Professional baseball begins its 30th season in Las Vegas tonight when the 51s, the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, host the Sacramento River Cats at 7:05 p.m. at Cashman Field.
The 51s feature the two top prospects in Toronto’s organization as rated by Baseball America, catcher Travis d’Arnaud (No. 1) and outfielder Anthony Gose (No. 2). d’Arnaud was the MVP of the Eastern League in 2011 after hitting .311 with 21 home runs and was rated the No. 2 overall prospect in that league behind highly touted Las Vegas product Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.
Gose also starred at New Hampshire a year ago, stealing 70 bases to go along with 16 home runs. Like d’Amaud, he is projected by MLB.com to be in the big leagues by 2013.
Infielder David Cooper, who won the 2011 PCL batting title (.364), and outfielder Travis Snider also return for Las Vegas, which finished in second place with a 71-73 record last season.
Second-year manager Marty Brown talks about his team and opening night in the video below.