2017 ROSTER REVIEW: CAROLINA MUDCATS

OVERVIEW: The initial 2017 Carolina Mudcats roster is loaded with some of the Brewers top prospects and figures to get another boost in a few weeks with the addition of a healthy Corey Ray. The Opening Day squad features nine prospects ranked within the top 26 players in Milwaukee’s system based on our February rankings, including Isan Diaz (#4), Trent Clark (#6), Lucas Erceg (#10), Marcos Diplan (#12), Cody Ponce (#14), Kodi Medeiros (#19), Jake Gatewood (#24), Corbin Burnes (#25) and Freddy Peralta (#26).

PITCHERS: The Mudcats pitching staff is stacked with quality arms in both the rotation and the bullpen, led by Diplan and Ponce. Burnes, Medeiros and Peralta could all be in the mix for a starting spot, as could Eric Hanhold and Jordan Yamamoto. Nate Griep, Jon Olczak and Brad Kuntz provide Carolina with a strong back-end of the bullpen which should take some of the pressure off the team’s starting arms.

CATCHERS: Max McDowell and Mitch Ghelfi were both named to the All-Star team in the Midwest League last season with Ghelfi getting a late-season bump to Brevard County. They should see the bulk of the load behind the plate in 2017 with Cooper Hummel making the jump from Helena to serve as the team’s third backstop.

INFIELDERS: The Carolina infield should be the team’s strongest unit, at least early in the season. Led by Diaz and Erceg, the Mudcats have some big bats, as well as some impressive gloves on the infield. Erceg should get the majority of the starts at third base with Diaz and Luis Aviles continuing to rotate between second base and shortstop. Jake Gatewood will continue to see time at first base with Wes Wilson and Wendell Rijo providing quality depth at a variety o positions.

OUTFIELDERS: The Mudcats outfield is full of centerfield types, including 2015 first-rounder Trent Clark and 2014 fourth round pick Troy Stokes, Jr. Carlos Belonis moves up from Wisconsin and should see some time in right field with Brandon Diaz adding depth. As mentioned, Corey Ray, last year’s first-round pick, isn’t far behind as he wraps up his rehab in Maryvale, and should join the ballclub sooner than later.

COACHING STAFF: Joe Ayrault makes his way to Carolina as the manager of the Mudcats after spending the last five season at the helm in Brevard County. He’ll be joined once again by pitching coach Dave Chavarria as well as a pair of new faces in Edwin Maysonet and Dave Joppie.

2017 MUDCATS ROSTER

Luis Aviles (INF)
Carlos Belonis (OF)
Corbin Burnes (P)
Trent Clark (OF)
Colton Cross (P)
Brandon Diaz (OF)
Isan Diaz (2B/SS)
Marcos Diplan (P)
Lucas Erceg (3B)
Jake Gatewood (1B)
Mitch Ghelfi (C)
Nate Griep (P)
Eric Hanhold (P)
Conor Harber (P)
Cooper Hummel (C)
Brad Kuntz (P)
Max McDowell (C)
Kodi Medeiros (P)
Jon Olczak (P)
Freddy Peralta (P)
Cody Ponce (P)
Wendell Rijo (INF)
Wuilder Rodriguez (P)
Troy Stokes, Jr. (OF)
Quintin Torres-Costa (P)
Wes Wilson (INF)
Jordan Yamamoto (P)