COLUMBIA, SC – The Columbia Fireflies, in conjunction with the Kansas City Royals, today announced their 2022 roster. The group that will kick-off the Fireflies sixth season in the Midlands is brimming with young talent, boasting seven 2021 draftees and four top 30 Royals’ prospects, according to MLB.com. If that
COLUMBIA, SC – The Columbia Fireflies, in conjunction with the Kansas City Royals, today announced their 2022 roster. The group that will kick-off the Fireflies sixth season in the Midlands is brimming with young talent, boasting seven 2021 draftees and four top 30 Royals’ prospects, according to MLB.com. If that weren’t enough, fans will also see 15 players who donned the neon and navy in 2021 return to the club this season.
“It’s going to be a fun year,” said Columbia Fireflies manager Tony Peña Jr. “We have a bunch of players who are hungry to improve and that will bring energy every day. We are all excited to start the season.”
The Fireflies are returning a few fan-favorite players from the 2021 season, including Darryl Collins. Collins was the everyday left fielder last season and memorably hit the Fireflies first-ever walk-off homer June 26 against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The walk-off grand slam sent fans home happily in the 10th inning at Segra Park.
The Fireflies will also return Ben Hernandez, the Royals 16th-best prospect, according to MLB.com. The Royals 2nd-round pick of the 2020 draft held a 2.37 ERA in five starts in Columbia last year. Omar Hernandez will continue to hold it down behind the dish for the Fireflies in 2022. He caught 58 games (56 starts) in the 2021 season for Columbia.
There will be a great influx of new talent on the roster as well. Another young catcher, Carter Jensen, will make his professional debut in Columbia. The Park Hill, Missouri native grew up a Royals fan and was selected in the third round of last year’s draft. MLB.com hailed Jensen as “one of the best pure hitters in the 2021 draft,” after he signed with Kansas City.
Another young player who has drawn some attention for the way he swings the bat is outfielder Erick Peña. The 19-year-old was one of the most sought after free agents in the 2019 International Free Agent class and has drawn a lot of comparisons to nine-time MLB All-Star Carlos Beltrán. He is rated as the Royals’ 12th-best prospect according to MLB.com.
The complete 2022 Columbia Fireflies Roster is available here.
Pitchers (17): Jack Aldrich, Wander Arias, Luinder Avila, Luis Barrosa, Noah Cameron, Delvin Capellan, Eric Cerantola, Shane Connolly, Heribert Garcia, Shane Connolly, Patrick Halligan, Isaiah Henry, Ben Hernandez, Rylan Kaufman, John McMillon, Samuel Valerio, Chase Wallace and Marlin Willis.
Catchers (3): Felix Familia, Omar Hernandez and Carter Jensen
Infielders (7): Wilmin Candelario, Francis Grullon, Rubendy Jaquez, Edgar Martinez, Guillermo Quintana, Josh Rivera and Enrique Valdez.
Outfielders (5): Jaswel De Los Santos, Darryl Collins, Erick Peña, River Town and Juan Carlos Negret.
The Fireflies 2022 season begins at Segra Park Friday, April 8 at 7:05 pm vs the Augusta GreenJackets (the Class-A Affiliate of the World Series Champion Atlanta Braves) and features a post-game firework show. Tickets for Opening Night, and all 2022 Fireflies home games, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at FirefliesTickets.com, by calling the Fireflies Box Office at 803-726-4487 or by visiting the Fireflies Box Office in-person at Segra Park. Individual game ticket prices range from $5 to $12 and premium seating options are available starting at $14 per person.