New Britain Rock Cats 2010 Preview

Gutierrez will be the staff ace.

The 2010 New Britain Rock Cats are assembled with some of the best prospects in the organization. They are a team that is built to contend in the Eastern League in 2010, and have some first round draft picks, as well as some prospects who have worked themselves into big prospects for the organization. Here is a look at the roster.

Catchers
Danny Lehmann will be the team's starting catcher in 2010, and he is a prospect who is going to be fun to watch. He is a coming off a rough season with the Rock Cats in 2009, but was one of the more consistent hitters for the Fort Myers Miracle before being promoted to Double-A. Alexander Soto will get some time behind the plate as well, after splitting time between Beloit and Fort Myers last season. Soto is an above average defensive catcher, but still is very raw at the dish.

Infield
Chris Parmelee is a name that is going to bring fans to the ballpark in 2010, and he has the power to lead the Eastern League in home runs. He needs to continue to work on his plate discipline, but has a very high ceiling. Whitney Robbins was an Eastern League All-Star in 2009, and he will likely man the hot corner for the Rock Cats in 2010. The Rock Cats also have two very good defensive shortstops in Yancarlos Ortiz and Estarlin de Los Santos. Whoever hits is likely to see the most time. Steven Singleton does not have much more to prove at the AA level, but he returns in 2010, and will be the team's second baseman. I see him getting to Rochester in 2010. Rounding out the infield will be super-utility man Toby Gardenhire, who can really play an position in the infield, and the outfield. He also has a serviceable bat, and ill be a fan favorite in New Britain.

Outfield
The New Britain outfield will feature two of the top outfield prospects in the organization, as top prospect Ben Revere, and former top prospect Joe Benson will be patrolling the outfield. Benson has battled injuries in his career, but is a great talent, and Revere has won back-to-back Minor League Player of the Year awards. He will bring his blend of speed, ability to hit for average, and overall electricity to Hardware City in 2010. However, the talent does not end there, as Rene Tosoni makes it back to New Britain, though he will not be there for long. He was a key contributor for the Rock Cats in 2009, and was MVP of the Futures Game. Juan Portes and Marc Dolenc round out the position players, and both should be key contributors to the squad. Portes can also play in the infield, and Dolenc is one of those rare players who can hit at any level.

Pitchers
Former first-rounder Carlos Gutierrez will anchor the starting staff in 2010, and will be relied on heavily if the Rock Cats will make a move in the Eastern League. He will be followed by Mike McCardell, a good right-hander who went 5-2 in nine starts for the Cats in 2009. Deolis Guerra, the jewel of the Johan Santana trade, will also be in the rotation, after gaining some great experience in New Britain last season. Twins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year David Bromberg will also dot the rotation, after striking out 148 batters for the Fort Myers Miracle in 2009. Tyler Robertson will also start, making his way to Double-A after two seasons in High-A. Overall, the rotation looks stacked.

The bullpen will consist of some great arms as well, including some guys who can start. Cole Devries can be used as a starter and a reliever, as could Loek Van Mil. Chris Province is a pitching prospect to keep your eye on, and Joe Testa is a very crafty lefty who has performed well as a pro. Spencer Steedley could become one of the better relief pitching prospects in the organization, and Steven Hirschfield is a tall righty who could be special. Santos Arias rounds out the bullpen, and he was a beast in a starting and relief role for Fort Myers last season.

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