Arizona Rookie Ball begins Friday night

Friday night in the heat of the Arizona summer, San Francisco's rookie squad will begin play for the 2014 season. The full roster was just released an hour or so ago, and can be found here. Here's a breakdown of the 30 players listed.

2014 Draftees

  • RHP Sam Coonrod, 5th round
  • IF Skyler Ewing, 6th round
  • LHP Mathew Gage, 10th round
  • RHP Greg Brody, 11th round
  • CF Richard Amion, 19th round
  • C Deac Deacon, 33rd round

2013 Draftees

  • LHP Nick Jones, 14th round
  • 3B Jonah Arenado, 16th round
  • C Rene Melendez, 17th round
  • LHP Garrett Hughes, 19th round
  • RHP William Simpson, 21st round
  • RHP Michael Connolly, 27th round
  • RHP Dylan Brooks, 30th round
  • C John Riley, 31st round
  • RHP Rayan Hernandez, 34th round
  • C Matt Pare, Undrafted
  • RHP Brandon Farley, 2012 draftee

DSL "Graduates"

  • RHP Michael Santos
  • RHP Cesar Yanez
  • OF Carlos Cartagena
  • OF Nicol Parra

2013 AZL Returnees

  • RHP Luis Pino
  • OF Hector Mercedes
  • OF Randy Ortiz
  • OF Julio Pena
  • OF Ben Leslie

Free Agent Signees

  • RHP Rodolfo Martinez
  • RHP Kendry Melo
  • 1B Christian Lichtenthaler
  • 1B Rodney Price II

I'm excited about a few players listed here, but none more than Kendry Melo — a 6'3", 210-pound right-hander that San Francisco signed last June. Ben Badler of Baseball America had this to say about Dominican Republic native:

"The 20-year-old Melo has a big, thick frame at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and threw 88-93 mph with heavy sink. His 80-82 mph slider got a swing-and-miss from Diamondbacks 18-year-old outfielder Justin Williams, their second-round pick last year, before Melo got him swinging though a fastball for the strikeout."

He sounds a lot like Keury Mella, which is obviously a good thing. 

Two skyscrapers posing as pitchers are also on the roster — Dylan Brooks and Garrett Hughes. Both drafted in 2013, the 6'7" Brooks and 6"9" Hughes could be hard to hit with their deceptive angle. 

Offensively, I'm most excited about 2014 sixth-round selection Skyler Ewing and 2013 16th-rounder Jonah Arenado. Ewing, who left before his senior season at Rice University to sign with the Giants just weeks ago, slugged .500 for the Owls in his final year, including eight home runs and 16 doubles in 238 at-bats. Arenado, younger brother of Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, struggled in 12 games with the AZL squad last season, but the 19-year old has good bloodlines and a lot of time to improve. I would not be surprised to see an outburst worthy of a promotion, say to Salem-Keizer or even Augusta by the end of the 2014 season.