TRAVERSE CITY — While Traverse City plans on running a lot more this season, there’s still plenty of pop in the middle of the lineup.
Yazy Arbelo and Jovan Rosa are expected to ease the loss of sluggers Chase Burch, Zach Kometani and Carlo Testa.
Rosa is coming off a trip to the Frontier League All-Star Game, and both have put up impressive seasons in the Class A Midwest League.
“Big guy, powerful guy,” outfielder Sean Gusrang said of Rosa. “He’s really good defensively. He’s probably going to be a big staple in the middle of the lineup and bring in some big power like Traverse City is used to seeing.”
Rosa should be familiar to Beach Bums fans, having played his last two seasons in the Frontier League, including last year when he hit .284 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs in 80 games for Washington.
He also should be a hit with fans.
Prior to his first interview as a Beach Bum, he pretended he couldn’t speak English, flustering a team official before he gave up the ruse.
“When it comes to the reporters, I always mess with them a little bit,” he said, smiling. “I’ve got to give them something. If it’s not the English, it’s the severe case of Tourette’s I just caught right before the interview.”
For Class A Peoria in 2008, the Puerto Rico native drove in 81 runs (fifth in the league) with a .293 average, seven homers and a league-high 43 doubles. In 300 minor-league games, he’s a career .276 hitter with 83 two-baggers.
“I was excited we picked him up,” Bums third baseman Jose Vargas said. “He’s definitely a good baseball player. He’s good defensively and definitely has a good bat. He seems like a very personable guy.