FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne TinCaps’ opening day roster features a core of young,
athletic prospects and talented college products. Five 19-year-olds tackle the Midwest League to
open 2010 while slugging 1B Nate Freiman and RHP Dexter Carter provide experienced
leadership as former college standouts.
“On paper, this group looks like a nice group of young, high-ceiling players and guys who have
performed at the professional level,” TinCaps president Mike Nutter said. “We might see some
spectacular plays we’ve never seen in Fort Wayne before.”
Freiman, a 6-foot-8 first baseman, was the Padres’ 8th-round selection out of Duke University last
season. He blasted 11 home runs for the short-season Eugene Emeralds and led the Northwest
League in RBI and extra-base hits. Freiman, Jon Alia (Cal State-Dominguez Hills) and Dean Anna
(Ball State) are joined by three youngsters on the TinCaps’ infield: 20-year-old Jeudy Valdez and
19-year-olds Jonathan Galvez and Edinson Rincon. Valdez opened last season in Fort Wayne
but missed most of the season with a wrist injury. Galvez hit .295 in the Arizona Rookie League
last year while Rincon hit .300 and was among the Northwest League leaders in RBI, runs scored,
walks, on-base percentage and extra-base hits. Rincon is rated as the No. 9 prospect in the San
Diego organization by Baseball America.
The youth movement is evident in the outfield with 19-year-old Everett Williams and 18-year-old
Rymer Liriano. Williams passed up a commitment to the University of Texas after being drafted
out of high school in the 2nd round of last year’s draft. He is the Padres’ No. 8 prospect according to
Baseball America. Liriano burst onto the scene in the Arizona Rookie League last year, batting .350
to lead the organization and earn All-Star honors. Wande Olabisi (Stanford) and Bo Davis
(Southern Miss) round out the outfield, bringing college seasoning and blazing speed to the table.
Catcher Griffin Benedict, another Southern Miss product, teams with former Miami Hurricane
Jason Hagerty as the TinCaps’ catching corps. Benedict is the son of former National League All-
Star catcher Bruce Benedict and Hagerty was the Padres’ 5th-round draft selection last year.
The TinCaps’ opening-day pitching staff could be anchored by RHP Jerry Sullivan, a three-year
star at Oral Roberts University, and RHP Dexter Carter, a key piece in the trade that sent RHP
Jake Peavy to the White Sox in exchange for a four-player package. Carter was leading the Class-
A South Atlantic League in strikeouts at the time of the trade. LHPs Nick Greenwood, Mike Watt
and Rob Musgrave return after helping the TinCaps in their playoff run last year.
Intriguing backgrounds abound on the pitching side. LHP Juan Oramas went 9-1 with a 2.31 ERA
last year while on loan in the Mexican League as a 19-year-old. Two Australians, RHPs Hayden
Beard and John Hussey, also figure to chip in. Beard came to the Padres from the Mets in the
minor-league phase of the Rule 5 draft; he pitched for the South Australia Bite in his native
country’s Claxton Shield tournament this winter. Hussey briefly pitched in Fort Wayne in 2007 but
missed 2008 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Manager Jose Flores makes his full-season managerial debut in 2010. He managed eleven players
on the TinCaps’ opening-day roster during his two-year tenure in the Arizona Rookie League.
Pitching coach Bronswell Patrick comes to Fort Wayne after an assignment with short-season
Eugene last year. Hitting coach Tom Tornincasa, a Crown Point native, returns for his eighth
season in Fort Wayne. Athletic trainer Nate Stewart and strength and conditioning coach Nick
Santabarbara complete the field staff.
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