On Sunday, the Peoria Chiefs announced their preliminary roster for the 2017 season. According to their press release, the Chiefs include 11 players that were drafted last year by the Cardinals, two former first round picks, and five top 30 prospects (according to MLB.com and Baseball America). The Chiefs also have 5 prospects who were ranked in the Redbird Daily’s Top 30.
Here is the 2017 Chiefs preliminary roster. I went ahead and kept the players I projected to start at Peoria. The ones that I missed are in red, the correct ones are in green, and the white ones are players who are taking spots of the ones I missed. I had 15 of the 25 players picked correctly.
One name that I missed that I should have projected was Stefan Trosclair. The Cards’ 20th round pick in 2016 had a strong spring training after hitting pretty well last season with the GCL Cardinals. Trosclair will likely pay first in Peoria and has nice power. I will be watching him closely this season. I would probably consider him a fringe prospect right now, definitely under the radar.
I think 4 of the 6 starting rotation spots are clear with Ronnie Williams, Jordan Hicks, John Kilichowski, and Ian Oxnevad. The other two spots will go to two of Bryan Dobzanski, Steven Farinaro, or Dailyn Martinez. My bet would be on the first two as they are more of “prospects” than Martinez.
I am disappointed to see Brian O’Keefe back in Peoria. This likely means that Jeremy Martinez will be starting the season at High-A Palm Beach, where I projected O’Keefe to start. O’Keefe had an .808 OPS for Peoria last season and hit 13 home runs. However, Martinez is a bigger prospect, so he probably gets priority.
I am somewhat surprised to see Zac Gallen‘s name not on this roster. Either he his starting the season at Extended Spring or he will find himself on the Palm Beach Cardinals. He may have a slight injury that is preventing him from starting with a full-season club. There may be room for him in Palm Beach because the bullpen there was projected to be pretty unstable, meaning there could be several relievers I projected there not on the team.
Peoria Chiefs fans are going to love the outfield of Bryce Denton, Nick Plummer, and Dylan Carlson. Carlson, at 18-years old, is the youngest member of the team. I think this is somewhat of a risky move starting him at Peoria, but if he can play well he will likely end up with a better prospect ranking of 18 on the Redbird Daily’s list.
The Chiefs begin their 2017 campaign on Thursday as they play a two game set in Burlington against the Bees, the Low-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. The Chiefs’ home opener is Saturday against the Bees.