JAMESTOWN, N.Y. - Several players will be donning the purple and green for a second summer after the Jamestown Jammers announced their initial roster for the 2011 season.
The Jammers have ten players that previously called Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park home to go along with five picks from last week's MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Starting pitcher Joshua Hodges will return to Jamestown for his third season with the team after spending part of 2009 and all of 2010 with the Jammers. In 12 starts last year, the 6-7 righty was 3-3 with a 6.04 ERA. He'll be joined by several familiar faces as five other pitchers previously played in the New York-Penn League including reliever Kenneth Toves. In his first professional season, the New Mexico product went 4-2 with a 3.61 ERA in 24 appearances. He made one appearance with Jupiter before coming back to Jamestown.
Stephen Richards is the only other left-handed pitcher besides Toves on the team. The Arkansas alum finished with a 0-1 record and 3.14 ERA in 10 games in 2009 before sitting out last year.
Two other pitchers from the 2009 staff are also on the team in Blake Brewer and Curtis Petersen. Brewer went 0-3 in his time with the purple and green before missing almost all of last season, while Petersen made 15 starts to compile a 3-5 record and 4.29 ERA. The Aubrey, Texas native spent 2010 with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic League.
Albaro Estevez is also back for his second season in Chautauqua County. The righthanded pitcher finished last year with the team before getting promoted to Jupiter to start 2011. In four appearances with the Hammerheads, the 22-year-old reliever was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA. The five returning pitchers with be joined by two 2011 selections in Charles Wier (21st round) and Matthew Neil (29th round). After making the transition from outfielder to reliever, Wier showed great potential with a 3-1 record, 1 save and a 3.06 ERA out of the pen for the Lumberjacks. Neil was a second-team All Mountain West Conference selection after going 6-4 with a 2.42 ERA as a senior.
The rest of the pitching staff has previous minor league experience. Thomas Peale and Alfredo Buret come to Jamestown from Jupiter, while Tyler Topp got promoted from the Gulf Coast League, and Jose Urena and Helpi Reyes were added from the Dominican Summer League.
While the pitching staff has several familiar faces, outfielder Rand Smith and shortstop Alfredo Lopez are the only healthy returning position players. Smith hit .305 in 30 games for the Jammers back in 2009, while Lopez spent time with the GCL Marlins, Jammers and Jupiter Hammerheads last year.
Infielders Aaron Senne and Todd Muecklisch are also back in town from last year's roster; however, they will both start the season on the disabled list. Senne, a first baseman, batted .296 with 29 RBI in 60 games for the Jammers in 2010, while the shortstop Muecklisch played in 18 games with the Jammers before suffering a season-ending injury.
After getting off the disabled list, they'll be joined on the infield by 26th-round selection Ryan Goetz. The switch hitting third baseman hit .318 with two homers and 27 RBI for UC Riverside. First baseman Viosergy Rosa will man the other corner infield position. The 6-3, 185-pound lefty batted .202 for the GCL Marlins in 2010.
The middle infield will be hotly contested with a pair of shortstops competing with Lopez for time at second and short. Rony Peralta and Yefri Perez were both promoted from the Gulf Coast League. Peralta batted .262 in the Rookie League, and Perez hit .290 in 30 games.
Utility infielder Terrence Dayleg rounds out the infield for the Jammers. The 2009 22nd-round pick split time with Greensboro and Jupiter in 2010 to finish the year batting .238.
In addition to Smith, the outfield will be composed of 12th-round selection Ryan McIntyre, Marquise Cooper and Nestor Castillo.
McIntyre led Cal State Bakersfield with 41 runs scored, six triples and 14 stolen bases.
The former Roadrunner is the highest 2011 selection on the opening roster for the Jammers.
Cooper is another guy with impressive speed numbers. He swiped 13 bags in 43 games for the GCL Marlins in 2010 before getting called up to Jupiter. Castillo briefly played with Cooper last year, and the Santo Domingo native batted .346 with 23 RBI in just 38 games for the GCL Marlins.
The final draft pick on the Jamestown roster is catcher Jose Behar. The 30th-round pick from Florida International hit .330 to help lead the Panthers to the NCAA Tournament. He'll split time behind the plate with Jobduan Morales and Eddie Rodriguez. Morales hit .333 for Greensboro in three games earlier this year, and Rodriguez hit .200 for Jupiter last year.
The team will hold practice the next couple of days before breaking camp and opening the season at Mahoning Valley at 7:05 p.m. Friday night. After a three-game series with the Scrappers, the team will open up at home on June 20 at 7:05 p.m. against State College.