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Yakima Bears complete 2012 roster

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By John Hadden, Yakima Bears

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have informed the Yakima Bears of the 15 position players who will be on the opening day roster in 2012.

Returning players include Jae Yun Kim and Steve Rodriguez behind the plate, NWL All-Star infielder Jimmy Comerota, and outfielders Kerry Jenkins and Henry Zabala.

The highest draft pick coming to the Bears from the 2012 MLB draft is 5th rounder Ronnie Freeman, who is a catcher out of Kennesaw State. Other newly drafted players include infielders Mark Ginther (24th round, Oklahoma State), Jacob House (20th round, Texas A&M), Adam McConnell (29th round, Richmond), and Kevin Medrano (18th round, Missouri State). The outfielders from the 2012 draft are Shuan Cooper (12th round, Utah), Yogey Perez-Ramos (17th round, Miami Dade CC), and Danny Poma (10th round, Hofstra).

There are two players who will see their first stint in Yakima, but have been in the Diamondbacks system since being drafted a year ago. Shortstop Josh Parr started this season in South Bend of the Midwest League (A) after spending all of last season in Missoula of the Pioneer League (Rookie). The other player is outfielder Joe Loftus, who was drafted out of Vanderbilt last year, but did not play for a D-backs' affiliate last summer.

Eight of the incoming position players are from the 2012 MLB draft, two are from the 2011 MLB draft, and three are non-drafted free agents, including 2012 signee Shuan Cooper out of the University of Utah.

The only international position players on the roster are returning Bears' players Jae Yun Kim (South Korea) and Henry Zabala (Dominican Republic).

In addition to the 15 players mentioned above, the Bears have been informed by the D-backs that catcher Zach Jones will start the season on the Bear's disabled list. Last year Jones suffered a knee injury while playing for the Bears in his first professional season after a collision at home plate. That means the Bears have 30 active players and 31 total players on the roster for opening day. The roster includes 11 right-handed pitchers, four left-handed pitchers, three catchers, six infielders, six outfielders, and the injured Zach Jones.

 

The Arizona Diamondbacks have informed the Yakima Bears of the 15 pitchers who will be on the opening day roster in 2012.

Two of the pitchers on the roster pitched with the Bears last season: Victor Acosta and Alex Capaul. Acosta joined the team late in the season and went 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in nine relief appearances. Capaul, a native of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, went 2-3 with a 3.07 ERA and only 10 walks in 75 innings over 16 appearances while bouncing between the bullpen and starting rotation.

Right-handed pitcher Miguel Pena and lefty Cody Wheeler return to Yakima having pitched for the Bears in 2010, but not taking the field last summer. Enrique Burgos also pitched with the Bears in 2010, but spent last season with Missoula (Rookie) and South Bend (A).

Of the newcomers to Yakima, five are from this year's MLB draft, including 9th round pick Jeff Gibbs out of the University of Maine. The others include Derrick Stultz (14th round, South Florida), Blake Forslund (15th round, Liberty), RJ Hively (19th round, Mississippi), and Daniel Watts (32nd round, Jacksonville State). Hively has a Washington connection, as his father, Rick, played football at Washington State.

While Gibbs is the highest pick from this year's draft, Cody Wheeler (5th round in 2010) is the highest overall pitching selection coming to the Bears. Seven of the pitchers on the staff were drafted and the other eight were signed as non-drafted free agents, with only Kaleb Fleck being an undrafted college pitcher. There are seven pitchers from the United States, five from the Dominican Republic, and one each from Panama, Cuba, and Canada. Four of the hurlers are lefties: Alexander Carreras, Jose Jose, Daniel Watts, and Cody Wheeler.

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