2018 in Review
The Bay Bears went 29-39 in the second half last year for a final finish of 4th place in the Southern League South and an overall record of 66-70. The biggest news for the team last year was the announcement they would be moving to Mobile (and become the Trash Pandas) after the 2019 season.
Aside from their athletic trainer, the entire Mobile coaching staff will be new this season - including skipper David Newhan (a former BayBears infielder).
Brennon Lund was moved up to AAA Salt Lake.
Brandon Marsh arrives from the 66ers and will (at least initially) be the youngest player on the team at 21 years old (just a bit younger than Jahmai Jones). Pitchers Zack Kelly and Michael Santos will also be making their AA debut.
Projected Lineup & Names to Watch
The BayBears are stocked with top talent, including 6 of the Angels top 30 prospects (and 2 of the top 4). If you include Jo Adell, the BayBears have 3 of the Angels top 4 prospects this year. The infield will consist of waiting to blossom Roberto Baldoquin, powerhouse Zach Houchins (3B), converted outfielder Jahmai Jones (2B), defensive stud Connor Justus (SS), and newcomer Erick Salcedo. At catcher are some of the orgs next top backstops including Jack Kruger, Julian Leon, and Roberto Pena. Brandon Marsh says Houchins is going to hit 25 home runs this year so keep an eye on that. The dude has power!
Mobile’s outfield is loaded with guys like Brandon Marsh, Jo Adell (when he returns), Brandon Sandoval, Brendon Sanger, and Jhoan Urena. Of course that outfield will be headlined by Adell and Marsh who could both see AAA call-ups later in the year if all goes well for them in AA ball. Sandoval may be a bit of an unknown to most of you, but he has a career .371 OBP over 168 minor league games.
Projected Pitchers & Names to Watch
Three top prospect landed on the roster, and they are all returning from lat season. They include (LHP) Patrick Sandoval, (RHP) Jesus Castillo, and (RHP) Jeremey Beasley. Keep an eye on Joe Gatto (RHP) and Adam Hofacket (RHP) as well - though Hofacket struggled in 2018.