JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, announced the Opening Day roster for the 2018 season on Tuesday morning.
The Jumbo Shrimp will kick off the 2018 campaign on the road against the Jackson Generals in Jackson, Tennessee on Thursday April 5. First pitch of that game is at 7:05 p.m. eastern time. Jacksonville will have their home opener on Wednesday April 11 at 7:05 p.m. against the Mobile BayBears.
There will be several familiar faces on this year’s roster. Nine of the 25 players on the Jumbo Shrimp roster have played in Jacksonville in the past.
“Whether it’s new faces, returning faces, collectively we’ve just got to come together,” said Jumbo Shrimp manager Randy Ready, in his second year as Jacksonville’s skipper. “I’m looking forward to it, that’s the biggest challenge for any staff; trying to get our players to improve and come together.”
The goal of everybody on that 25 man roster is one day get called up to the Marlins. Ready and the rest of his staff are prioritizing getting players ready for the big leagues more than wins and losses.
“We try to create that winning environment and try to keep things as positive as we can but also the name of the game is development,” said Ready. “This is the Double-A level and we try to get them ready for Triple-A and ultimately the major leagues. That’s the only place to play. Player development is first and winning is secondary. For me they go hand in hand and you can get both at the same time.”
Players to watch on Jumbo Shrimp 2018 roster:
RHP Cody Poteet: Poteet comes to Jacksonville after a 2017 campaign that saw him named a Florida State League Midseason All-Star and Marlins Organizational All-Star, going 3-7 with a 4.16 ERA in his 14 starts. He will also be their opening night starter.
RHP Nick Nediert: Ranked Marlins No. 5 prospect
RHP Merandy Gonzalez: Ranked Marlins No. 15 prospect
2B Isan Diaz: The native of Puerto Rico is regarded as MLB.com’s No. 9 Marlins prospect, and he was acquired by the Marlins from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Christian Yelich trade in January. Diaz was exceptional at High-A last season, being named a Carolina League Midseason All-Star for his work with the Carolina Mudcats, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 54 runs.
OF Monte Harrison: Ranked Marlins No. 2 prospect. Harrison was acquired with Diaz from the Brewers in the Christian Yelich trade in late January. Harrison is a talented athlete who led the Brewers farm system with 21 home runs last year, being named a 2017 Midwest League Midseason
OF John Norwood: Was named a Southern League Midseason All-Star in 2017 after hitting 19 home runs and driving in 62 runs for the Jumbo Shrimp.