Crosby suits up for Whitecaps, scheduled for Opening Day
The West Michigan Whitecaps, in conjunction with the Detroit Tigers, announced their 2009 Opening Day roster today. The roster features top pitching prospects as well as many familiar faces.
Eight of the 25 players on the roster spent time with the Whitecaps last season including up-and-coming prospects Brandon Douglas and Mauricio Robles. Douglas played nine games with the Whitecaps last season. He hit .328 with four home runs and 27 RBI in 68 games throughout the minors in 2008. Robles spent the entire 2008 season with West Michigan, going 5-3 with a 2.66 ERA and 79 strikeouts. Robles also had a 45.1 inning scoreless streak at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Other players returning for another stint with the Whitecaps are catchers Jordan Newton and Joe Bowen, first baseman Ronnie Bourquin, and pitchers Brandon Hamilton, Matt Hoffman and Brayan Villarreal.
Hamilton and Hoffman will help anchor a pitching staff filled with high draft picks and top prospects. 2007 fifth round pick Casey Crosby joins the Whitecaps after missing most of 2008 with Tommy John surgery. Baseball America currently ranks Crosby as the No. 4 prospect in the Tigersâ€™ system. The Whitecapsâ€™ staff also includes 2007 third round pick Luke Putkonen, 2008 sixth round pick Tyler Stohr and ninth rounder Anthony Shawler.
The Whitecaps will also welcome their first player from the Pacific Rim, outfielder Chao-Ting Tang of Taiwan. Tang spent the 2008 season with the GCL Tigers hitting .222 with a home run and 15 RBI in 38 games.
The 2009 Whitecaps baseball season begins April 9 at home against South Bend at 6:35 p.m. Season, group, and individual tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.
(courtesy of the West Michigan Whitecaps)