The Charleston Riverdogs came to Asheville and McCormick Field to take on the Tourists and the Riverdogs have some star power in the form of co-owner, comedian Bill Murray. Mr. Murray makes regular appearances at Riley Park, the home of the South Atlantic League’s New York Yankees affiliate, the Charleston Riverdogs. Mr. Murray, however, did not travel with the team to Asheville.
How great would that be as a player to have Bill Murray drop by the clubhouse before or after a game to hang out with the players? Bill Murray has always been a huge baseball fan and I remember him making appearances on WGN’s broadcasts of Chicago Cubs games to broadcast a few innings with the legendary Harry Caray.
I keep seeing a movie in the works, the baseball version of Caddy Shack, starring Bill Murray as the owner. Maybe I should write the screenplay.
The beauty of minor league baseball is being not only able to watch the prospects of the Colorado Rockies begin their careers with the Asheville Tourists but you also get to watch the prospects of other major league organizations come to McCormick Field.
The first team to come to town was the Augusta Greenjackets, the Low A team of the San Francisco Giants. Four of the five prospects of the top 30 prospects of the San Francisco Giants are pitchers. Sean Hjelle (#5 Prospect), Gregory Santos (#7), and Jake Wong (#10) all pitched against the Asheville Tourists in the four game series. #27 Prospect Third Baseman Jacob Gonzalez, hit a solo homerun in the four game series. The two teams split the four games.
The 2019 Asheville Tourists open the season with eight of the Colorado Rockies top 30 prospects including some of the Rockies top pitching prospects.
Heading the list of top pitching prospects is #6 prospect left hander Ryan Rolison, #24 prospect right hander Ryan Feltner, and #29 right hander Mike Nikorak. Joining that list is #8 Riley Pint, who is back for his third season in Asheville. He only appeared in one game last season with Asheville before most of the season was lost to injury.
The Rockies also sent some top offensive prospects to hitter friendly McCormick Field to start the season. #5 prospect First Baseman Grant Lavigne hit .350 at Grand Junction in the Pioneer League last season. He is joined by #14 prospect, Shortstop Terrin Vavra (.302 at Boise), #21 Outfielder Daniel Montano (.279 at Grand Junction), and #30 Catcher Willie MacIver (.284 at Grand Junction). Former North Carolina Tarheel Kyle Datres will play a utility role for the Tourists as he can play multiple infield positions.