FAIRFIELD — Minor League baseball opened Thursday with seven players with local ties suiting up from New Hampshire to Oregon.
Vanden High graduate Kris Negron is in his fifth season with the Louisville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds’ Triple-A team in the International League.
Negron, a shortstop, batted .225 for Bats last season.
Also in Triple-A is Vacaville graduate Drew Carpenter, who signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers last fall and is now with the Albuquerque Isotopes of the Pacific Coast League.
Carpenter, a right-handed pitcher, played in both the Cubs and A’s organizations in 2013, going 7-9 overall with a 4.97 earned run average over 126 2-3 innings.
Moving up to Double-A is another Vanden grad, Andrew Aplin, who’s now with the Texas League’s Corpus Christi Hooks in the Houston Astros organization.
The outfielder hit .278 with 48 extra-base hits, 107 RBIs and 24 stolen bases for Lancaster in the California League in 2013, making the CAL midseason and postseason all-star teams and was also an MiLB.com Organization All-Star.
Jonathan Jones, another Vanden graduate, is also on a Double-A roster with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Toronto Blue Jays’ team in the Eastern League.
Jones got into four games with the Fisher Cats last season and also hit .227 in an injury-shortened 2013 with the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League.
Vanden grad Ryan Lipkin, who also played for Solano, is back with Midland RockHounds, the Oakland A’s Double-A team in the Texas League.
Lipkin was limited to 18 games in 2013 because of injuries, batting .119.
Geno Escalante, a Rodriguez graduate in the San Francisco Giants organization, is slated to start the season with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Class A short season Northwest League, for whom he batted .300 in 39 games last summer.
On independent league rosters are right-handed pitchers Dustin Crenshaw (Solano), Ethan Gibbons(Armijo, Solano) and Kagen Hopkins (Vacaville, Solano) with the Gary Southshore Railcats of the American Association, and outfielder Chris Elder (Armijo, Solano) with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.