The Eugene Emeralds have always been an interesting team to follow. The Em’s give many players their first chance at professional baseball. For a few others, it could be their only shot to get played to play baseball, as many farmhands will not make it past short-season Eugene.
Last year, the Emeralds had a very successful season, going 46-30. They made the Northwest League playoffs, losing to the Vancouver Canadiens in the first round — a best-of-3 series. The team graduated several prospects, including top prospects Austin Hedges, Jace Peterson, and Kevin Quackenbush to higher levels of the system. The 2012 team features some intriguing names that Padres fans should know. The 2012 Opening Day roster has been announced, and the full roster can be seen here. However, here are a few interesting names that you should know, with brief profiles.
Chris Fetter, RHP: Fetter, a ninth-round pick in the 2009 draft, has played with the Emeralds before, in 2009. That year he put up impressive numbers: 2-0, 1.33 ERA, with 54 K’s. He pitched for Lake Elsinore in 2011, and struggled just a bit. He is a big right-hander, at 6’8, 230 lbs. Fetter will also be the oldest player on the team, as he will be 26 on Opening Day.
Alexis Lara, RHP: Lara is a minor league veteran, as he has five years of MILB service time. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2006, and has played as high as AAA. Lara was a non-roster invitee in Spring Training last year, and missed most of the year with an arm injury. He may be in Eugene to get his feet wet, and make his first appearances of 2012.
Brian Adams. OF: Adams is the highest pick of 2012, (8th round) to open the season with Eugene. Adams, an outfielder from the University of Kentucky. Baseball Prospect Nation calls Adams “One of the more impressive athletes in the draft.” He is large, at 6’4, 230 lbs, and also played football in college.
B.J. Guinn, SS: Guinn was an 11th round pick in 2010, out of Cal. He played briefly for the Emeralds in 2010, and spent all of 2011 at Ft. Wayne. He struggled with the bat, hitting .245 with just 1 HR, but he did steal 34 bases. A chance to play everyday in Eugene should benefit the speedy, athletic infielder.
Corey Adamson, OF: Adamson, who is 20, was signed by the Padres as a non-drafted free agent, out of Australia. Adamson helped his Western Australia under-16 team win the National Championship in 2008. He was playing for Ft. Wayne in 2012, and produced a triple-slash line of .111/.245/.160, with 1 HR and 5 RBI’s.
The Emeralds open up the season Friday night at 7:05PM against the Yakima Bears. Stick around here at Chicken Friars for more minor league coverage!