Greenville, SC – The Greenville Drive, along with the Boston Red Sox, announced the 2023 Opening Day roster today, anchored by six of Boston’s Top 30 prospects: including Red Sox number one overall prospect, shortstop Marcelo Mayer. The 2023 campaign will mark the Drive’s 18th year in partnership with the Red Sox and its third as Boston’s South Atlantic League High-A affiliate.
“It’s always exciting to start the season here in Greenville,” said Manager Iggy Suarez. “This group is ready to work, and it was great to see the way they were getting after it in spring training. We can’t wait to see them settle in here at Fluor Field and get the season underway.”
Eighteen players who took the field in 2022 for the Drive return to a team hungry to improve on last year’s record.
“This is an experienced group returning to Greenville that’s had success both at Fluor Field and at the Single-A level,” said Drive General Manager, Eric Jarinko. “These guys have shown poise and promise, and we know they’ll be looking to take the next step this year.”
Drive Pitching Coach Bob Kipper returns for his 9th year with the team, leading a solid set of hurlers which includes returners Maceo Campbell, Casey Cobb, Jordan DiValerio, Juan Daniel Encarnacion, Grant Gambrell, Wikelman Gonzalez (no. 12 overall Red Sox prospect), Graham Hoffman, Robert Kwiatkowski, Aaron Perry, Joey Stock, and Nate Tellier who combined for 254.2 innings pitched in from 2021 to 2022.
Righthanders Angel Bastardo, Isaac Coffey, Jaret Godman, Alex Hoppe, Joe Jones, and Christopher Troye all join the Drive for 2023.
The Drive’s infield will be bolstered by the return of two top-15 Red Sox prospects, shortstop Marcelo Mayer (no. 1) and third baseman, Blaze Jordan (no. 11) and fellow returnee, utility infielder Max Ferguson.
The trio combined for 73 games with Greenville last year, as all spent the majority of the 2022 campaign with other teams. Mayer and Jordan spent most of the year in Single-A Salem in the Red Sox organization while Ferguson was acquired by Boston on August 2 after spending time in the San Diego Padres minor league stops.
Mayer, the fourth-overall pick in the 2021 MLB First-Year Player Draft, hit .265 with the Drive with four homers and 13 RBIs in 25 games. Mayer is ranked the number two overall shortstop prospect in baseball according to MLB.com. Jordan, acquired by Boston in the 2020 MLB First Year Player Draft, batted .301 in Greenville with four homers and 11 RBIs in 25 games. Ferguson chipped in 10 RBIs for the Drive in 23 games while amassing 61 stolen bases across his three minor league stops.
Joining Mayer, Jordan, and Ferguson inside the basepaths will be Top-25 Red Sox Prospects Chase Meidroth (no. 21) and Eddinson Paulino (no. 9), both promoted from Single-A Salem.
Backstopping Drive pitchers will fall to two returning catchers, Nathan Hickey and Alex Erro. Hickey, the 16th overall Red Sox prospect, played in 34 games for the Drive last season, knocking in 23 RBIs and nine homers behind a .252 batting average. Erro caught 40 games with Greenville in 2022 hitting .301 with 20 RBIs.
Two returning outfielders will back up the infield this season, Nick Decker and Gilberto Jimenez who combined for 170 starts for the Drive in 2022. The switch-hitting Jimenez set a career-high with 20 stolen bases in 2022, and his 102 hits ranked third on the team. Joining the outfield will be newcomers, Bryan Gonzalez, Eduardo Lopez, Kier Meredith (a Clemson University baseball alumnus), and Miguel Ugueto.
Opening Day presented by TD Bank at Fluor Field is slated for Tuesday, April 11 as the Drive takes on the Asheville Tourists, the Houston Astros affiliate at 7:05 p.m.