BILOXI, Miss. (Shuckers) – The Biloxi Shuckers, Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, announced their initial roster for the 2022 season on Tuesday. The roster includes nine of the Brewers’ top 30 prospects, including three of the top ten prospects. The list features Joey Wiemer (#2), Garrett Mitchell (#3), Freddy Zamora (#10), Felix Valerio (#11), Korry Howell (#17), Abner Uribe (#20), Taylor Floyd (#24), Victor Castaneda (#26) and Gabe Holt (#28).
Biloxi’s initial roster returns 17 players from the 2021 Shuckers and features three newcomers to the Brewers’ organization. The full roster breakdown can be found below.
Nick Bennett, Justin Bullock, Victor Castaneda, Harold Chirino, Luis Contreras, Lucas Erceg, Taylor Floyd, Tyler Herb, Arnaldo Hernandez, Robbie Hitt, Carlos Luna, Andy Otero, Scott Sunitsch, Abner Uribe, Zach Vennaro, Nash Walters
Brent Diaz, Nick Kahle, Jakson Reetz
Hayden Cantrelle, Cam Devanney, Thomas Dillard, Gabe Holt, Ashton McGee, Felix Valerio, Freddy Zamora
Korry Howell, Tristen Lutz, Garrett Mitchell, Joey Wiemer
Along with being the #2 prospect in the Brewers’ farm system, Wiemer is the reigning Brewers’ Minor League Player of the Year after slashing .295/.403/.556 with 18 doubles, two triples, 27 home runs, 77 RBI and 86 runs scored in 109 games between the Low-A Carolina Mudcats and High-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The outfielder also swiped 30 bases in 36 chances, becoming one of just 16 players in MiLB in 2021 that hit at least 20 home runs and stole at least 20 bases. Selected in the fourth round of the 2020 draft by the Brewers out of the University of Cincinnati, Wiemer was named an MiLB Organizational All-Star and a Low-A East Postseason All-Star.
Mitchell begins his second full season of professional baseball after being picked with the 20th overall selection in the 2020 draft by the Brewers out of UCLA. The outfielder started 2021 with High-A Wisconsin and slashed .359/.508/.620 with five doubles, two triples, five home runs, 20 RBI and 33 runs scored in 29 games. After earning High-A Central Offensive Player of the Week honors in early July, Mitchell was promoted to Biloxi where he slashed .186/.291/.264 with a double, three home runs, 10 RBI and 16 runs scored in 35 games.
Zamora climbs to Double-A after splitting time between Carolina and Wisconsin in 2021. In 70 games with Carolina, Zamora slashed .287/.396/.399 with 13 doubles, a triple, five home runs, 40 RBI and 58 runs scored, drawing 45 walks to just 57 strikeouts. His batting improved with a late season promotion to Wisconsin, hitting .342 with nine doubles, a home run, nine RBI and 12 runs scored in 22 games with the Timber Rattlers. The shortstop was taken in the second round of the 2020 draft by the Brewers out of the University of Miami and led the Brewers’ organization in batting average (.300) in 2021 while finishing third in OBP (.404), tied for third in doubles (22), tied for fourth in hits (104) and seventh in runs scored (70).
Acquired in a trade with the New York Mets in 2019, Valerio joins a slew of Brewers’ prospects that had a taste of High-A at the end of 2021 and are moving up to Double-A. In 85 games with Carolina in 2021, the Bonao, Dominican Republic native slashed .314/.430/.469 with 24 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 63 RBI and 71 runs scored. During the last month of the season, Valerio hit .229 with 13 doubles, five home runs, 16 RBI and 19 runs scored in 29 games with Wisconsin. He led the Brewers’ organization in total hits (124), doubles (37) and runs scored (90), tied for the organizational lead in extra-base hits (51) while finishing second in RBI (79), stolen bases (31) and walks (69), third in total bases (200), fifth in average (.290) and sixth in OBP (.401).
