Asheville Tourists Kick Off 2021 Season Today!

The view of the Asheville Tourists' McCormick Field from afar.

After 20 months without baseball in Asheville, the Houston Astros have assigned 29 players to represent the Tourists as baseball returns to McCormick Field in 2021. The Opening Day roster features top prospects, depth, and an upgrade in talent that Tourists fans are accustomed to, thanks to Asheville’s jump up to High-A.

According to MLB.com, this roster features six players ranked among the top 30 Houston Astros prospects: C Korey Lee (5), INF Freudis Nova (6), OF Colin Barber (7), P Jose Alberto Rivera (17), P Tyler Brown (19), and P Blair Henley (27). Lee was a first round pick in 2018, Barber and Henley were selected in 2019 in the fourth and seventh rounds respectively, and Brown was the first player taken by the Astros in the 2020 draft.

The roster features two additional players selected in the top ten rounds of the 2018 draft: OF Alex McKenna, fourth round, and OF Scott Schreiber, ninth round. The remaining position players include C Alex Holderbach, C Tyler Krabbe, INF A.J. Lee, INF Luis Santana, INF Emmanuel Valdez, OF Wilyer Abreu, and OF Ramiro Rodriguez.

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Joining Rivera, Brown, and Henley on the pitching staff are left-handed hurlers Yeremi Ceballos and Juan Pablo Lopez. The right-handed arms include Jose Bravo, Riley Cabral, Chandler Casey, Daniel Cody, Devin Conn, Jimmy Endersby, R.J. Freure, Layne Henderson, Cole McDonald, Matt Ruppenthal, Kyle Serrano, and Felipe Tejada.

The roster features players from all across the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. All 29 players will be making their Asheville Tourists debuts.

“I am more thrilled than ever to welcome these young men to the Asheville community and the Tourists family,” said Tourists President and Owner Brian DeWine. “Our staff is committed to maintaining a safe environment for the players so we can all welcome baseball back to McCormick Field this season.”

The coaching staff features Manager Nate Shaver, Pitching Coach Eric Nielsen, Hitting Coach Rene Rojas, Development Coach Kyle Brennan, Trainer Kyle Brennan, and Strength Coach Zach Reding.

Opening Day at McCormick Field is this Tuesday, May 4, where the Tourists play host to the Brooklyn Cyclones at 6:35pm. Opening Day is sold out. A limited number of individual game tickets for the opening homestand are on sale at the McCormick Field Box Office.

For more information, visit the official team website at www.TheAshevilleTourists.com.

Prepared by Doug Maurer, Asheville Tourists.