On Thursday night, the Charleston Riverdogs (Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees) will begin their 2014 campaign against the Augusta Green Jackets (San Francisco Giants) in the South Atlantic League. The pitcher who will get the first start of the season is right-hander Rookie Davis.
This Charleston team will be managed by Luis Dorante. Dorante who was the first-base coach of the Trenton Thunder last season. The team has mainly players from last year’s Staten Island Yankees’ squad. The SI Yanks are the short-season Penn-League affiliate that I had the privilege to cover last season for Yanks Go Yard. Some of the players from that team include outfielders Michael O’Neill, Brandon Thomas, and Mikeson Olberto, infielder John Murphy, and pitchers such as Davis and Giovanny Gallegos.
Davis made two starts for Charleston towards the end of last season, but he spent the bulk of 2013 with Staten Island. With Staten Island and Charleston, Davis had a 1.90 ERA. He has three pitches in his arsenal, including a mid-90’s fastball. He has solid control, which is evidenced by only 13 walks last season. He is only 20-years-old, so the future is bright for this young pitcher.
Two of the names that were not in Staten Island are some familiar ones to fans who have followed the draft the last couple of seasons. Last year’s first round pick, Aaron Judge, is a player that brings a ton of power at the first base position. Plus, Charleston has 19-year-old second baseman Gotsuke Katoh. Katoh was a second-round pick who hit .310 in 50 games down in the Gulf Coast League last season.
According to Charleston’s media notes, three pitchers (Davis, Luis Severino, and Carlos Vargas) are the only ones with experience at this level. Last year’s team finished third in their division with a 75-63 record. It will be interesting to see how this team fares this season with some promising talent that could move up in a hurry.