Garrett Gould, Zach Lee, Chris Reed, Angel Sanchez and Andres Santiago. This season, in the hitter-friendly league, the team looks to have another potentially strong pitching staff.
Ross Stripling and Duke von Schamann – both 2012 draftees (fifth and 15th, respectively) – figure to head the rotation, along with Cal League returners Gould and Jon Michael Redding. Jarret Martin, who made two appearances with the Quakes in 2012, will fill out the rotation.
Again, like the Loons, I hit on 14 of 25 players from my January prediction.
Casio Grider (DL)
Jon Michael Redding
Duke von Schamann
The offense could be good and is led Songco, a Cal League All-Star in 2011. Songco was on the fast track to Double-A after that season, but a broken leg derailed his 2012, a season in which he spent time at Low-A Great Lakes and Rancho.
Sweeney, another 2012 draftee (13th round), should be the team’s starting shortstop. He played a lot of second base in spring training in deference to other players, but Wingo returns to Rancho and figures to be the team’s leadoff hitter and second baseman. The team also has Dickson, a 2012 Midwest League All-Star, who figures to share time with Songco at first base and designated hitter (both getting ample playing time).
Maynard, 80 name, returns to Rancho, along with O’Brien, to be the team’s backstops.
Garcia returns to the Cal League at the ripe old age of 21. He struggled, surprisingly, in his first stint with the Quakes. He has good power potential and here’s hoping a season against advanced competition leads to success in 2013. Noel Cuevas, a toolsy outfielder, figures to get a lot of playing time in his this time in High-A after a 23-game stint there in 2011. Scott Schebler, who doesn’t walk a lot, is will be the team’s every day left fielder. And, in perhaps the most interesting story, the player the Dodgers signed after open tryouts during spring training, is headed to Rancho.
Garvey is a short, speedy left-handed hitter who can play center field. Cuevas figures to start in center, but Garvey should get a decent look and spell Schebler and Garcia when they need off days (with Cuevas shifting to a corner).
My best guess at a lineup
Songco, if he hits well enough, figures to earn a promotion to Double-A. Dickson, Garcia and Schebler could be a solid middle-of-the-order, especially if the table-setters (Wingo and Sweeney) get on base enough.
This team could challenge for a playoff spot, if the pitching holds up over the season. The bullpen, with converted third baseman Baez and a couple of tough lefties in Coulombe and Thomas could prove to be tough for Cal League hitters.
Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue