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Fireflies Announce 2024 Opening Day Roster

Fireflies Will Host Annual Job Fair February 18

April 3, 2024 – Carolina League (CarL)
Columbia Fireflies News Release

Austin Charles of the Columbia Fireflies
Austin Charles of the Columbia Fireflies
(Columbia Fireflies)

COLUMBIA, SC – The Columbia Fireflies, in conjunction with the Kansas City Royals, today announced their 2024 Opening Day Roster. The roster is stuffed to the gills with talent for manager Jesus Azuaje, including the Royals top two 2023 draftees, 15 returners from the 2023 season and a handful of the Royals top international signees.

“We are excited and enthusiastic about this group of players that shows up every day ready to compete, bring a lot of energy and a love for the game,” Fireflies manager Jesus Azuaje said. “We’re looking forward to having a great season.”

The Fireflies’ roster is highlighted by Royals’ top prospect and eighth overall pick in the 2024 draft, Blake Mitchell. The backstop was the 2022 and 2023 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year and helped lead a 2022 18U World Cup Championship roster before graduating high school.

Mitchell isn’t the only member of the 2023 draft class that will begin in Columbia though, he’s joined by the Royals’ second pick, Blake Wolters. Wolters jumped on the scene his senior year after winning the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year Award, but his draft stock shot through the roof when he hit 98 MPH on his fastball for a Super 60 Showcase record in February 2023.

According to Pipeline, the tandem make up the Royals top and seventh-best prospects and Mitchell is considered the 91st-best prospect in all of baseball. The Fireflies also boast Austin Charles and Daniel Vazquez who are featured in the Royals’ top-30 prospects and are returning to the roster from the 2023 season.

The Fireflies have five additional 2023 draftees on their roster. Jacob Widener (9th round), Logan Martin (12th round), Ethan Bosacker (13th round) and Connor Oliver (17th round) will also help out the pitching staff to start the 2024 campaign.

In addition to the young, new talent, Columbia will bring along some experience. 13 members of the Opening Day roster spent at least part of the 2023 season in the Carolina League. It’s an experienced hitting group with Dionmy Salon, Lizandro Rodriguez, Brennon McNair, Erick Peña, Vazquez and Charles.

Vazquez enters the season with 146 hits for the Fireflies, which places him 33 hits behind Omar Hernandez, who owns the Fireflies all-time hits record. He trails Hernandez by 40 runs scored for the Fireflies franchise mark as well, entering the year with 82 runs scored over the…

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