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HUNTSVILLE Ala. (WHNT) – It’s officially Opening Day in Major League Baseball and several local players are starting the year at the Major League level.

The state of Alabama is responsible for 348 Major League Players in history. This season there are 17 players from the state of Alabama on opening day rosters. Six of which are Tennessee Valley natives.

The six players that made an Opening Day roster:

Kyle Wright, Atlanta Braves: The Huntsville native played locally at Buckhorn High school before playing collegiately at Vanderbilt. He is entering year five with Braves but will start the year on the 15-day injured list as he nurses a shoulder issue.

Wright was the only Major League pitcher a year ago to win 20 games. He recorded 21 wins.

Keegan Thompson, Chicago Cubs: Thompson played at Cullman High School before playing for Auburn. He was selected in the third round of the 2017 MLB Draft and made his profession debut in 2021.

Graham Ashcraft, Cincinnati Reds: A Huntsville High School product, Ashcraft debuted last May before finishing the season in Triple-A. He was selected for the Opening Day roster after 25 spring training strikeouts.

Ashcraft was taken in the sixth round of 2019 MLB draft, the highest a UAB player has been selected.

Trey Wingenter, Detroit Tigers: The former Bob Jones and Auburn pitcher hasn’t appeared in an MLB game since 2019 and has since had Tommy John surgery. Wingenter earned a roster spot after he did not allow a run in spring training.

Brewer Hicklen, Kansas City Royals: Hicklen is another Huntsville High School native. He debut in May 2022 before finishing the year in Triple A. Hicklen suffered an elbow injury in February and was ruled out for two months.

Craig Kimbrel, Philadelphia Phillies: Kimbrell is the longest tenured major league player from the area. He attended Lee High School and is entering his 14th season this time with a new team for the fifth time in three years.

Kimbrel is approaching 1100 career strikeouts and 400 career saves.

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