ALTOONA – Fourteen former State College Spikes, including 2009 supplemental first-round draft pick Victor Black, will open this season with the Double-A Altoona Curve.
Black, who has never pitched more than 40 innings in a season because of injuries, is beginning 2012 at Altoona despite pitching just 6 2/3 innings at High-A Bradenton last season. Black joined the Marauders late in the 2011 season after opening the year at Low-A West Virginia, where he went 2-1 with a 5.28 ERA in 29 innings.
Black is one of six former Spikes on the Curve pitching staff. Mike Colla, who pitched for the '08 Spikes, is expected to start Thursday's opener against Erie at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Nate Baker, Duke Welker, Brandon Cumpton and Ryan Beckman are other former Spikes on the staff. Welker was the Pittsburgh Pirates' second-round draft pick in 2007.
Outfielder Adalberto Santos, a 2010 New York-Penn League all-star selection, will make his Double-A debut this week. Infielder Kelson Brown and first baseman Matt Curry played with Santos in State College.
Infielders Brock Holt and Jeremy Farrell, catcher Tony Sanchez, and outfielder Quincy Latimore are starting in Altoona for a second straight season. Elevys Gonzalez gives the Curve five former Spikes in the infield.