New Park, New Manager, Barons Ready For Opener - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

New Park, New Manager, Barons Ready For Opener

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The Birmingham Barons will open the 2013 season in a new stadium, with a new manager and coaching staff, but with the same big league dreams.

"We're all doing what we love to do," outfielder Trayce Thompson said.  "We've all dreamed of this since we were 5 or 6 years old, pretty much our whole lives.   Playing in a new stadium and everything and being a level up its more exciting."

Barons outfielder Keenyn Walker used the word "electric" when describing the team's line-up manager Julio Vinas will field night in, night out.

"We got speed at the top of our order," Walker said.  "The big hosses Thompson, Dan Black and (Brandon) Short can put power into it."

The Barons return 12 players from last year's roster, and have four top-10 prospects.

"Our defense will be solid," first-year manager Vinas said.  "Solid hitting and pitching, it should be a solid season out of the kids.  I really think we will be out there competing every night to win a ballgame."

The finishing touches are still being added to the new ballpark.  Regions Field is expected to be ready for the home opener on April 10 vs. Mississippi.

"It will be excited to see it done," infielder Andy Wilkins said.  "We were taking batting practice yesterday and hitting guys working on the field."

"I was here last year a little bit, in Hoover," Thompson added.  "[The Hoover Met] was a good place to play with a lot of history.

"But playing in downtown, playing in a new stadium, it's real nice.   I don't really know how you can beat this."

The Barons open the season Thursday against in-state rival Montgomery.

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