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Tyler Austin ( <a href="http://moosetography.zenfolio.com/">Ryan "Moose" Morris - Freelance Photographer</a>)


Meet the 2016 Trenton Thunder

On Monday afternoon, the Trenton Thunder announced an initial player list ahead of the teams Media Day and Welcome North Open House event on Tuesday afternoon. The initial roster features 17 players who have previously played for the Thunder and three players in Baseball America’s top-30 Yankees prospects, including Tyler Wade, Dustin Fowler, and Brady Lail.

The Thunder roster will feature strong pitching in the rotation and the bullpen and they will be anchored by Lail, who was an Eastern League All-Star for the Thunder in 2015 before a mid-season promotion to Triple-A. Cale Coshow returns to the Thunder rotation after an impressive debut last season. Jordan Montgomery, who went 10-8 with a 2.95 ERA between Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa will make the jump up to Double-A. Evan Rutckyj, who was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the Rule 5 Draft in December and returned to the Bombers, will come back o Trenton after posting a 2.63 ERA in 2015. Veterans Mark Montgomery and Matt Tracy are back in Trenton as well. The pitching is rounded out with Alex Smith, Caleb Smith, Dietrich Enns, Giovanny Gallegos, Conor Mullee, Ronald Herrera, and Matt Wotherspoon.

After seeing Gary Sanchez on Opening Day for the last two seasons, the Thunder will use Sebastian Valle, who played for Altoona in the Eastern League last season along with Kyle Higashioka

The infield will feature many familiar faces when the season opens. Veterans Tyler Austin, Dante Bichette Jr. and Cito Culver will be joined by Jose Rosario and Vince Conde. The trio of Austin, Bichette and Culver were all once organization top-prospects but have yet to fulfill their promise for various reasons. All three will look to get off to quick starts and prove that they should be in the Yankees plans moving forward.

The outfield cast is highlighted by Dustin Fowler, who will be making the jump up to Double-A after hitting .298 with 5 homers, 70 RBI and 30 stolen bases between Charleston and Tampa in 2015. Lane Adams, who the Yankees picked-up on waivers in January, is a 26-year old veteran who spent his entire career in the Kansas City organization. Adams hit .281 with 16 homers and 62 RBI between the Royals Double and Triple-A affiliates in 2015. The final outfielder listed on the initial thunder roster is 25-year old Juan Silva, who the Yankees signed as a minor league free-agent in December.

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