SPOKANE, Wash. - The Texas Rangers assigned 28 players to Spokane on Saturday for the start of the Northwest League season, which opens Friday, June 14th. The 28-man roster includes 15 pitchers and 13 position players.
Six players return to the Indians from the 2018 roster that went to the NWL Championship Series. The returners include: starting outfielder Starling Joseph (11 HR, 30 RBI), catcher and Northwest League All-Star Francisco Ventura(5 HR, 22 RBI), catcher Kevin Mendoza (.231), as well as Spokane veterans Cristian Inoa (.255, 13 RBI) and Jonah McReynolds (.223, 13 RBI).
Ten players on the 2018 roster were selected by the Texas Rangers in the 2018 MLB Draft. That list includes infielderJayce Easley (5th round), infielder Kenen Irizarry (13th round), and pitcher Theo McDowell (14th round). Easley is the son of former Major Leaguer Damion Easley. Last year, he ranked second on the AZL Rangers with 22 steals while hitting .287.
The 2019 Indians roster also includes other standouts from the 2018 AZL Rangers. First baseman Maxwell Moralesled the team in home runs and RBI. Fellow first baseman Stanley Martinez led the Rangers with a .336 average and a .413 on-base percentage. Joshua Javier and Ricky Vanasco were two of the notable pitchers for the AZL Rangers. Javier had a 3-1 record with a 2.76 ERA while striking out 45 batters. Vanasco can reach the upper 90's with his fastball and also won three of the seven games he appeared in last season.
Other notables on the roster include catcher David Garcia , who currently ranks as the Rangers #29 prospect. He started 31 games in the AZL last year and threw out 17 baserunners on 53 attempts. Former Gonzaga Bulldog Sam Hellinger returns to Spokane to make his professional debut. Hellinger last pitched for the Zags in 2017 where he was 4-3 with a 3.79 ERA in his senior season.
The Indians are expected to receive players from the 2019 MLB Draft, although their arrival time is still to be determined. Last season, Spokane received nine players from the 2018 MLB Draft.
The Texas Rangers have also officially announced who will be joining manager Kenny Hook on the Spokane Indians' 2019 Coaching Staff. Indians' 2014 assistant coach Salomon Manriquez is back in the Inland Northwest, serving as the team's hitting coach this year. The pitching coaches will be Henderson Lugo and Cody Aden. Ed Yong returns to Spokane for his eleventh season as Strength and Conditioning Coach. Athletic Trainer Dominic Alejandre will be in his first season with the Indians.
Fans will have their first chance to meet the 2019 Spokane Indians for the Player Welcome Party at the MAX at Mirabeau Park presented by 103.5 The Game on Monday, June 10th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Fans can come enjoy special prices on food, eat with an Indians players, and get pumped for another exciting year of Indians baseball.
Fans can also meet the team on Wednesday, June 12th as Avista Stadium hosts Community FanFest brought to you byAvista, 93.7 The Mountain, 103.5 The Game, KEY 101, and 94.1 The Bear. The FREE event includes a LEO's Photography Autograph Session, Player Introduction Contest, and a Home Run Derby. At the end of the event all kids are welcome onto the field to Circle the Bases courtesy of Dairy Queen. Plus, fans will receive a season schedule poster as they exit Avista Stadium courtesy of Pizza Factory.
The Indians open the season on the road, with opening day set for June 14th in Vancouver. Your first chance to see the team in action at Avista Stadium is Friday, June 21st for Opening Night Fireworks & AAA Magnet Schedule Giveawaypresented by Gus Johnson Ford, KREM 2, 93.7 The Mountain, and The Journal of Business. Tickets are still available for the home opener and games throughout the 2019 season. To get your tickets, CLICK HERE or call the Spokane Indians Ticket Office at (509) 343-OTTO (6886).
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