Former GJ Rockies receive 2013 assignments

Top prospect Dahl headed to Asheville

Now the alumni watch begins for Grand Junction Rockies fans.

The Colorado Rockies assigned 13 players who played in Grand Junction last summer to Class A Asheville after spring training ended, including their top two 2012 draft picks. Another will start the season in high Class A baseball.

Reliever Scott Oberg was assigned to the Modesto Nuts, the Class A advanced affiliate in the California League. Oberg had 13 saves in 25 appearances for the Rockies in 2012. The closer struck out 29 in 27 innings and had a 2.33 ERA.

As expected, outfielder David Dahl, the Pioneer League MVP last summer and the Rockies’ No. 1 prospect, was sent to Asheville, N.C., which won the 2012 Class A South Atlantic League title.

Eddie Butler, who went 7-1 with a 2.13 ERA in his Pioneer League All-Star summer and is listed as the Rockies’ No. 10 prospect, was also sent to Asheville.

The Tourists have their first workout tonight and open the season April 4 in Charlestown, W.Va., against the West Virginia Power.

A half-dozen pitchers off the GJ Rockies’ staff were sent to Asheville. Raul Fernandez, Rayan Gonzalez, Jesse Meaux, Alving Mejias and Jonathan Vargas will join Butler on the Tourists’ pitching staff.

Vargas was in Asheville in 2010, but missed the entire 2011 season after Tommy John surgery and threw only seven innings last year during his rehab assignment.

Second baseman Juan Ciriaco, who hit .268 and was a steady glove up the middle, was assigned to Asheville, along with Jason Stolz and Matt Wessinger, who are both listed as shortstops but can play third base. Stolz hit .260 with 13 doubles and Wessinger .274 with 22 stolen bases.

Julian Yan, who led the Pioneer League with 16 home runs and hit .282 with 13 doubles and 57 RBI, will be in Asheville’s outfield alongside Dahl.

Drew Beuerlein, who started out in Grand Junction but moved quickly to Tri-City and eventually settled in Asheville, is one of two players off the 2012 Tourists’ roster returning. Primarily a catcher last season, Beuerlein is now listed as a first baseman.

Catcher Michael Ramirez, who finished last season in Grand Junction after several injuries to the catching staff, will start this season in Asheville. In 14 games with the GJ Rockies, Ramirez hit .255.

The Grand Junction Rockies’ roster won’t be finalized until after the amateur draft in June. Players who have not been assigned to a club are still listed on Grand Junction’s roster.

Some will return to Grand Junction, with others assigned to Tri-City or possibly Asheville, depending on the draft and their performances in extended spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz., which continues until early June.

The GJ Rockies’ second season begins June 20 at Suplizio Field against Ogden.


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