Former UMaine shortstop Jeremy Pena will start his first full professional baseball season with the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Class A Midwest League team for the Houston Astros.

Houston selected Pena in the third round (#102 overall) in last year's amateur draft and Pena played in 36 games for the Astros Rookie League team in the New York-Penn League. He batted .250 with a home run and 10 RBI. Pena made nine errors in 111 total chances for a fielding percentage of 92%.

His third round draft selection makes him the highest draftee on the Quad Cities roster.

The River Bandits open their season Thursday night.

America East Conference / File Photo

Former UMaine catcher Christopher Bec, drafted in the 5th round by the Toronto Blue Jays last June, will again start the year with the Jays short-season team in Vancouver.

He played in 49 games for the Canadians last season, hitting .245 with three home runs and 21 RBI.