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Indianapolis Indians Release Opening Day Roster

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Indians, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Pirates, announced today their preliminary Opening Day roster for the 2017 season. Outfielder Austin Meadows – ranked by Baseball America as the sixth-best prospect in professional baseball – headlines the group, while left-hander Steven Brault was named the Opening Day starter.

First-year manager Andy Barkett, the club’s 60th manager in team history, welcomes 13 players from Indy’s 2016 squad to his ‘17 team. Like the ’16 team, there is no shortage of star power in terms of top prospects. Joining Meadows (No. 1) and Brault (No. 7) as top farmhands in the Pittsburgh system, according to Baseball America, is catcher Elias Diaz (No. 10), infielder Max Moroff (No. 13), right-handers Tyler Eppler (No. 18), Clay Holmes (No. 20) and Dovydas Neverauskas (No. 24), and first baseman/outfielder Jose Osuna (No. 26).

Following Brault in the rotation is right-hander Drew Hutchison, then Eppler, Holmes and fifth-starter Josh Lindblom, a Lafayette, Ind. native and Purdue alum. The bullpen features two lefties, Cody Dickson and Dan Runzler, along with six right-handed options in Pat Light, Brett McKinney, Neverauskas, Angel Sanchez, Edgar Santana and A.J. Schugel.

The Indians return a pair of catchers from 2016, Diaz and Jacob Stallings. The latter made his major league debut last summer.

On the infield, Moroff is joined by returners Gift Ngoepe, Osuna and Jason Rogers, with Christopher Bostick, Anderson Feliz, Erich Weiss and Eric Wood as newcomers. Moroff led the International League with 90 walks in 2016. Osuna is coming off a strong spring training, where he hit .407 (22-for-54) with four doubles, five home runs and 17 RBI in 22 games.

The Tribe outfield features Meadows and Danny Ortiz. Osuna will likely see some time in the outfield as well. Ortiz, 27, led the Tribe with 17 home runs last season.

Overall, 11 of the Indians’ 25 players are currently members of Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster. Additionally, 22 of the 25 active players are age 27 or younger. Right-hander Nick Kingham, another top Pittsburgh prospect, is Indianapolis’ lone representative on the 7-day disabled list.