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2015 Winston-Salem Dash Season Preview

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Not much pitching, solid hitting

Michael Ynoa
Michael Ynoa
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Pitchers

They certainly aren't the interesting part of the Dash. The only really notable arm is 2014 third round pick Jace Fry. The 21-year-old pitched sparingly for Great Falls last season after a heavy college workload. The velocity on his fastball is around 90 MPH, so nothing special, but his repertoire is for a left-hander. He's the rare southpaw who relies on a sinker-slider combination. Both of those pitches rate as average and he also throws a changeup and curve. His delivery and body suggest the ability to handle a starter's workload but, whatever his role, he's going to need above average command of his sinker and slider.

Brandon Brennan is mildly interesting, having come back from Tommy John surgery in the second-half of 2014, but the righty starts the season on the DL. Not a great sign for the 2012 fourth rounder. Lefty Jefferson Olacio and righty Michael Ynoa are both big guys with potential but it's hard to get excited about relievers below AA.

Position Players

The Dash infield has some solid prospects. Trey Michalczewski will be manning third base. The switch-hitter looks like he'll be able to stick at third and it will be interesting to see if he can start showing game power. Cleuluis Rondon is a very light-hitting shortstop but a spectacular defender. Jake Peter is an offense-first second baseman with gap power but not much else. And Keon Barnum is a left-handed first baseman getting a second chance at High-A. He has well above-average raw power that he hasn't been able to translate into game power at all. A major reason for that is a hit tool that is well below-average.

The outfield has Adam Engel, a speedy righty who plays solid defense but doesn't have much of a bat.

Overall, batters will enjoy playing at Winston-Salem's ballpark, as it is very hitter-friendly. A description from Brian Boesch, PR man for the Dash:

Our ballpark's layout tends to benefit hitters. There are some shallow spots down the lines (315 feet in left, 323 in right) and, most notably, in right-center field. Plus, the quirky layout in right and the 402 mark to the left of dead center frequently brings about an extra base for runners or the batter himself. In a league of (mostly) symmetrical ballparks, this is a change that outfielders have to deal with and runners can benefit from.

I don't have any stats to back this up, but it does seem like the wind benefits offenses more often at BB&T Ballpark than most other CL diamonds. Thinking back to last year, I don't remember the wind blowing in all that often.

The full roster is here.