The Louisville Bats have just released their roster for the 2016 season. Let’s take a look at how that group shakes out.


Those four pitchers will be starters. Notably missing from the preliminary roster was Tim Melville, though in the other part of the press release he is mentioned as being in the rotation. For now though, he’s not listed on the roster. Cody Reed will lead this group, though it’s expected that Robert Stephenson will join this rotation after he makes a spot start for the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.

Ten relievers is obviously not going to work. This roster is preliminary and something is bound to happen to shorten the bullpen, especially with the need for a fifth starter also needing to be added in.


By the time that opening day in the minor league rolls around (Thursday), only Juan Perez and Jose Peraza will be under 25-years-old on the infield. Peraza is the youngest player on the team by eight months (Jesse Winker), but despite that should be one of the better players on the roster when looking at his entire game. Brandon Allen is the only real power threat on the infield.


There’s only one guy here that can realistically play center field, Bryson Smith, so I’d expect to see Jose Peraza get some time out there as well every so often. Both Kyle Waldrop and Jesse Winker should provide some power from the outfield group. Winker, for as long as he’s in Louisville, is likely to be the best hitter on the team.


The pitching should be good, especially once they have both Stephenson and Reed in the rotation. Smith, Adleman and Wright are all strike throwers who should be able to fill out two of the other three spots remaining to go along with wildcard Tim Melville. If Melville shows up and pitches like he did over the final six weeks of 2015, the rotation could be very strong.

The bullpen has some big arms in it, and should only get a boost in a few weeks when Zack Weiss could return from the disabled list and help bolster things. There’s a good mix of stuff guys, control guys and deception guys there, so Ted Power and Delino DeShields should be able to match up quite well in the bullpen this season.

On the other side of the ball there’s an interesting mix of prospects and veterans. How things work out offensively could rely on how a few guys adjust in 2016. Kyle Waldrop really struggled in 2015 at this level after playing well in the levels lower – if he can get back to form, he could be a bat to watch in the lineup. Ramon Cabrera returns and should hit well behind the plate. Jose Peraza could be a spark at the top of the lineup, particularly if he can add a few extra walks to go with the high average he seems to hit for each year. Toss in a middle of the order that should include Jesse Winker and Brandon Allen and the offense could be pretty good.