The final roster of the day to be released is from the Daytona Tortugas. Let’s take a look at their preliminary roster for the 2016 season.


Those four will be starters. Jon Moscot will also begin the season with the team, rehabbing in the rotation. Who takes over the final spot when Moscot is gone probably comes down to Jake Paulson or Seth Varner with the other winding up in the bullpen. The rotation should be the staple of the team for the second year in a row, as 1-5 it’s full of good arms. Keury Mella returning is a bit of a surprise, as just a few weeks ago Double-A Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said he expected Mella to be in their rotation. He struggled in the game I saw him pitch in Goodyear, so perhaps he had a rough spring and the organization chose to keep him at this level.

That group will make up the bullpen, along with Paulson/Varner. There are some interesting arms in this group. Who takes over the closers role will be interesting to see.


Taylor Sparks returns to Daytona and should lead the offense from this group. After a slow start in 2015, Sparks really turned in a strong second half offensively as he made the adjustments to the league. He will be joined on the third base side of the dirt by shortstop Blake Trahan, who spent the final few weeks with the Tortugas after Calten Daal was injured late last season. Blake Butler is making the big jump after spending nearly all of 2015 with the AZL Reds where he hit .319/.350/.472. Notably missing here is Gavin LaValley, who is currently injured.


Seeing Aristides Aquino on this roster is a bit surprising given that he missed so much time in 2015 with Dayton and struggled at the plate when he was healthy. Brian O’Grady, Jimmy Pickens and Jeff Gelalich all return to Daytona after spending time with the Tortugas in 2015. It’s an athletic outfield that should cover tons of ground for the pitching staff in the big Florida State League ballparks. The question, as it is every year in the Florida State League is all about just how much the players will hit.


Even if this weren’t the Florida State League, where pitching thrives and hitting dies, the pitching staff would stand out as the strength of this team. The rotation is deep and the bullpen has potential to be pretty strong.

The offense has a lot of question marks, but there’s potential in the lineup as well, especially if a few of the toolsy hitters take a step forward. The infield, outside of Taylor Sparks, doesn’t have much power but could be a contact oriented group that puts the ball in play and does a lot of running. The outfield has some power potential to work with, but could have some problems when it comes to average and on-base percentage.