MiLB Opening Day

Twenty-five Commodores open season in minors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt boasts 25 former players on Minor League Baseball opening day rosters including seven who begin the season at triple-A and six at the double-A level as 120 full-season clubs start their seasons this week.

Tyler Beede and Mike Yastrzemski are reunited with the triple-A Sacramento River Cats (San Francisco Giants). Bryan Reynolds and Zander Wiel continue their ascent up the minor league ranks and begin the season at triple-A Indianapolis (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Rochester (Minnesota Twins), respectively.

Reynolds is listed as the Pirates’ No. 9 prospect according to Baseball America. Reynolds batted .329 at Vanderbilt and .346 in the Cape Cod League. The publication also recognized the Brentwood native as the organization’s best hitter for average and best outfield arm.

Ben Bowden (Colorado Rockies), Jason Delay (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Rhett Wiseman (Washington Nationals) were recently promoted to double-A. After electing free agency last November, Sam Selman begins a new journey with the San Francisco Giants’ double-A in Richmond.

Nine Commodores begin the season at single-A including 2018 MLB Draft selections Maddux Conger (Detroit Tigers), Chandler Day(Washington Nationals) and Connor Kaiser (Pittsburgh Pirates). Reid Schaller begins the season at short season while Alonzo Jones and Justin Wilson start at rookie ball.

Jeren Kendall, who opens the season with the class-A advanced Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, has been named the best athlete and best defensive outfielder in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ system for a second consecutive season. The former 23rd-overall pick stole 37 bases a season ago.

Vanderbilt matched Arkansas with an SEC-best eight players on MLB opening day rosters. The mark was third nationally behind Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton (10). The group includes five starting pitchers including Walker Buehler, Sonny Gray, Mike Minor, David Price and Kyle Wright.

The No. 5 Commodores begin a four-game road trip on Friday, visiting No. 4 Georgia in a matchup of two of the SEC’s top teams. The opener is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT while Saturday’s middle game gets underway at 1 p.m. The Sunday finale will start at 11 a.m. and be broadcast on the SEC Network.

Triple-A
Tyler Beede (2012-14) – San Francisco Giants – Sacramento River Cats
Ryan Flaherty (2006-08) – Cleveland Indians – Columbus Clippers
Carson Fulmer (2013-15) – Chicago White Sox – Charlotte Knights
Jared Miller (2012-14) – Arizona Diamondbacks – Reno Aces
Bryan Reynolds (2014-16) – Pittsburgh Pirates – Indianapolis Indians
Zander Wiel (2012-15) – Minnesota Twins – Rochester Red Wings
Mike Yastrzemski (2010-13) – San Francisco Giants – Sacramento River Cats

Double-A
Ben Bowden (2014-16) – Colorado Rockies – Hartford Yard Goats
Jason Delay (2014-17) – Pittsburgh Pirates – Altoona Curve
Philip Pfeifer (2012-15) – Atlanta Braves – Mississippi Braves
Sam Selman (2010-12) – San Francisco Giants – Richmond Flying Squirrels
Will Toffey (2015-17) – New York Mets – Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Rhett Wiseman (2013-15) – Washington Nationals – Harrisburg Senators

Single-A
Maddux Conger (2016-18) – Detroit Tigers – West Michigan Whitecaps
Chandler Day (2016-18) – Washington Nationals – Hagerstown Suns
Tyler Ferguson (2013-15) – Texas Rangers – Down East Wood Ducks
Reed Hayes (2017) – Baltimore Orioles – Delmarva Shorebirds
Connor Kaiser (2016-18) – Pittsburgh Pirates – Greensboro Grasshoppers
Jeren Kendall (2015-17) – Los Angeles Dodgers – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Matt Ruppenthal (2015-17) – Houston Astros – Quad Cities River Bandits
Jordan Sheffield (2015-16) – Los Angeles Dodgers – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Collin Snider (2015-17) – Kansas City Royals – Wilmington Blue Rocks

Short Season
Reid Schaller (2017-18) – Washington Nationals – Auburn Doubledays

Rookie
Alonzo Jones (2016-18) – Oakland Athletics – AZL Athletics
Justin Wilson (2017-18) – New York Yankees – Pulaski Yankees

PLAYERS MENTIONED

#42 Maddux Conger

RHP
6′ 3″
200 lbs
Junior

#27 Chandler Day

RHP
6′ 5″
180 lbs
Junior

#8 Alonzo Jones

OF
5′ 10″
195 lbs
Junior

#12 Connor Kaiser

IF
6′ 4″
205 lbs
Junior

#45 Reid Schaller

RHP
6′ 3″
210 lbs
Redshirt Freshman

#6 Justin Wilson

RHP
6′ 0″
175 lbs
Redshirt Sophomore

#5 Jason Delay

C
6′ 0″
210 lbs
Senior

#24 Reed Hayes

RHP/OF
6′ 3″
185 lbs
Junior

#3 Jeren Kendall

OF
6′ 0″
190 lbs
Junior

#28 Matt Ruppenthal

RHP
6′ 4″
225 lbs
Junior