The Gwinnett Braves will have one of the strongest rotations in years for the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate, particularly after the acquisition of top pitching prospect Matt Wisler.
Manny Banuelos, Mike Foltynewicz, Williams Perez and Chien-Ming Wang will join Wisler in the rotation. All but Wang are legit pitching prospects who are not that far away from the major leagues.
The Gwinnett bullpen will include David Carpenter, John Cornely, Brady Feigl, Michael Kohn, Aaron Kurcz, Sugar Ray Marimon, Kanekoa Texeira and Donnie Veal.
Manager Brian Snitker’s two catchers will be Matt Kennely and Braeden Schlehuber.
The first baseman will be Sean Kazmar, while the second baseman will be top prospect Jose Peraza. The shortstop will be Elmer Reyes, while Pedro Ciriaco will get most of the time at third base. The backups will be Adonis Garcia, a former Yankees’ farmhand who was signed recently, and Barrett Kleinknecht.
Gwinnett’s four outfielders will be Joe Benson, who made a huge impression in spring training and almost made the Atlanta roster, Todd Cunningham, Eury Perez and Cedric Hunter.
Obviously, with Peraza being one of the top prospects in baseball, he will be watched closely. If Jace Peterson does well in Atlanta at second base, you have to wonder if the Braves would give Peraza some playing time in the outfield.
But the starting pitchers will be the story. Wisler and Foltynewicz are not far from being ready for the big leagues. Perez is not talked about much, but he has great potential, possibly middle-of-the-rotation potential. And Banuelos needs a full season with innings.
Gwinnett opens up its season Thursday night at 7:05 at Cool Ray Field against the Durham Bulls.
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Peraza headlines Gwinnett's roster
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