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Six Sand Gnats Named SAL All Stars06/07/2010 12:52 PM ET
Savannah, GA - The South Atlantic League has announced that six Savannah Sand Gnats have been selected to participate in the SAL All-Star Game to be held on June 22, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Shortstop Wilmer Flores, who earned the most votes of any player in the entire league, and left fielder Juan Lagares were selected as starters. Catcher Kai Gronauer and pitchers Jimmy Fuller, Brandon Moore and Mark Cohoon were all elected as reserves to the Southern Division team. The Gnats' six All-Stars are the most of any team in the South Atlantic League.
"It is quite a thrill for us to have so many All-Stars representing Savannah," said Sand Gnats team president, John Katz. "Personally, this is the largest group of All-Stars I have had on a single club over the past 18 years, and we are looking forward to seeing these guys shine in Greenville on June 22."
Flores and Lagares have been two of the South Atlantic League's most dangerous hitters all season. As of June 7, the 18-year old Flores is hitting .295/.363/.455 (AVG/OBP/SLG) and the 21-year-old Lagares is hitting .297/.312/.466. Flores is thirteenth in the SAL in batting average, 15th in on base percentage and ninth in total bases (102). He is regarded as one of the Mets top prospects; entering the season, Baseball America and ESPN both ranked him as the team's second-best prospect, and Baseball Prospectus ranked him third. Flores hit .264/.305/.332 with three home runs in 125 games last year. With five home runs in 54 games this season, he has already exceeded last year's total. Lagares is tied for the SAL lead with eight triples, is second in hits (70), tied for third in total bases (110) and his .297 batting average is tenth in the League. In his first three stints with Savannah, he hit a combined four home runs -- a mark he has already achieved just 54 games into the 2010 season.
All three Gnats pitchers headed to the All-Star Game are in the top 10 in the SAL in ERA: Cohoon (5-1, 1.62) is third, Fuller (5-2, 1.70) is fourth, and Moore (2-4, 2.29) is 10th. All three pitchers are also in the top four in the SAL in strikeouts, with Moore (76) leading the circuit, followed by Fuller (69) in second, and Cohoon (63) fourth in the league in the category. Cohoon leads the SAL in innings pitched (72.1) and Fuller is fourth (68.2). Moore, Fuller and Cohoon were all named to the New York-Penn League All-Star game in 2009, when they were members of the Brooklyn Cyclones. Cohoon was named the Cyclones' MVP as well, in a year in which he led the NYP with nine wins.
The German-born Gronauer leads all Southern Division catchers with 39 games caught this year while hitting .255/.347/.359 with 11 extra-base hits.
ABOUT THE SAVANNAH SAND GNATS The Savannah Sand Gnats, the Class-A affiliate of the New York Mets, is a professional minor league baseball team and a member of the South Atlantic League. Savannah plays its home games at Historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah, GA, just minutes from downtown Savannah. Historic Grayson Stadium is situated within Savannah's Daffin Park, creating a unique atmosphere and a "Park within a Park" setting.