The 25-man roster for the Corpus Christi Hooks has been set for Futures Weekend at Whataburger Field and Dell Diamond, the Houston Astros announced today.
Sixteen players who spent time with the Hooks’ 2018’s squad will return after the club finished with the third-best record in franchise history. The roster includes eight pitchers and eight position players rejoining the Hooks.
The familiarity on the mound includes LHP Brett Adcock, RHP Brandon Bailey, RHP Brandon Bielak, RHP Ronel Blanco, RHP J.B. Bukauskas, RHP Justin Ferrell, RHP Erasmo Pinales and LHP Kit Scheetz.
The outfield features four returners: Carmen Benedetti, Ronnie Dawson, Chas McCormick, and Stephen Wrenn. Infielders include Josh Rojas, Anibal Sierra, and Abraham Toro, along with catcher Lorenzo Quintana.
Eight of the nine newcomers ended their season as Carolina League champions with the Buies Creek Astros – now the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. Those new Hooks include INF Osvaldo Duarte, RHP Jose Hernandez, RHP Tyler Ivey, RHP Carson LaRue, INF J.J. Matijevic, RHP Colin McKee, C Chuckie Robinson and RHP Gabriel Valdez.
OF Granden Goetzman will join the Hooks after he was acquired by the Astros last July and closed the season in short-season Tri-City.
Bukauskas leads the staff as the No.6 prospect in the Houston system, according to both Baseball America and MLB.com.
Five other players are listed on both rankings (BA / MLB.com), including Dawson (13/13), Bielak (20/15), Ivey (21/17), Matijevic (24/22) and Toro (16/23).
The 2019 Corpus Christi Hooks will be managed by Omar Lopez, back for his second season with the team. Lopez became the fourth Hooks skipper to earn Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2018 after leading the club to an 82-56 record and winning both halves of the season.
His staff will include Graham Johnson as the pitching coach, Tim LaMonte as the hitting coach and Ryan Engels as the performance coach.
Futures Weekend kicks off at Whataburger Field at 6:15 p.m. Saturday. The Hooks will play host to the Round Rock Express, who return to the Astros organization this season as AAA Pacific Coast League affiliates. The teams will then head to Dell Diamond in Round Rock for a 2:05 P.M. game on Sunday.
The Texas League regular season opens on Thursday, April 4 as the Hooks will host the newest team in the circuit, the Amarillo Sod Poodles.