German catcher Kai Gronauer is continuing to move up the ladder within the New York Mets organization. Now he is just two steps away from Major League Baseball. On Tuesday the Binghamton Mets announced their opening day roster and the 24-year-old from Solingen is one of two catchers. Managed by Wally Backman they are starting their campaign in the Double-A Eastern League on Thursday, April 7 with a road trip to the Akron Aeros.
Gronauer had a quite successful 2010 season. He started the year with the Savannah Sand Gnats, was named an all star and got promoted to Port St. Lucie at the halfway point. Afterwards he got invited to the Arizona Fall League and to the MLB portion of Spring Training for a second consecutive year. Baseball America also named him the best defensive catcher in the Mets organization.
Four more German players are playing in affiliated minor league ball. Donald Lutz is also going to open the season on Thursday. He is the starting first baseman for the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds; Single A) in the Midwest League. Max Kepler-Rozycki (Minnesota Twins) is moving up to the Elizabethton Twins in mid June. Jennell Hudson of the Boston Red Sox is rehabbing after Tommy John surgery. Markus Solbach is going to start his professional career with the Minnesota Twins in Australia later this year.