4/2 Class A Kane County
The Class A Kane County Cougars announced their preliminary Opening Day roster. The Cougars and manager Mark Johnson open the season Thursday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark against the Quad Cities River Bandits. The infield includes first baseman Dan Vogelbach, the Cubs’ second round pick in 2011. Vogelbach is ranked No. 11 on MLB.com’s list of top 20 Cubs prospects, and batted .322 with 17 home runs in 61 games between Mesa and Boise last season. Third baseman Jeimer Candelario was the youngest regular in the Northwest League last season and batted .281 with six home runs and 47 RBIs for Boise as an 18-year-old. Middle infielder Gioskar Amaya led the Northwest League with 12 triples last season and topped NWL second basemen with a .968 fielding percentage. Marco Hernandez split last season between Class-A Peoria and Boise, batting .286 in 67 games with Boise.
The Cougars’ pitching will feature right-hander Pierce Johnson, the 43rd overall selection in last June’s Draft. He’ll be joined by Jose Arias, South African native Tayler Scott, and last year’s Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo. Pitchers Michael Heesch and Nathan Dorris are on the preliminary roster, which means the Cougars will have at least one Illinois-born player for each of the past five Opening Day rosters. Heesch was born in Crystal Lake and graduated from Prairie Ridge High School. Dorris is from Carbondale and attended Southern Illinois University.
You can follow the Cougars at: http://www.kccougars.com.