Low Class-A Asheville roster announced

April 2, 2011 | 7:26 pm  

Right fielder Kyle Parker, the Colorado Rockies first-round pick last year and 26th player taken, will begin his professional career at low Class A Asheville. Parker played quarterback at Clemson and suffered broken ribs in a Dec. 31 bowl game but reported to spring training healthy and had no restrictions.

The Tourists’ roster was announced Saturday and includes second baseman Russell Wilson, who was taken in the fourth round last year and began his professional career with 32 games at short-season Class A Tri-City before returning to North Carolina State to play quarterback. Wilson has yet to fully commit to a baseball career.

Left-hander Tyler Matzek will begin the season at high Class A Modesto. He pitched at Asheville last year in his first professional season and some members of the organization were in favor of having him return there to hone his fastball command, which was inconsistent last season.

The Rockies first-round pick in 2009, Matzek, who signed too late to play that year, began 2010 in extended spring training and made his professional debut May 24. Peter Tago, a supplemental first-round pick last year and like Matzek, drafted out of high school, could follow that same path and go from extended spring to Asheville to begin his professional career, assuming the Rockies decide he can bypass a short-season team.

By sending a young pitcher like Tago to extended spring training and then Asheville, the Rockies can limit his innings in his first professional season and assure he will stay in warm weather in Arizona and not miss any work at the outset of the season. The Rockies made a similar move in 2006 with Chaz Roe, who was drafted out of high school in 2005 and began his career that summer at age 18 at Rookie Casper and pitched 49 2/3 innings. Roe began 2006 in extended spring before going to Asheville, where he pitched 99 2/3 innings.

The Tourists’ roster includes the following active players:

LHP Edwar Cabrera
RHP Albert Campos
RHP Ricardo Ferrer
RHP Joshua Slaats
RHP Erik Stavert

RHP Juan Perez (closer)
RHP Bruce Kern
RHP Bradley McAtee
RHP Rafael Suarez
LHP Craig Bennigson
LHP Josh Hungerman

1B Mark Tracy
2B Russell Wilson
3B Brett Tanos
SS Cristhian Adames
3B Brett Tanos
UT Helder Velazquez
UT Joey Wong

C Dustin Garneau
C Bryce Massanari

RF Kyle Parker
CF Rafael Ortega
LF Corey Dickerson
OF Avery Barnes
OF Tyler Massey