The Beloit Snappers’ Opening Day roster features a pair of players ranked by Baseball America among the Oakland Athletics’ top 30 prospects.
The highest-ranked prospect — and a strong candidate for this year’s Moniker Madness contest — is centerfielder Skye Bolt (No. 23). Drafted by the A’s in the fourth round last year, he batted .238 with 4 HR and 19 RBI in 52 games with the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. Here is part of what Baseball America said about him in its Prospect Handbook:
Bolt has the makings of a plus defender in center field because he gets good reads and has the pure speed to run down balls in the gaps. He can make highlight-reel catches and has a strong arm as well. Whether his offense comes along is the question. He has solid plate discipline — he walked more than he struck out during his three years in college — and some pull-side power from both sides of the plate.
The other ranked prospect on the Snappers roster is right-hander Dustin Driver (No. 28), who made four starts for Beloit last year. Here is what Baseball America said about his pitching:
Driver’s stuff is undeniable. He works in the mid-90s with his fastball and can reach 99 mph. His secondary pitches need more development, but he can spin a tight slider and get some sink on his changeup. He just has to learn how and when to use them.
Driver is one of seven Snappers players who appeared in games for Beloit last year. Another notable returnee is second baseman Trent Gilbert, who was a Midwest League All-Star last season. He batted .267 with 5 HR and 44 RBI in 84 games with the Snappers, but struggled in High-A, hitting only .200 with 1 HR and 8 RBI in 28 games with the Stockton Ports.
You can see Beloit’s entire roster here.
The Snappers are managed by Fran Riordan, who took the reins of the team last season. You can read about him and his coaching staff here.