Howell made his impact with the Shuckers in the final six weeks of the season, slashing .235/.318/. 429 with five doubles, a triple, four home runs, 15 RBI and 18 runs scored in 28 games in Biloxi. He was named the High-A Central Player of the Month in May of 2021 while with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and was tabbed as an MiLB Organizational All-Star for 2021. His 16 combined home runs were the fourth most in the Brewers’ farm system and he finished third in runs scored (83), tied for third in triples (5), tied for fourth in extra-base hits (38) and sixth in total bases (162) and stolen bases (24).
Uribe will skip High-A to join the Shuckers in 2021. The 21-year-old made 17 appearances, four starts, with the Mudcats in 2021, going 1-0 with a 4.01 ERA and three saves in three opportunities. He struck out 52 hitters in just 33.2 innings and held opponents to a .195 batting average against. His fastball was clocked as high as 103 mph and he has been graded with the ‘Best Fastball’ in the Brewers’ system according to Baseball America.
Floyd brings back his perfect ERA to the Shuckers to start the 2022 season. In seven appearances with the Shuckers to close out 2021, Floyd went 1-0 with two holds and two saves in two opportunities while not allowing a run in 7.1 innings. He was promoted to Biloxi after serving as the Timber Rattlers primary closer, converting eight saves in 11 chances while posting a 3.33 ERA in 33 outings for Wisconsin.
Castaneda was selected for a jump to Triple-A for the final two weeks of the season in 2021 and performed exceedingly well, going 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three appearances, two starts for the Nashville Sounds. The Culican Rosales, Mexico native led the Brewers’ organization in strikeouts (131), was second in innings pitched (109.0), fifth in batting average against (.239) and sixth in WHIP (1.32) during his 2021 season. Signed as a free agent out of Mexico, Castaneda was named the High-A Central Pitcher of the Week in late May after throwing 6.2 shutout innings against Cedar Rapids, allowing just two hits with eight strikeouts.
Holt made the jump straight from Low-A Carolina to Biloxi for the final three weeks of the 2021 campaign. Between Low-A Carolina and Biloxi, Holt slashed .283/.403/.341 with 16 doubles, a triple, a home run, 40 RBI and 73 runs scored in 97 games. The former seventh-round pick out of Texas Tech worked 68 walks and struck out just 52 times, finishing third in the Brewers’ organization in on-base percentage and walks, fourth in runs scored, sixth in batting average and tied for sixth in hits (102).
Diaz rejoins the Shuckers after spending most of the 2021 season with Biloxi. Taken in the 29th round of the 2017 draft by the Brewers out of Louisiana Tech, Diaz hit .208 with a .307 on-base percentage and five home runs in 58 games with the Shuckers. The catcher hit one of two grand slams for the Shuckers in 2021, launching a grand slam on May 23 at Tennessee, part of a 5 RBI day for Diaz.
Kahle earns his first promotion to Double-A after spending the entirety of 2021 with High-A Wisconsin. Selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft by the Brewers out of Washington, Kahle hit .186 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 26 RBI in 70 games. The Simi Valley, CA native was rated as the Brewers’ #18 prospect heading into the cancelled 2020 season according to MLB Pipeline and entered 2021 as the #18 prospect in the Brewers’ system according to Baseball America.
A newcomer to the Brewers’ organization, Reetz joins Biloxi after appearing in 64 games with Double-A Harrisburg in the Nationals’ organization in 2021. Between Harrisburg and Triple-A Rochester, Reetz hit .190 with 13 doubles, four home runs, 18 RBI and 31 runs scored. He made his Major League debut with Washington on July 10, 2021 and hit a double and scored a run as a pinch hitter for the Nationals. Originally selected in the third round of the 2014 draft by the Nationals out of Norris High School in Firth, Nebraska, Reetz was signed by the Brewers as a free agent on December 15, 2021.
Cantrelle earned a late promotion to Biloxi in 2021, his first season of professional baseball. Taken in the fifth round of the 2020 draft, the switch-hitting infielder hit .171 in 90 total games, but registered a .368 on-base percentage. His .376 on-base percentage with High-A Wisconsin was the fourth highest in the league, and the Lafayette, LA native was tied for the High-A Central lead in walks (77) and was also tied for seventh in stolen bases (28). In the Shuckers’ final game of the 2021, Cantrelle went 3-for-5 with a triple, 2 RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. At the conclusion of the 2021 season, Cantrelle was rated as the #26 prospect in the Brewers’ farm system according to MLB Pipeline.
