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Catcher Yovan Gonzalez was one of four Charleston Dirty Birds players from 2021 added to the 2022 roster along with three new faces.

The Charleston Dirty Birds’ 2022 roster began to take shape Monday with the announcement of seven players who have signed with the club for its second season in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

The list includes four players returning from the 2021 roster and three new faces.

Topping the list is first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Espinal, one of the team’s most productive hitters from its inaugural Atlantic League season. Espinal, 27, who also played for the former West Virginia Power in 2014, batted .307 with a .355 on-base percentage and a .444 slugging percentage and was among the team’s leaders in RBIs (66) and home runs (10) in 95 games in 2021.

Also returning for the Dirty Birds are pitcher/utility player Matt Harrison, catcher Yovan Gonzalez and pitcher Max Tannenbaum.

Harrison, 23, is a Charleston native and Nitro High School graduate who played at West Virginia State University.

A late-season call-up during the Dirty Birds’ push for a playoff berth, Harrison went 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in two pitching starts for Charleston and also saw playing time at first base and in the outfield.

Gonzalez, 31, batted .269 in 65 games for the Dirty Birds in 2021 with a .343 OBP and .390 slugging percentage. His 69 games behind the plate were the most among Charleston’s catchers.

Tannenbaum, 24, pitched in 25 games, all in relief, for the Dirty Birds in 2021, posting a 2-0 record and 7.71 ERA.

The four returning players will team up again with previously signed player/coaches Scott Kelly (infield/hitting coach) and Joe Testa (left-handed pitcher/pitching coach).

The three new signees are right-handed pitchers Alejandro Chacin and Adonis Uceta and outfielder Mark Karaviotis.

Chacin, a 24-year-old from Venezuela, pitched in six games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2017 after six seasons in the Reds system. A hard-throwing 6-foot, 204-pounder who has averaged 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings in his professional career, Chacin has Atlantic League experience, pitching for Sugarland in 2018 and Lancaster in 2019. More recently, he’s pitched for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Uceta, 27, is a 6-1, 225-pounder from the Dominican Republic who pitched seven seasons in the New York Mets organization, reaching as high as Class AAA with Syracuse in 2019. At Class AA Binghamton in 2019, he posted a 5-3 record with a 1.44 ERA in 38 games. More recently he’s pitched for Escogido in the Dominican Winter League.

Karaviotis, 26, is a native of Hawaii who pitched at the University of Oregon and was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013. He played four seasons in the Diamondbacks organization, climbing as high as Class AA in 2019 with Jackson of the Southern League. He played at Kane County in the independent American Association in 2021, batting .327 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs in 59 games.

“We are thrilled with the composition of the roster that manager Billy Horn is putting together. Talented players and quality character guys,” said Dirty Birds President Chuck Domino.

“These are big-time players with big-time ties to the community,” said Charleston CEO Andy Shea. “Being able to announce a Nitro High School grad, a former Cincinnati Red, and former West Virginia Power and Charleston Dirty Bird at the same time is an incredibly special day and a huge step toward building our championship roster.”

The Dirty Birds open the 2022 season on April 21 against the Staten Island Ferry Hawks at Appalachian Power Park.

Nick Scala is the sports editor. He can be reached at 304-348-7947 or Follow him on Twitter