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Louisville Bats (AAA) Finalize 2015 Roster

Might we actually see some prospects in AAA this year?

With AAA Opening Day nigh, the Bats have made public their 25-man roster for the season. This team is going to look a lot different from last year's, with a mix of journeymen and top prospects set to make up the roster. Let's get to it, shall we?

CATCHERS

Tucker Barnhart (24), Chris Berset (27), Ramón Cabrera (25)

Barnhart is the starter here, a catcher with above-average Major League-ready defense, a good eye, and not a ton else. If one of Mesoraco or Pena go down for an extended period of time, expect Tucker to Drive By into Cincinnati. Berset is a journeyman who hit .187 in AA last year, while Cabrera was brought in from the Tigers organization after being named a AA All Star.

INFIELDERS

Jermaine Curtis (27), 3B; Hernán Irribarren (30), UT; Iván De Jesús, Jr. (27), 2B; Irving Falú (31), IF; Dan Johnson (35), 1B; Josh Satin (30), IF; Eugenio Suárez (23), SS

The only real prospect here is Suárez, acquired from the Tigers in the Alfredo Simon deal. Curtis is a former Cardinals farmhand, Johnson had a giant home run for Tampa on that wild final day of the season in 2011, and a bunch of mildly interesting journeymen and failed prospects.

OUTFIELDERS

Donald Lutz (26), Yorman Rodríguez (22), Steve Selsky (25), Bryson Smith (26)

Irribarren also plays some OF, so that's your 5. Yorman is by far the most interesting guy here, and let's hope he can continue to develop against the toughest pitching he's faced outside of his September call-up while playing a solid CF. Lutz will be in left, with Selsky in RF and Big Gingie Bryson taking on the 4th OF role.

ROTATION

Dylan Axelrod (29), RHP; David Holmberg (23), LHP; Michael Lorenzen (23), RHP; Jon Moscot (23), RHP; Josh Smith (27), RHP

Lorenzen, Moscot, and Holmberg are the prospects here, and in that order. Lorenzen seems to have been fast-tracked to the majors despite limited pitching experience, and the results so far have supported that. Moscot is an under-the-radar guy for those unfamiliar with the farm, but he's got solid upside. Holmberg is looking to get his act together after two underwhelming seasons.

BULLPEN

Nate Adcock (27), RHP; Chris Carpenter (29), RHP; Nick Christiani (27), RHP; Carlos Contreras (23), RHP; José De La Torre (29), RHP; Ryan Dennick (28), LHP; Donovan Hand (28), RHP; Sam LeCure (30), RHP; Pedro Villarreal (27), RHP

No, not that Chris Carpenter. A few new faces, but no one to get too excited about. Adcock was a Rangers farmhand, De La Torre stunk it up in the Brewers org last year, and Hand saw time with the Brewers in the past, but was in AAA last year. LeCure will probably (hopefully) be back in Cincinnati soon, while Contreras has the most upside by far of any of the remaining arms.

MANAGER: Delino DeShields
PITCHING COACH: Ted Power
HITTING COACH: Tony Jaramillo


SUMMARY

This team will be more exciting than last year, with a rotation that includes actual prospects instead of MiLB depth, along with a few legitimate position prospects in Rodríguez, Suárez, and, to a lesser extent, Barnhart and Lutz. There's some lightning-in-a-bottle potential to be had with some of the older minor league acquisitions, but the Reds don't seem to like giving them a shot (see Navarro, Rey last season). In any case, there's some depth here, but not a ton unless some guys have a career year. It's also interesting to note that this means Daniel Corcino and Robert Stephenson will be in AA.

If you're interested in learning a bit more about each of these guys, the Bats put out a nifty little bio on each of them, which can be found here. And for those of you who like repetition, here's the full roster.