FL about 20 miles west of Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Carhart played at Jackie Robinson Ballpark when the Hatters took on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats.  

The 2013 Daytona Cubs will be led by Field Manager Dave Keller who begins his 11th season within the Cubs organization, and first as manager. Keller takes over for Brian Harper who will serve as the Iowa-AAA Cubs Hitting Coach this season. He'll be joined by Pitching Coach Storm Davis who debuts in the Cubs Organization after serving the same role for the Hickory-A Crawdads of the Texas Rangers system. Davis replaces Marty Mason who is now the Pitching Coach for the Rochester-AAA Redwings (Twins). Hitting Coach Mariano Duncan, who spent 2010 & 2011 as the Hitting Coach for Tennessee-AA, flip flops with Desi Wilson who will join the newly-named Tennessee Browns and Pete Fagan will return for his third year as the team's Trainer. 

Daytona will play its annual exhibition game against Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Wednesday, April 3rd, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 P.M. The seven-inning game will be a "Thirsty-Wednesday" featuring $1 small sodas and draft beers. The Cubs will open the Regular Season on Thursday, April 4th at Jackie Robinson Ballpark against the Brevard County Manatees at 7:05 P.M presented by Wendy's. Gates open at 5:30 P.M. and the night will feature Cubby landing on the field in a helicopter delivering the game ball, and a post-game fireworks extravaganza.  

2013 Daytona Cubs Unofficial Roster

 

Pitchers

RHP Yeiper Castillo

RHP Zach Cates

LHP Frank Del Valle

RHP Eduardo Figueroa

RHP P.J. Francescon

LHP Austin Kirk

RHP Luis Liria

LHP Sheldon McDonald

RHP Starlin Peralta

RHP Austin Reed

RHP Ryan Searle

RHP Yao-Lin Wang

RHP Ben Wells

 

Catchers

Taylor Davis (R)

Micah Gibbs (R)

Chad Noble (R)

 

Infielders

Javier Baez (R)

Stephen Bruno (R)

Ben Carhart (R)

Zeke DeVoss (S)

Dustin Geiger (R)

Tim Saunders (R)

 

Outfielders

John Andreoli (R)

Taiwan Easterling (R)

Jorge Soler (R)

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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