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Projecting the 2017 Trenton Thunder Opening Day roster

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Here’s who you can go see in Trenton this year

MLB: New York Yankees-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I took a stab at projecting the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders roster. That proved to be an easy endeavor, since many of their future players were invited to Yankees spring training. Anyone who doesn’t make the team will likely end up there. However, projecting the Double-A Trenton roster will be harder. It will still be some time before we find who will be assigned where, but let’s take a look anyway.

Catcher

Francisco Diaz

Kellin Deglan

Once you get past Gary Sanchez, the Yankees system is pretty barren at the catcher position. Kyle Higashioka has graduated to Scranton, so Trenton will see long-time farmhand Francisco Diaz and recent minor league signee Kellin Deglan take up the role.

Infield

SS Gleyber Torres

The Yankees’ top prospect will get his first taste of Double-A to begin the 2017 season. He’s still only 20 years old, and he received a full season in High-A last year and proved he could hit. This level will be a big step for him, especially at such a young age, but Torres has shown that it shouldn’t be a problem for him.

3B Miguel Andujar

Andujar may be the team’s second-best position player now that he finally put it together in 2016. Despite working through his typical slow start and period of adjustment at a new level, he put up career highs in many different offensive categories. A return to Trenton will do him good.

2B/SS Abiatal Avelino

At one point Avelino was considered to be an interest prospect for the Yankees, ineffectiveness at the plate then allowed others to pass him by. He’s still a shortstop, though he will obviously move over to accommodate Torres.

1B Dante Bichette

UT Cito Culver

UT Billy Fleming

UT Vicente Conde

These four are really just here to fill up space at this point. We know Bichette isn’t going to amount to much. Culver was re-signed to another deal because the Yankees like his glove. Him and Fleming will be used to back up most of the team’s infield positions.

Outfield

RF Billy McKinney

McKinney’s power hasn’t come around like many had hoped, and he’s not much of a right fielder, but this is really the only place he fits.

CF Rashad Crawford

The new Yankees outfielder impressed in his organizational debut, however, it has yet to be seen if he can repeat it.

LF Mark Payton

OF Devyn Bolasky

The Thunder will have two more college outfielders on the team who will serve as important big league depth over the next few years.

Rotation

RHP Justus Sheffield

The team’s top pitching prospect will lead the staff during his first full season at Trenton. Everything about him has looked as advertised so far, we just have to see how he adjusts to more advanced hitters.

RHP Will Carter

Carter only went pro in 2015, yet here he is in Trenton after just two seasons. He’s done it all as a starter without really striking anyone out. He will be a name to watch to see if he can keep it up.

LHP Nestor Cortes

Cortes has defied the odds just to get this far. Taken out of the 36th round in 2013, he stuck around before zooming through four levels in 2016. He’s more of a soft tossing lefty, so we’ll have to see how that translates.

RHP Kyle Haynes

LHP Daniel Camarena

Bullpen

RHP J.P. Feyereisen

If life was fair, Feyereisen would be in Triple-A, but he might end up back in Double-A to start the season due to a roster crunch. He’s still on track to reach the big leagues this year, though.

RHP Cale Coshow

After some consideration as a prospect, Coshow was moved to the bullpen. His subsequent struggles leave his future in doubt.

RHP Travis Hissong

RHP Dillon McNamara

Neither of these pitchers are considered prospects, but they have certainly performed well enough to get some attention.

LHP Evan Rutckyj

RHP Mark Montgomery

RHP Matt Marsh