Devanney comes back to the Shuckers after spending the entire 2021 season with Biloxi. The Nashua, New Hampshire native led the Shuckers in games played in 2021, hitting .175 with 10 doubles, five home runs and 30 RBI in 87 games played. Taken in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Elon, Devanney played 48 games at second base for the Shuckers, 32 games at third and nine games at shortstop during the 2021 campaign.
Dillard appeared in 27 games with Biloxi at the end of the season. The former Ole Miss Rebel slashed .256/.385/.356 with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI to close out the season with the Shuckers. Selected in the fifth round of the 2019 draft by Milwaukee, Dillard was named a MiLB Organizational All-Star and slashed .247/.365/.444 with 15 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs and 75 RBI in 105 games between High-A Wisconsin and Biloxi. Despite spending the last five weeks of the season at Double-A, Dillard still finished the season sixth in the High-A Central in RBI (67) and OPS (.831), seventh in slugging percentage (.472) and ninth in OBP (.359). At the end of the 2021 season, Dillard was rated as the #23 prospect in the Brewers’ system according to MLB Pipeline.
McGee jumps to Double-A after spending 72 games with Low-A Carolina and 15 games with High-A Wisconsin in 2021. The 18th round pick in the 2019 draft out of the University of North Carolina enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first full season of professional baseball, hitting .288 with 23 doubles, a triple, 11 home runs, 56 RBI and 64 runs scored across 87 games between Carolina and Wisconsin. McGee led the Brewers’ organization in OBP (.423) in 2021 and was second in OPS (.913) and doubles, third in slugging (.490), fifth in walks (65), sixth in RBI and tied for sixth in extra-base hits (35). He set a Carolina Mudcats single-game record with 9 RBI on July 14 at Kannapolis.
2022 will be Lutz’ second full season with Biloxi. The Arlington, TX native missed six weeks with a broken hand in 2021 but still hit .217 with 12 doubles, a triple, seven home runs, 31 RBI and 25 runs scored in 64 games with the Shuckers. Originally selected with the 34th overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Martin High School, Lutz was rated as the Brewers’ #27 prospect at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
Bennett, a sixth-round pick by the Brewers in 2019 out of Louisville, split 2021 between High-A Wisconsin and Biloxi. The lefty went 1-4 with a 4.66 ERA in 10 appearances, six starts, with 43 strikeouts across 46.1 innings with the Shuckers. Over his final four appearances with Biloxi, Bennett pitched to a 3.24 ERA and held opponents to a .155 batting average against.
Bullock finished 2021 with Biloxi and returns to the rotation for 2022. Across three levels in 2021, Bullock went 8-8 with a 4.24 ERA and walked just 26 batters while striking out 100 hitters in 97.2 innings. The righty was named the Low-A East Pitcher of the Week for the week of May 16 while with the Carolina Mudcats and tossed the first five innings of the Timber Rattlers no-hitter on June 10. In his final start with Biloxi on September 18 against the Tennessee Smokies, Bullock hurled five shutout innings, allowing just three hits while striking out four.
Chirino joins the Biloxi bullpen for 2022 after going 6-5 with a 3.88 ERA while in Wisconsin in 2021. He also recorded five holds and seven saves in eight opportunities across 51.0 innings. The Pueblo Nuevo, Venezuela native was signed by the Brewers in November of 2015 and pitched for the Venezuelan National Team during WBSC Olympic qualifiers in 2021.
Shuckers’ fans only saw Contreras make three starts in 2021 before his season was cut short due to injury, but the righty made a statement in his lone start at MGM Park. Across 4.0 innings, he struck out 11 batters and helped the Shuckers win their series finale against the Mississippi Braves on May 16. Milwaukee signed Contreras as a free agent in June of 2019 and the Muelle de Cabalettes, Venezuela native made one appearance for Biloxi to close out the 2019 regular season, recording a save over three scoreless innings in Birmingham.
