A’s Top Prospects, All-PCL Returnee Joey Wendle & Nashville Native Highlight 2016 Club
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Nashville Sounds Baseball Club has announced its tentative Opening Day roster for the 2016 season. The Sounds begin Pacific Coast League play on Thursday, April 7 when they welcome the Oklahoma City Dodgers to First Tennessee Park.
Eight players listed among Oakland’s top-20 prospects (according to Baseball America) will begin the season in Music City. They include: LHP Sean Manaea (No. 2), INF Renato Nunez (No. 4), OF Matt Olson (No. 6), INF Chad Pinder (No. 7), LHP Dillon Overton (No. 8), INF Max Muncy (No. 13), INF Rangel Ravelo (No. 15) and Joey Wendle (No. 17).
Led by Wendle, eight players who donned a Sounds uniform in 2015 will open the 2016 season on Nashville’s 25-man roster. The 25-year-old second baseman was named to the All-PCL team last year after he clubbed a franchise-record 42 doubles.
Manaea, 24, was acquired by the Athletics last July in a deadline trade that sent Ben Zobrist to Kansas City. In 14 starts last season, the Indiana native went 7-1 with a 2.66 ERA. Following the season, the southpaw pitched in the Arizona Fall League where he was named to the AFL All-Prospect Team and took part in the Rising Stars Game.
Nunez, 22, and Olson, 22, have played together since 2013, climbing through the A’s minor league system. Combined, the two have hit 143 home runs over the last three seasons. Last year, Nunez played in the MLB Futures Game and was named a Texas League mid-season All-Star. Olson, a one-time Vanderbilt commit, also played in the Futures Game and was named a Texas League mid-season All-Star.
Pinder, 24, was the Texas League Player of the Year in 2015 after he hit .317 with 86 RBI, 72 runs, 32 doubles and 15 home runs with Double-A Midland. The shortstop was drafted by Oakland in the Competitive Balance Round B (71st overall) out of Virginia Tech University in 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Overton, 24, went 7-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 27 games, including 25 starts, with Advanced-A Stockton and Midland in 2015. The left-hander was drafted by the A’s in the second round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Oklahoma.
Muncy, 25, and Ravelo, 23, spent time with the Sounds in 2015. Muncy hit .274 in 60 games with Nashville and Ravelo hit .304 across three levels after recovering from wrist surgery.
Nashville native and Montgomery Bell Academy graduate (‘07) Andrew Triggs will be a member of the Sounds’ bullpen. In 43 games with Double-A Bowie last year, the right-hander had a miniscule 1.03 ERA and converted a perfect 17 of 17 save opportunities.
Other positions players include catchers Bruce Maxwell and Matt McBride. McBride was named a 2015 PCL mid-season All-Star while the 25-year-old Maxwell gets his first shot at the Triple-A level.
Those who played in Nashville last season and are on this year’s season-opening roster include: C Bryan Anderson, RHP Angel Castro, INF/OF Tyler Ladendorf, Muncy, RHP Zach Neal, Ravelo, OF Jake Smolinski and Wendle.
Other pitchers on the roster include: LHP Daniel Coulombe, RHP Jesse Hahn, RHP Tucker Healy, RHP Eduard Santos, LHP Patrick Schuster, RHP Chris Smith, LHP Eric Surkamp and RHP J.B. Wendelken.
Coulombe, Hahn, Smith and Surkamp have major league experience. In 30 career games in the big leagues, Hahn is 13-10 with a 3.23 ERA. Smith is second on the Sounds’ all-time saves list with 43 from when he pitched in Nashville in 2009 and 2010.
The Sounds will be led by Manager Steve Scarsone for the second consecutive season. He enters his eighth season in the Oakland organization and fourth consecutive campaign as manager of the club’s top affiliate.
His coaching staff will consist of pitching coach Rick Rodriguez, hitting coach Eric Martins, trainer Brad LaRosa and strength and conditioning coach AJ Seeliger. LaRosa joins Scarsone as the only returning member from the 2015 coaching staff.
The 2016 season is the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate.