by Spokane Indians
The Texas Rangers assigned 29 players to Spokane today for the start of the Northwest League season which opens Friday, June 15th at Avista Stadium. Highlighting the roster is Gonzaga University outfielder Royce Bolinger and four other players selected in the first 10 rounds of this year's MLB First-Year Player Draft.
The Indians will receive a total of 11 players from the 2012 draft, including strikeout artist Alec Asher from Polk State College, University of Texas-Arlington outfielder Preston Beck, and slick fielding second baseman Cam Schiller from Oral Roberts University.
Additional 2012 draft picks reporting to Spokane include pitchers Joseph Burns, Coby Cowgill, Ryan Harvey, Cody Kendall, Josh McElwee, and infielders Gabriel Roa and Barrett Serrato.
Top international players assigned to the Indians this year include hard-hitting infielder Smerling Lantigua, speedy outfielder Christopher Garia, and hard-throwing pitchers Abel De Los Santos and Jose Valdespina.
Returning players from the Indians 2011 roster include Richard Alvarez, John Kukuruda, Carlos Melo, David Perez, Ryan Rua, Nick Urbanus, Nick Vickerson, and Hirotoshi Onaka.
"We are excited about this squad and look forward to competing for another Northwest League title," said manager Tim Hulett. "The players have a few days to practice and get acclimated to Spokane and then it's on to Opening Night."
Hulett returns for his sixth season as Indians manager, and will be assisted by hitting coach Oscar Bernard, pitching coach Ryan O'Malley, coach Vinny Lopez, trainer Sean Fields and strength and conditioning coach Ed Yong. Team workouts begin tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Avista Stadium and are open to the public.
Fans will have their first chance to meet the 2012 Spokane Indians during the Player Welcome Party at the MAX on Tuesday, June 12th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the MAX Restaurant inside the Mirabeau Park Hotel (1100 N. Sullivan RD).