Chukars announce 2014 roster

The Kansas City Royals continue to stock the Idaho Falls Chukars roster with plenty of their top draft picks.

The Royals released the 2014 Chukars roster Thursday, and it includes the team’s third-round pick and all of its selections from the eighth through the 13th rounds of this year’s First Year Player Draft.

Left-handed pitcher Eric Skoglund leads the list of high-round picks. The 6-foot-7 Skoglund was the Royals’ third-round pick out of the University of Central Florida. Skoglund went 9-3 with a 2.54 ERA, 94 strikeouts and 27 walks during his junior season this spring. He was named the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year.

The other high draft picks coming to Idaho Falls are eight-round pick Ryan O’Hearn (an infielder from Sam Houston State), ninth-rounder Brandon Thomasson (an outfielder from Tennessee Tech), 10th-rounder Nick Green (a pitcher from Utah), 11th-rounder Robert Pehl (an outfielder from Washington), 12th-rounder Emilo Ogando (a pitcher from St. Thomas University) and 13th-rounder Eric Stout (a pitcher from Butler).

Several players will also return to Idaho Falls for another season, led by Alexis Rivera, who hit .269 with four home runs, 44 runs and nine stolen bases in 57 games for the Chukars. Also back for another year at Melaleuca Field are right-handed pitchers Jon Fitzsimmons and Ashton Goudeau and infielder Logan Davis, the son of Chukars pitching coach Mark Davis.

Bryan Brickhouse, a third-round pick in 2001 who pitched in one game for the Chukars in 2012, will start the year in Idaho Falls. Alec Mills and Sam Lewis, who pitched for the Chukars in 2012, will also return to start 2014.

Former Ohio State defensive back Devon Torrence will spend his summer in Idaho Falls. Torrance was drafted by Houston in 2007, but played football for the Buckeyes from 2007 through 2010 and then spent time in camp for three NFL teams.

The defending Pioneer League champion Chukars begin the season with an exhibition game against the Idaho Falls Bandits Double-A American Legion team at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Melaleuca Field. They open the regular season against Orem at 7:15 p.m. Monday night at Melaleuca.

See Sunday’s Post Register for a closer look at the 2014 Idaho Falls Chukars.