OGDEN — The Raptors are returning, bringing rookie league baseball back to the Junction City for its annual summer stay.
Prospects began arriving Thursday from the parent club Los Angeles Dodgers’ spring training facility in Glendale, Ariz., to prepare for the season and meet with their host families.
The Ogden Raptors will take the field to work out today.
Ogden opens Pioneer League play on Monday at 7 p.m. at Lindquist Field, starting a three-game homestand by hosting the first game in the history of the Grand Junction Rockies. The Colorado Rockies ownership purchased the Casper Ghosts last year and moved the franchise to Grand Junction, Colo.
There are several familiar names on the Raptors roster who have previous experience in Ogden: pitchers Derek Cone, Carlos De Aza, Jason West, Kazuki Nishijima, Michael Drowne, and infielders Kevin Thompson and Justin Boudreaux played here last season.
Some of the names are familiar for other reasons: Devon Ethier, a 32nd round draft pick in 2010, is the brother of L.A. Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier.
Infielder Alex Santana, the highest drafted player currently on Ogden’s roster as a second-round choice in 2011, is the son of former major leaguer Rafael Santana, a shortstop for the World Series champion 1986 New York Mets. Rafael Santana is now the player development and scouting supervisor for the Chicago White Sox’s baseball academy in the Dominican Republic.
Outfielder Devin Shines, another returning Raptor, is the son of former big leaguer Razor Shines, who is now a hitting coach with the Dodgers’ Class A team in Great Lakes, Mich.
Ogden manager Damon Berryhill returns for his fourth season at the helm of the Raptors, with pitching coach Bill Simas in his second year.
New to the staff is hitting coach Doug Mientkiewicz, who was a midseason addition to the Boston Red Sox as they won their first World Series title in 86 years in 2004.
Mientkiewicz, a former Salt Lake Buzz player, won an Olympic gold medal in baseball in 2000 on Team USA, managed by former Ogden Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.
The Raptors are here
• Ogden’s Pioneer League baseball team gathered Thursday, with workouts planned for today, Saturday and Sunday.
• 2012 season opener versus the Grand Junction Rockies is Monday at 7 p.m. at Lindquist Field
• Players are supplied by the Los Angeles Dodgers, which has new ownership since last season
• Tickets are on sale at Lindquist Field box office. For information, call 801-393-2400.