Davis returns to Boise (STAFF PHOTO/PAM DAVIS)
BOISE, ID - With just five days before the kick-off of the 2010 season, the Chicago Cubs have announced an initial roster of 26 players to make up the 2010 Boise Hawks - including 12 players who are returning to the Treasure Valley.
While the roster is complete, there are likely to be some changes before the Hawks Opening Day, and even more likely the first two weeks of the season.
The roster includes 15 pitchers, two catchers, five infielders, and four outfielders – with 24 of the 26 players joining the team from Extended Spring Training in Mesa, Ariz. They will be joined by new Hawks skipper,Jody Davis and pitching coach Jeff Fassero. Ricardo Medina returns as hitting coach for his third-year in Boise.
The pitching staff will be anchored by eight players who will be returning to Memorial Stadium. Left-hander Austin Kirk, the Cubs 2009 third-round pick who made two appearances with the Hawks late last season, will be joined by right-handers Tarlandus Mitchell, Danny Keefe, Corey Martin, and Andres Quezada – all who spent part of 2009 in Boise. Also returning is Chris Huseby, who played for the Hawks in 2007; Marcus Hatley, who played in Boise in 2008; and Alvaro Sosa, a catcher for the 2009 Hawks returning as a pitcher.
Newcomers to watch include left-handers John Mincone and Marcos Perez, along with right-handers Juan Yasser Serrano, a free agent out of Cuba, and Yao-Lin Wang of Taiwan.
Richard Jones and George Matheus return to the Hawks in 2010 – with both beginning the season at Class-A Peoria. Jones, a catcher in 2009, will play both first base and the outfield, while Matheus will play third base. 2009 fifth-round pick, Wes Darvill and speedy Arismendy Alcantara will handle the middle infield duties.
Burundi Davis returns to the outfield for the Hawks in 2010, while a pair of Latin players – Jesus Morelli and Alvaro Ramirez look to provide some pop in the line-up. Both Morelli and Ramirez opened the 2010 season at Peoria. Also breaking camp with the Hawks is 18-year-old outfielder, Kyung-Min Na of South Korea.
Catching duties will be shared by Jeff Vigurs and Jose Guevara to start the season. Vigurs is a 22nd Round pick out of Bryant University in Rhode Island, while Guevara returns to Boise for the second-straight year.
The 76-game Northwest League season will open Friday with a three-game series at Yakima, before the home opener on Monday against Salem-Keizer.
The Hawks began Northwest League play as an independent club from 1987-89. The team was affiliated with the Angels from 1990-2000 and has been with the Chicago Cubs since 2001. The Hawks are preparing for their 24th season of Northwest League play. The club has won six NWL Championships, the most recent banner coming in 2004.
Juan Yasser Serrano