The Aeros 2011 Opening Day Roster includes two of the Indians Top 10 prospects according to Baseball America.
Ninth-ranked RHP Joe Gardner and 10th ranked LHP Nick Hagadone will begin the season with the Aeros. Gardner split last season between high Class-A Kinston and low Class-A Lake County, while leading the Indians organization in wins (13) and strikeouts (140), was third in innings pitched (147.1) and fourth in ERA (2.75). Hagadone, a key component of the Victor Martinez trade to Boston two years ago, owned a 2.39 ERA at Kinston before being called up to Akron to finish the season.
Gardner and Hagadone will be joined by LHP Matt Packer, who was named the 2010 Indians Pitcher of the Year by MLB.com for leading the organization in ERA (2.04) and being fifth in strikeouts (123).
Highlighting the Aeros position players is hot-hitting C Chun Chen, who batted a combined .315 in 2010 between Lake County and Kinston. The Taiwan native also accumulated 12 home runs, 37 doubles and drove in 69 runs while also making an appearance at the XM Futures Game, which took place during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week in Anaheim, California.
Chen will be accompanied in the lineup by returning Aeros OF's John Drennen, Tim Fedroff and Matt McBride.
Last season Drennen batted .300 with seven home runs and 58 RBI, with his average finishing tied for sixth best in the Eastern League. Both Drennen and Fedroff also finished with the best single season fielding percentage (.990) among outfielders in Aeros history, tying Brian Barton’s mark from the 2007 season.
McBride returns to Canal Park following an impressive 2010 season in which he hit 21 home runs and drove in 75 runs between Akron and Triple-A Columbus. During the month of July, McBride batted a red-hot .352 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI to garner Eastern League Player of the Month honors.
Below, please find a full roster breakdown:
Pitchers: Austin Adams, Scott Barnes, Eric Berger, Cory Burns, Kelvin De La Cruz, Joe Gardner, Connor Graham, Nick Hagadone, Matt Langwell, Chen-Chang Lee, Matt Packer, Bryan Price
Catchers: Juan Apodaca, Chun Chen
Infielders: Cristo Arnal, Kyle Bellows, Dan DeGeorge, Juan Diaz, Matt Lawson, Karexon Sanchez
Outfielders: John Drennen, Tim Fedroff, Jordan Henry, Matt McBride, Donnie Webb