FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The 2016 TinCaps got their first taste of Parkview Field on Monday as the team arrived at 1 p.m. for media day.
The TinCaps are heavily stocked with prospects this year. According to MLB.com, nine of the Padres top 30 prospects will start the season in Fort Wayne.
Shortstop Ruddy Giron is the highest-rated player, coming in at fourth on MLB.com’s list of Padres prospects. It will be Giron’s second season in the Summit City. Last year as an 18-year old he hit .285 in 96 games with nine home runs and 15 stolen bases.
The pitching staff is young but talented. 6-foot-4 right hander Austin Smith is San Diego’s eighth-ranked prospect. He was the Padres’ first pick in last summer’s draft (51st overall) and can touch 96 miles per hour on the radar gun.
6-foot-3 lefty Logan Allen is San Diego’s no. 9 prospect. The 18-year old was drafted by the Red Sox in the eighth round last year out of high school but was traded to the Padres in November as part of the Craig Kimbrel deal.
6-foot-4 righty Jacob Nix is the 10th-best prospect in the farm system. He was a third round selection in last year’s draft.
Including Giron only six players on this year’s roster have previously played in Fort Wayne – a low number compared to year’s past. However, Giron and Michael Gettys (11th-best prospect in the farm system) will be counted on to lead the team. Gettys, a second-rounder in 2014, hit .231 with 6 home runs and 44 RBI last summer for the TinCaps.
Meanwhile, manager Anthony Contreras isn’t that far removed from his playing days in Fort Wayne. Contreras, just 32 years old, played for the Fort Wayne Wizards in 2008.
The TinCaps open the season Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at Lake County. Walker Lockett will get the opening night starts for the TinCaps.
Fort Wayne’s first home game is set for Saturday against Lake County at 6:05 p.m.