JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Just one day before their season opener the Jacksonville Suns announced their roster for the 2016 season. The Suns will take the field for the first time on Thursday at 7:05 against the Birmingham Barons. There will be a lot of familiar faces returning this season, with 12 of the 25 players on the roster having spent time in Jacksonville before.
The 2016 roster is highlighted by a starting rotation that includes three of the Miami Marlins top prospects. No. 3 prospect and left-handed pitcher Jarlin Garcia returns for his second year in a Suns uniform after going 1-3 with a 4.91 ERA in seven starts with the Suns a season ago. No. 13 prospect and right-handed pitcher Jake Esch will be Jacksonville’s Opening Night starter, after he turned in a 2015 that earned him Southern League Midseason All-Star recognition, going 6-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 15 starts for the Suns last year. No. 14 prospect right-hander Austin Brice improved as 2015 went along, going 4-3 with a 4.14 ERA in 12 starts during the second half of the season.
There will also be a local that will pay a prominent role on the Suns this season. Marlins No. 23 prospect Avery Romero is a St. Augustine native and a product of Pedro Menendez High School. He will play second base and No. 22 prospect J.T. Riddle will return to the team and play shortstop.
The Suns will once again be led by manager David Berg, who returns for his second season as Jacksonville’s skipper.