INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Indians, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Pirates, today announced their Opening Day roster for the 2018 season. Outfielder Austin Meadows – ranked by Baseball America as the second-best prospect in Pittsburgh’s farm system and No. 44 overall in professional baseball – headlines the group.
First-year manager Brian Esposito, the club’s 61st skipper in team history, returns 13 players from Indy’s 2017 division championship squad. Like the ’17 team, the roster has a blend of up-and-coming prospects and veterans with major league experience. Joining Meadows as top 10 Pirates prospects, according to Baseball America, is infielder Kevin Newman (No. 5) and Indy’s Opening Day starter, Nick Kingham (No. 8). Infielder Kevin Kramer (No. 12), Pirates 2017 Minor League Player of the Year, Jordan Luplow (No. 13), infielder Max Moroff (No. 16) and right-hander Tyler Eppler (No. 29) round out Indy’s top prospects.
Following Kingham in the rotation are four right-handers – Eppler, Alex McRae, Austin Coley and Casey Sadler – with McRae and Coley both having pitched for Double-A Altoona during its 2017 Eastern League Championship run. The bullpen is right-handed heavy and welcomes one returner, Ohio State University product Brett McKinney, who is joined by Tanner Anderson, Johnny Hellweg, Tyler Jones, Damien Magnifico and Richard Rodriguez. Hellweg, Magnifico and Rodriguez have each had brief big-league stints in their respective careers.
Returning catcher Jacob Stallings headlines backstop duo after finishing his 2017 campaign with a Triple-A batting average north of .300. Ryan Lavarnway, 30, a veteran with 140 major league appearances under his belt, will share duties with Stallings.
Five of the Tribe’s seven listed infielders played for Indy last season. Two newcomers, Kramer and first baseman/outfielder Jerrick Suiter, join Moroff, Newman, Jose Osuna, Erich Weiss and Eric Wood. Moroff belted a career-high 13 home runs for the Tribe in 2017, while Wood pounded a career-high-tying 16 dingers.
The Tribe outfield features Meadows and Luplow, 2017 Indy Indians MVP Christopher Bostick and 29-year-old Todd Cunningham. Last year, Bostick finished fourth in the International League in batting (.294) and was an IL midseason All-Star.
Overall, eight of the Indians’ 25 active players are currently members of Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster.
|16||Tanner Anderson||P||R||R||6′ 2″||195||05-27-1993||Active||No|
|10||Austin Coley||P||R||R||6′ 2″||203||07-14-1992||Active||No|
|19||Kyle Crick||P||L||R||6′ 4″||220||11-30-1992||Active||Yes|
|Montana DuRapau||P||R||R||5′ 11″||175||03-27-1992||Restricted||No|
|36||Tyler Eppler||P||R||R||6′ 5″||230||01-05-1993||Active||No|
|22||Johnny Hellweg||P||R||R||6′ 7″||235||10-29-1988||Active||No|
|30||Tyler Jones||P||R||R||6′ 4″||240||09-05-1989||Active||No|
|49||Nick Kingham||P||R||R||6′ 5″||225||11-08-1991||Active||Yes|
|44||Damien Magnifico||P||R||R||6′ 1″||205||05-24-1991||Active||No|
|38||Brett McKinney||P||R||R||6′ 0″||225||11-19-1990||Active||No|
|28||Alex McRae||P||R||R||6′ 2″||220||04-06-1993||Active||No|
|31||Richard Rodriguez||P||R||R||6′ 4″||205||03-04-1990||Active||No|
|37||Casey Sadler||P||R||R||6′ 3″||220||07-13-1990||Active||No|
|Kevin Siegrist||P||L||L||6′ 5″||230||07-20-1989||Suspended||No|
|17||Kevin Kramer||2B||L||R||6′ 0″||200||10-03-1993||Active||No|
|2||Max Moroff||2B||S||R||5′ 10″||185||05-13-1993||Active||Yes|
|3||Kevin Newman||SS||R||R||6′ 1″||180||08-04-1993||Active||No|
|13||Jose Osuna||1B||R||R||6′ 3″||240||12-12-1992||Active||Yes|
|45||Jerrick Suiter||1B||R||R||6′ 4″||230||03-04-1993||Active||No|
|6||Erich Weiss||2B||L||R||6′ 2″||200||09-11-1991||Active||No|
|14||Eric Wood||3B||R||R||6′ 1″||210||11-22-1992||Active||No|
|7||Christopher Bostick||LF||R||R||5′ 10″||200||03-24-1993||Active||Yes|
|27||Todd Cunningham||CF||S||R||6′ 0″||205||03-20-1989||Active||No|
|24||Jordan Luplow||RF||R||R||6′ 1″||195||09-26-1993||Active||Yes|
|15||Austin Meadows||CF||L||L||6′ 3″||210||05-03-1995||Active||Yes|
|Daniel Nava||OF||S||L||5′ 10″||195||02-22-1983||7-day DL||No|
SOURCE: Indianapolis Indians