At any level of professional baseball, participating in a midsummer classic signifies that your career in headed in the right direction. For those playing in the New York-Penn League, the honor represents the first vestige of success and justification within a fledgling career. On Saturday, those tokens of recognition were rewarded proudly for dozens in the New York-Penn League after the rosters were announced for the upcoming All-Star Game at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Maryland on Tuesday August 18th.
The coaching staffs for the North and South All-Stars will be comprised of members of the host Aberdeen Ironbirds and the Lowell Spinners. Former Detroit Tigers manager Luis Pujols, Calvin Pickering, Shawn McGill, and Justin Lord will coach the South All-Stars, representing the Aberdeen Irobirds. Former major leaguers Joe Oliver and Lance Carter will coach the North All-Stars, alongside fellow Lowell Spinners coaches Luke Morton and Iggy Suarez.
The Williamsport Crosscutters, the short-season affiliate of the Philadephia Phillies, sporting the league’s best record, will send eight players to the midsummer classic, pacing the circuit. Pitcher Mitch Gueller, a first round draft pick of the Phillies in 2012 will be making his second consecutive All-Star appearance, after participating in last year’s affair at MCU Park in Brooklyn, New York. Gueller is the highest selection on either team and will headline the South roster. Other notable All-Stars for the South squad include Staten Island Yankees outfielder Jhalan Jackson. A seventh round pick out of Division II Florida Southern, Jackson currently leads the Baby Bombers with home runs and RBI and will be joined by teammates, Luis Cedeno, Junior Valera, and Thairo Estrada. Third Baseman Nathan Winfrey, a 28th round pick of the Cleveland Indians is the lowest selection for the North All-Stars and will be one of two Mahoning Valley Scrappers in Aberdeen.
The Hudson Valley Renegades and the Batavia Muckdogs, affiliates of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Miami Marlins, pace the North All-Stars with ten of the 28 players selected for their squad. Jake Cronenworth, a former two-way player at the University of Michigan is currently fifth in the New York-Penn League in batting with a .322 average in his first season exclusively as a second baseman. Cronenworth will be joined by Renegades teammate Roel Ramirez, who ranks third in the New York-Penn League with a 2.22 earned run average in eight starts, as well as Cade Gotta, Joe McCarthy, and Angel Yepez. Nestor Bautista, a 32nd round pick of the Miami Marlins, representing the Batavia Muckdogs is currently leads in the New-York Penn League in ERA among qualifiers, despite being the lowest drafted player on either side. Tyler Alexander, a second round pick of the Detroit Tigers out of TCU, is the highest drafted player on the North roster and is currently holding batters to a microscopic .082 average and a 0.45 WHIP in seven starts for the Connecticut Tigers.
Below is a full list of the 2015 New York-Penn League All-Stars
|Roel Ramirez||RHP||Hudson Valley||TB|
|Angel Yepez||RHP||Hudson Valley||TB|
|Jake Cronenworth||2B||Hudson Valley||TB|
|Chad De La Guerra||2B||Lowell||BOS|
|Cade Gotta||OF||Hudson Valley||TB|
|Joe McCarthy||OF||Hudson Valley||TB|
|Luis Alexander Basabe||DH||Lowell||BOS|
|Dario Agrazal||RHP||West Virginia||PIT|
|Landon Beck||RHP||State College||STL|
|Luis Cedeno||RHP||Staten Island||NYY|
|Juan Perez||RHP||State College||STL|
|Daniel Salters||C||Mahoning Valley||CLE|
|Daniel Arribas||3B||West Virginia||PIT|
|Casey Grayson||1B||State College||STL|
|Leobaldo Pina||SS||State College||STL|
|Nathan Winfrey||3B||Mahoning Valley||CLE|
|Logan Hill||OF||West Virginia||PIT|
|Jhalan Jackson||OF||Staten Island||NYY|
|Ty Moore||OF||West Virginia||PIT|
|Michael Pritchard||OF||State College||STL|
|Junior Valera||OF||Staten Island||NYY|
|Thairo Estrada||DH||Staten Island||NYY|