(Media release from the Rome Braves):

The Rome Braves have announced their Opening Day roster for the 2023 season which opens up on Thursday at AdventHealth Stadium. As ranked by, the Rome club features five of Atlanta’s top thirty prospects including pitcher AJ Smith-Shawver (No. 4), infielder Ignacio Alvarez (No. 14), outfielder Brandol Mezquita (No. 17), infielder Geraldo Quintero (No.19), and catcher Brake Baldwin (No.23).

AJ Smith-Shawver headlines the roster after catching the eyes of many during his time in North Port, Florida, for Spring Training. In two games with the big league club in 2023, Smith-Shawver posted a 1.59 earned run average with six strikeouts over five and two thirds of an inning. Opponents hit for a .176 average against Smith-Shawver over 17 at-bats.

In 2022, the Rome Braves were second half Division Champions of the South Atlantic League. A few of the cornerstones of that second half team will begin the 2023 campaign in Rome. Ronaldo Alesandro, Ian Mejia, Rolddy Munoz, JJ Niekro, Adam Zebrowski, Bryson Horne, Keshawn Ogans, Geraldo Quintero, Brandol Mezquita, Kadon Morton, and Brandon Parker all return to the River City for the 20th season of baseball in Rome.

The full roster break down includes:

Catchers (2): Drake Baldwin, Adam Zebrowski

Infielders (6): Cory Acton, Ignacio Alvarez, Bryson Horne, Keshawn Ogans, Geraldo Quintero, Eliezel Stevens

Outfielders (5): Kevin Kilpatrick, Brandol Mezquita, Kadon Morton, Stephen Paolini, Brandon Parker

Pitchers (17): Ronaldo Alesandro, Brent Burgess, Joe Harvey, Jonathan Huges, Ryder Jones, Daniel Martinez, Ian Mejia, Rolddy Munoz, JJ Niekro, Tyler Owens, Miguel Pena, Hunter Riggins, Estarlin Rodriguez, AJ Smith-Shawver, Samuel Strickland, Luis Vargas, Peyton Williams.

Pitcher Daysbel Hernandez will begin the year in Rome on a rehab assignment, and catcher Arden Pabst will begin the season on Rome’s development list.

The Braves open up their 20th season of baseball on April 6th at 7 pm against the Greenville Drive.