The 2016 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
The RedHawks open up the season tonight in Laredo, Texas at 7:05 p.m. Listen Live on AM 740 the FAN or www.fmredhawks.com or video stream from http://www.americanassociationbaseball.tv/
Manager Doug Simunic has set a 21-man roster for Opening Night, with 10 pitchers and 11 position players.
Luke Bailey returns as the starting catcher for the RedHawks this season. Bailey joined the RedHawks as a free agent in early August after being released by the Laredo Lemurs. In 33 games with Fargo-Moorhead, he batted .297 with nine doubles, six home runs, 24 RBIs and 23 runs scored. Ryan Wagner will be making his professional debut in 2016. Wagner hit .303 with six doubles, one triple, four home runs in 45 games at Bacone College.
Starting at first base will be newcomer Brian Humphries who joins the RedHawks after spending 2015 with the Sioux Falls Canaries where he was one of the top offensive threats in the American Association. Humphries hit .310 with 24 doubles and 15 home runs in 98 games.
Returning for this third stint with the RedHawks is second baseman Ryan Pineda. Pineda was acquired by the RedHawks in July last year and went on to hit .272 with 31 runs scored.
With Zach Penprase retiring in the offseason, Cory Morales will have big shoes to fill at shortstop. Morales joins the RedHawks after spending the 2015 season with Sussex County where his .972 fielding percentage was tops among Can-Am League shortstops.
Perhaps the biggest off-season acquisition for the RedHawks was Josh Mazzola. Mazzola spent the last four seasons with the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Last year Mazzola batted .279 with 24 doubles, three triples, 20 home runs, 63 RBIs and 71 runs scored in 99 games. His 20 home runs was tops in the American Association.
Bryan Johns brings versatility to the RedHawks, with professional experience at SS, 2B, and 3B. Johns appeared in 12 games for the Garden State Grays of the Can-Am League in 2015 after taking the 2014 season off.
Chad Mozingo returns to the RedHawks after hitting .307 in 2015. His 34 doubles lead the American Association. Mozingo also led the RedHawks in games played, hits (tied), RBIs, walks, on-base percentage, and total bases. K.D. Kang comes to the RedHawks after spending last year with the Mississippi Braves of the Southern League (AA). Keury De La Cruz spent last season with the Portland Seadogs, the Boston Red Sox affiliate in the Eastern League (AA) where he hit .240 with 22 doubles, three triples, nine home runs. Joining them in the outfield will be Kes Carter. Carter is a former first round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays and spent five seasons in the Rays organization after being drafted out of Western Kentucky.
Three familiar faces highlight the 2016 RedHawks rotation. Tyler Alexander will get the opening day start after having a breakout season in 2015. He was 5-5 with a 3.31 ERA where he finished fourth in the American Association with 111 strikeouts in just 111.1 innings.
Just ahead of Alexander on the AA strikeout leaderboard was Tyler Herron. Herron was 6-7 with a 4.47 ERA in 20 starts in 2015 with 119 k’s in 131 innings.
Taylor Stanton, the 2013 AA Pitcher of the Year, is back for the 2016 season. Stanton was 6-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 20 starts in 2015. In three seasons with Fargo-Moorhead, Stanton is 21-19 with a 3.82 ERA and 282 strikeouts in 59 starts.
New to the rotation is Richie Mirowski. Mirowski was acquired via trade from Amarillo in the offseason and was 4-2 3.57 ERA in 11 games (seven starts) for Amarillo. Mirowski struck out 55 batters in 45.1 innings for the Thunderheads.
Travis Ballew comes to the Fargo after he spent the majority of the 2015 season with the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas League (AA) before closing out the season with the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League (AAA).
Jose Almarante spent seven season in the St. Louis Cardinals organization from 2008-2014 and reached the Triple-A level in both 2013 and 2014. Almarante did not play in 2015.
Other pitchers include Mike Mason, Will Mathis, Colton Reavis, and Tyler Stirewalt. Mason returns to the RedHawks after appearing in ten games in 2015. Mathis, Reavis, and Stirewalt will be playing their first seasons in Fargo-Moorhead.
The RedHawks opening rotation:
Thursday, May 19 at Laredo: Tyler Alexander
Friday, May 20 at Laredo: Richie Mirowski
Saturday, May 21 at Laredo: Tyler Herron
Sunday, May 22 at Laredo: TBD
Monday, May 23 at Texas: Taylor Stanton