A total of sixteen players from the 2018 season are back in Visalia
By Jill Gearin
VISALIA – On Monday, the Rawhide announced its roster for the 2019 season. Sixteen (16) players who ended their 2018 season with the Rawhide will be back in Visalia to kick off the 2019 season.
One new face this season is Ryan Grotjohn. He was the 10th round draft pick out of Cal State Bakersfield in 2017. He is the highest draft pick to come out of CSU Bakersfield. Last season, Grotjohn moved around from the Class-A Kane County Cougars to Double-A Jackson Generals to the Rawhide.
The top prospect on the Rawhide is Jake McCarthy . According to MLB Pipeline, he is ranked 8th among the prospects in the Diamondback Organization. McCarthy was drafted in the first round from University of Virginia in 2018. He spent the 2018 season with the Hillsboro Hops where he stole 21 bases in 58 games while slashing .288/.375/443/.818.
Most of the 2019 coaching staff is also new to Visalia this year, but manager Shawn Roof has familial ties to Visalia.
Shawn Roof will start his first season with the Rawhide as Manager. His uncle, Phil Roof, managed the Visalia Oaks in 1982. Shawn Roof mentioned his father also coached in Visalia when the Oaks were an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.
Roof is in his third year of a managerial role and his fourth year as a coach in the Arizona’s farm system. He began his managerial career with the Hillsboro Hops, the Class A Short Season Affiliate of the D-backs, in 2017. In Roof’s first year he led the Hops to the playoffs with a 41-35 record. Last season, the Hops made it to the semi-finals in the Northwest League Playoffs under Roof.
Roof, 34, was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers. He played for six years in the minors before beginning his coaching career in the Baltimore Orioles organization.
Shane Loux will take over as Pitching Coach. Loux enters is third season as a pitching coach. He spent the last two seasons as the pitching coach for the Missoula Osprey, the Rookie League affiliate of the D-backs. Before his coaching career, Loux was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 2nd round in 1997. He made his MLB debut in 2002 with the Tigers. Loux also pitched for the Los Angeles Angels and the San Francisco Giants.
Travis Denker returns to the Rawhide for his second season, this time as the Hitting Coach. Last season, Denker was the Coach for the Rawhide. Prior to his coaching career, Denker played 12 years in the Minors with six organizations. He played 24 games in the Majors with the San Francisco Giants. Denker ended his playing career with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.
Nick Evans rounds out the Rawhide Coaching Staff as the Coach. This will be Evans’ first season of coaching. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the 5th round of the 2004 draft. Evans made his MLB debut at age 22 in 2008 for the Mets. He also played in the Pittsburgh and Arizona organizations.
Opening Night is Thursday April 4th at 7pm versus the San Jose Giants.