A familiar name to Shuckers’ fans, Erceg comes back to Biloxi for his third season with the team. The former second-round pick of the Brewers was a third baseman in the 2018 campaign before serving as a two-way player in 2021. In early July of 2021, Erceg shifted his focus solely to pitching and in the month of August went 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA, holding opponents to a .137 batting average against.
Herb joins the Brewers’ organization after spending the last seven seasons in the Seattle Mariners organization. The 29-year-old spent most of the 2021 season with Double-A Arkansas, going 3-6 with a 4.16 ERA across 17 appearances, 15 of them starts. Originally selected in the 29th round of the 2014 draft by the Mariners out of Coastal Carolina, Herb struck out 85 batters in 84.1 innings and had a 1.26 WHIP with Arkansas in 2021.
Hernandez is the final newcomer to the Brewers’ organization on the Shuckers’ initial roster. Originally signed by the Kansas City Royals in 2012, Hernandez pitched with the West Virginia Power (now the Charleston Dirty Birds) of the Atlantic League in 2021, going 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three starts. During the 2019 season, Hernandez made 26 appearances, 24 starts, between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha in the Royals system and went 6-10 with a 5.60 ERA.
Hitt comes back to Biloxi as a vital piece to the bullpen after spending the entire 2021 season with the Shuckers. Following the month of May in which he allowed 11 runs in 9.0 innings, Hitt allowed just three earned runs the rest of the season in 2021, pitching to a 0.81 ERA over his final 28 appearances. Originally selected in the 24th round of the 2017 draft by the Brewers out of Quinnipiac, Hitt finished the season with a 2.98 ERA and held opponents to a .208 batting average.
Luna split 2021 between High-A Wisconsin and Biloxi and pitched to a 2.33 ERA across 11 starts and 15 total appearances. The righty combined with Justin Bullock to throw a no-hitter on June 10 with Wisconsin, and after his promotion to Biloxi went 1-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 29.1 innings at Double-A, walking just four batters while striking out 26.
A free agent signing in 2021, Otero was a stabilizing force in the Shuckers’ bullpen and then their rotation last season. The southpaw went 5-0 with a 2.10 ERA with the Shuckers’, making 16 total appearances and seven starts for Biloxi. Across 51.1 innings, he walked just eight batters while racking up 65 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .181 batting average. Between Biloxi and Triple-A Nashville, the David, Panama native went 5-2 with a 4.13 ERA.
Sunitsch technically joins the Shuckers for the second time in his career but is slated to see game action for the first time in 2022. Sunitsch was added to Biloxi’s roster during the 2019 Southern League Championship Series but did not make an appearance. He missed the entire 2021 season while recovering from an injury, but during the 2019 season the 18th round pick in 2018 out of Washington State went 11-11 with a 4.09 ERA between then Single-A Wisconsin and High-A Carolina.
Vennaro was a part of Shuckers’ history in 2021, pitching an inning of relief in Biloxi’s first nine-inning no-hitter on May 15 against the Mississippi Braves. After going undrafted out of the University of Mount Olive, Vennaro impressed while pitching for the Ottawa Champions of the Canadian-American Association and was signed by the Brewers in June of 2019. The righty struck out 50 batters in 36.2 innings in 2021 with Biloxi while recording a pair of saves.
Walters earns his first promotion to Double-A after spending the entire 2021 campaign with Wisconsin. The Lindale, TX native went 5-3 with a 4.33 ERA across 60.1 innings and walked 29 hitters while striking out 82. Originally selected by the Brewers in the third round of the 2015 draft out of Lindale High School, Walters tied for the High-A Central league lead in holds (11) and was third in appearances (43) in 2021.
The Biloxi Shuckers open their seventh season on the road against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Friday, April 8. Biloxi then returns to MGM Park for their home opener against the Mississippi Braves on Tuesday, April 12 at 6:35 pm. Individual tickets, Shuck Nation Memberships, Flex Plans and group outings are available for the 2022 season by calling (228) 233-3465 or visiting biloxishuckers.com.
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