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April 2, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Greenville roster features three of first five 2012 Red Sox draft picks

A trio of pitchers selected in the early rounds of the 2012 draft - left-hander Brian Johnson (pictured), right-hander Pat Light and right-hander Austin Maddox - are among the top names on the Greenville Drive opening day roster, released by the team Tuesday.

Ranked 12th by and a 2013 Preseason All-Star, Johnson (1st round, 31st overall in 2012) is set to begin his first full professional season. Johnson posted a 3.90 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 90 innings for the University of Florida last season before joining Lowell for four starts. He yielded two hits and no runs in 5 2/3 innings for the Spinners.

Light, taken as the 37th overall pick in the supplemental round last June, got a bit more experience with Lowell. He put up a 2.37 ERA in 30 1/3 innings across 12 starts. Maddox (3rd round, 118th overall) pitched three scoreless innings in his lone start for the Spinners after getting five innings with the GCL Red Sox.

Low A Greenville will also feature nine players with previous experience as members of the drive, including's No. 19 prospect Jose Vinicio and right-hander Madison Younginer.

Vinicio is back for his second season with the Drive, having spent all but two games of 2012 with the club. The 19-year-old shortstop put up a .277/.320/.371 slash line while collecting 15 extra-base hits and stealing 24 bags.

Catcher Jordan Weems, first baseman Boss Moanaroa - the 21-year-old Australian import - left-hander Cody Kukuk and right-hander Frank Montas will also be joining the Drive. Kukuk will be making a jump straight from the GCL Red Sox, while Montas pitched in one game for the Spinners in 2012.

Manager Carlos Febles is back on the bench for his second season at the helm of the Drive, while he'll be assisted by a pair of first-years - pitching coach Paul Abbott and hitting coach UL Washington.

Greenville's full roster can be found here. The Drive open the season at 7:05 p.m. Thursday against the Charleston RiverDogs.

Photo credit: Brian Johnson by Kelly O'Connor.

Tim Healey is a staff writer for Follow him on Twitter

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