The Bowling Green Hot Rods have only one ranked prospect on their Opening Day roster, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other players to keep an eye on this season.
RHP Jose Mujica — ranked No. 27 by MLB.com and No. 30 by Baseball America on their respective lists of top-30 Tampa Bay Rays prospects — returns to Bowling Green after going 1-4 with a 4.20 ERA, 22 strikeouts and seven walks in eight starts (45 IP) for the Hot Rods last year. (He also made four starts for the Princeton Rays of the rookie-level Appalachian League.)
Two other pitchers returning to BG are right-handers Henry Centeno and Taylor Hawkins. Centeno made 23 starts for the Hot Rods last year, going 8-8 with a 3.89 ERA, 91 strikeouts and 47 walks in 122.2 innings. Hawkins, a former catcher, is a newly-minted knuckleball pitcher as of this past offseason. He appeared in five games with the Hot Rods last year, batting .357 (5-for-14).
A position player to watch is Jake Cronenworth, a middle infielder who batted .291 with 1 HR, 16 RBI and 12 SB in 51 games in the New York-Penn League last year. Bowling Green is his first full-season assignment.
You can see the entire Hot Rods roster here.
The Hot Rods will be guided by second-year skipper Reinaldo Ruiz. You can read about him and his coaching staff here.