Initial Thoughts on the 2012 Lansing Lugnuts Roster


The Lansing Lugnuts, low Class-A affiliate of the Blue Jays, officially announced their 2012 Opening Day roster over the weekend, and there are some noticeable names on the list. Like for the Fisher Cats, I’ll have an in-depth preview later this week introducing you to all of the Lugnuts players, as it certainly is an impressive group.

Left-hander Justin Nicolino and right-handers Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez lead the starting rotation as perhaps the best top-three in the entire Midwest League. Joining them and not to be overlooked are 2011 draft picks Anthony DeSclafani and David Rollins, while the bullpen will feature 2011 Lugnut Brandon Berl as well as other intriguing arms like Jesse Hernandez, Blake MacFarland, Ajay Meyer and Tyler Ybarra, though Meyer and Ybarra could be starters periodically throughout the year as well.

Catching-wise, I’m somewhat surprised that Carlos Perez will be returning. Though he did have a down year for the Lugnuts in 2011 getting used to both the colder weather and full-season ball, I would have that he would have been promoted anyway to Dunedin given the departure of A.J. Jimenez.

Overall, there’s a great group of fielders, as notable prospects Chino Vega and Kellen Sweeney will man the left side of Lansing’s infield while Chris Hawkins and Kevin Pillar will patrol the outfield.

Here’s the full list:


RHP Javier Avendano

RHP Brandon Berl

RHP Kramer Champlin

RHP Anthony DeSclafani

RHP Jesse Hernandez

RHP Blake MacFarland

RHP Ajay Meyer

LHP Justin Nicolino

LHP Carlos Pina (DL)

LHP David Rollins

RHP Aaron Sanchez

RHP Noah Syndergaard

LHP Tyler Ybarra


Carlos Perez

Pierce Rankin


1B K.C. Hobson

1B Kevin Patterson

2B Jonathan Berti

3B Kellen Sweeney

3B Bryson Namba

3B/SS Andy Burns

SS Chino Vega


LF Christopher Hawkins

CF Kevin Pillar

CF Kenny Wilson

RF Markus Brisker


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