WILLIAMSPORT, PA – First year Williamsport Crosscutters manager Nelson Prada is bringing approximately nine years of experience, as a player and manager to a young team that includes nine players that were drafted recently in the 2013 Major League Draft.

Prada will be backed up by extensive experience of his coaches. They include Lino Connell, Les Lancaster, and Shawn Williams.

Five players from last year’s club return to Williamsport. They include Jlandido Tromp (OF- #23), Ramon Oviedo (P – #46), Manny Martinez (P – #29); and two players that will start their 2013 season on the disabled list, Jim Birmingham (P) and Ulises Joaquin (P).

Andrew Knapp (2013 – 2nd Round/C – #13), out of the University of California and Corey Bass (2013 – 20th Round / C – #16) are catching prospects for the future within the Phillies organization.

However, Gabriel Lino (C – #10) will be competing with Knapp and Bass for playing time; after coming to the Phillies organization in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles over the Winter.

Logan Pierce (2013 – 15th Round / IF – #25) is coming directly out of college at Troy (AL) University; and will be one of seven left-handed bats for the Crosscutters this season.

Justin Parr (2013 – 8th Round / OF – #15) comes out of the University of Illinois. He is another left – handed bat that Prada will have to utilize in the lineup, if he so desires.

Prada feels that with having such a huge Latin American presence on the team can be beneficial, especially with helping them get acclimated to the cultures in the United States.

Especially, with fifteen players coming from the region and having one half of the coaching staff from Latin America; it could help ease the transition. Prada added that it usually takes three to four years, for a player to get that acclimation and understanding down pat.

Prada looks to development of the players as being more important. However, winning definitely helps that development of the player more quickly.

Dylan Cozens (OF – #18) is one player that Prada will be looking to make in – roads within the team. In the 2-1/2 months leading up to the start of the season; Prada sees a lot of improvement and expects his defensive skills to improve even more. Cozens spent last season in the Gulf Coast League and is another left – handed bat on this year’s squad.

The Crosscutters open up their 2013 season tonight against the State College Spikes in State College. The home opener is Tuesday night against the Spikes at Historic Bowman Field.