Rawhide fields new ballclub

The Visalia Rawhide announce 2021 roster with all new players

VISALIA – A new set of faces will be defending the California League championship for the Visalia Rawhide. Last Saturday, the team announced its roster for the 2021 season and all 29 players are newcomers to Visalia.

Six of those players are named in the Diamondbacks Top 30 list by MLB Pipeline: LHP Blake Walston at No. 8, 3B/OF A.J. Vukovich at No. 13, OF Wilderd Patino at No. 20, LHP Liam Norris at No. 27, RHP Justin Martinez at No. 28, and RHP Brandon Pfaadt at No. 30. Vukovich, Norris, and Pfaadt will make their professional debuts in Visalia.

Walston, the sole number one draft pick on the roster, was the 26th overall pick in 2019 out of New Hanover in Wilmington, NC. He ended the 2019 season in Hillsboro.

Vukovich is the only 2020 draft pick on the Opening Day roster. He was the 119th overall pick and drafted in the fourth round out of East Troy HS in Wisconsin.

Leading the Rawhide for the 2021 season is manager Javier Colina. 2021 marks his eighth season with the Diamondbacks and fourth season managing. In 2019, he led the Hillsboro Hops to the Northwest League Championship. He is no stranger to Visalia, as he spent the 2016 season as the bench coach for the Rawhide.

Barry Enright will be the new Rawhide pitching coach in his third season with the Diamondbacks. Enright was the pitching coach under Colina for the Hops in 2019. He joined the Diamondbacks organization as a coach after his 12-year playing career, four of which were spent in the Major Leagues. Prior to the bigs, he spent two seasons (2007-2008), leading the California League in strikeouts in his second year with 143. He was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the second round in 2007.

Micah Franklin will serve as the hitting coach under Colina in 2021. Franklin spent the 2019 season as the hitting coach for the Kane County Cougars and 2018 as the hitting coach for the Hops. He enters his fifth season with the Diamondbacks. Drafted in the third round by the Mets in the 1990 MLB Draft, Franklin played 15 professional seasons, reaching the Major Leagues in 1997.

Darrin Garner, who will be the Rawhide coach, brings over five years of MiLB experience to Visalia. He was drafted in the first round of the 1985 June Draft-Secondary Phase by the Texas Rangers. He began his coaching career in 1992.

Opening night was last night versus Lake Elsinore. The teams will meet again every night through Saturday at 6 p.m at Valley Strong Ballpark. The series will end Sunday at 1 p.m.

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